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Russell Barton, Head of information management and policy, Barclays Bank UK

Path to power

 

Thirty-plus years is a long time to work for one organisation, but that’s how long I’ve been at Barclays. Starting my career in the branch network, I then spent 12 years as a project manager. Over that period, I gradually became more focused on regulatory and data-related projects, covering areas such as external reporting to the FCA, KYC monitoring and data quality. This led to a role in the Information Business within Barclays, where for the past five years I’ve been looking at all aspects of data, from quality to the use of data and how we communicate that to customers. This is definitely the most exciting role I have had in Barclays - it’s great to be able to put my data knowledge to use in a new and rapidly-developing area of the business.

 

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

 

I think that being the first person to win two DataIQ Talent Awards in one night would have to be up there!

 

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

 

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on trying something very different when applying for new roles - I’ve done it a couple of times now and it’s always turned out even better than I imagined.

 

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

 

I’m not really sure what I expected, but I think that the preparatory work we did for GDPR has meant that there’s been little adverse impact following introduction of the regulations.

 

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

 

I’m sure there will be more challenges and even more focus on the ways in which big companies are using data.

 

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

 

It’s not just about the new and exciting opportunities that exist here, but also the culture within the Information Business and the programmes we have to develop and retain talent. We have an internal development academy and a number of other initiatives to offer ongoing development and new challenges.

 

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

 

I really believe that data can be a force for good, as long as we remain focused on customer expectations and use their data for the benefit of them and society as a whole.

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