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Peter Jackson, Director - group data sciences, Legal & General

Path to power

 

My first senior permanent data position after 15 years in data consultancy was as the first head of data at The Pensions Regulator. I then moved to be the first CDO at Southern Water and then, in October 2018, moved to be the first director - group data sciences at Legal & General. During this time, my career has included being the co-author of “The chief data officer’s playbook” and “Data-driven business transformation” (published March 2019). This has opened up the opportunity to speak about data across the world and also to lead the CDO Summer School with Caroline Carruthers.

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

I have been lucky enough to have two highlights. The first is to reach a senior position for data within a large and well-respected FTSE 100 business with the opportunity to deliver real impact through data. The second highlight was to be the co-author of a book about data which has become an Amazon bestseller, the founding of Carruthers & Jackson and the launch of our own conference series, Data Talks.

 

If you could give your younger self some advice about how to progress in this industry, what would it be?

 

Be creative, be passionate, never stop learning.

 

Did 2018 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

 

No! Personally, I didn’t expect to move jobs and I didn’t expect the first book to be so much of a success. Although I hoped, I didn’t expect data to march so much to front and centre of media and news, business thinking and politics.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

Fast, furious, and noisy. The market place around data, vendors, suppliers, consultancies, and recruitment is going to get noisier and busier. I would expect increased ICO activity and media attention. Plus, the continued rise of the CDO/data leader role and increased focus on data science.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

Three approaches: 1. Recruitment - attract the best talent by creating the most compelling opportunity; 2. Up-skilling internal talent and SMEs; 3. Data science platforms to support citizen data scientists.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

The impact of the use of data and analytics in healthcare and especially the NHS could be huge.

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