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Gillian Tomlinson, director - data and analytics, Three UK

Gillian Tomlinson

Path to power

I have more than 15 years’ experience in leading the establishment of data-related organisations, programmes and initiatives across the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

 

My roles have included spells as vice-president of Dun & Bradstreet for the EMEA region; head of change for credit risk data at Royal Bank of Scotland UK; head of data quality at Lloyds Commercial Bank UK and, more recently, chief data officer of Whitbread UK and the Royal Sun Alliance.

 

With the telecoms market perched on the cutting-edge of enabling 5G and innovation, it presents real opportunities for maximising the use of data, analytics and AI. I my current role at Three, I have full accountability for data, BI, analytics and AI, spearheading the transformation and optimisation of the company’s capabilities with a core focus on championing data innovation, optimising customer experience and driving operational efficiency.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

Being recognised by my peers and being awarded Chief Data Officer of the Year 2017-IPQC Europe 2017 and awarded one of the Top 20 Women in Data by the Female Lead.

 

Who is your role model or the person you look to for inspiration?

Strong women across predominantly male dominated industries, who have been able to succeed and maintain their success while still embracing their femininity.

 

Did 2019 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

I have always been stimulated and inspired by my job and the potential of our industry but in joining Three UK I believe I have joined an organisation whose people values are truly inspirational. Three UK is extraordinarily focused on ensuring the wellbeing of its employees and, not only am I inspired and stimulated, I truly enjoy waking up and going to work with such a great team.

 

What do you expect 2020 to be like for the data and analytics industry?

The demand for organisations to make the maximum use of their data is only going to intensify, aligned with the drive for meeting customers’ needs in real-time in order for organisations to truly compete. This requires an ongoing accelerated response from data practitioners. We must adopt new, more efficient ways of ensuring integrity in data and analytic foundations to cater for the increase in demand. I also see real growth in AI and skills to support this.

 

Data and technology are changing business, the economy and society – what do you see as the biggest opportunity emerging from this?

There is a huge opportunity for businesses to drive greater automation, access relevant information to constantly adapt their strategy to market demands and to ensure they provide a better customer experience. They can then reduce their cost base and become more agile and nimble and, as a result, customers can obtain far more competitive prices for goods and services

 

What is the biggest tech challenge you face in ensuring data is at the heart of your digital transformation strategy?

The data management technology solutions haven’t really kept pace with the demand for insight and analytics and real-time response, this still requires a lot of manual administration and support.

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