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Tim Drye, Chief data officer, Yellow Zebra Artificial Intelligence

Path to power

 

I began in academia, studying esoteric theoretical physics. While exploring wider statistical challenges. I was presented with a fascinating data problem involving human dynamics. I was hooked with the possibilities outside academia to tackle intriguing situations that had more direct impact on people’s lives. So began my engagement with this industry.

 

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

 

Being involved in an industry that is going through a rapid change and developments, becoming more and more integral to people’s lives both for better and worse.

 

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

 

Keep your eyes and ears open for new developments and changing demands.2018 has seen a broadening of awareness of the possibilities of data analytics to impact many different areas. I have been approached to run proof of concepts in a wide range of applications that shows no sign of diminishing in the year to come.

 

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

 

I anticipate that this exploration of new ideas will continue for a while, but I suspect that sometime during 2019, some of the unrealistic expectations will unravel and there will be an over-reaction and disappointment in the possibilities. With luck, this trough of disappointment won’t last too long and realistic exploration will help to deliver real benefits. Hopefully, this disappointment will also lead to a break-up of the over-burdened concentration of data insight within a tiny number of organisations and allow for analytics to be available in a wider context.

 

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

 

By encouraging the analytics teams to have a broad approach to exploration, particularly by participating in the variety of hackathons and data dives that are organised. This enables exposure to many of the new capabilities and approaches in an environment that forces practical application and implementation.

 

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

 

Underneath the hype, there are real developments that can deliver value for people, society and the environment. My hunch is that many of these real changes will appear in surprising areas, rather than the default predictions of the current experts.Data and analytics technology/service provider

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