Anita Fernqvist, chief data officer at Zurich Insurance UK, walked away from the DataIQ Awards last night clutching the Grand Prix, having already been handed the title of Data and analytics leader of the year (Data Titan). At the sell-out event held in the V&A, Fernqvist’s leadership was recognised for helping the data office to grow from a small team to a major function with the ear of the board.
Channel 4 was also celebrating having scooped three awards. Its Contextual Moments advertising solution, which applies AI and machine learning to identify brand-safe placements, was named Most innovative use of AI and Data-driven product or service of the year (Data Titan). The data science team behind the development was also recognised as Best data and analytics team (Data Titan).
Merkle Aquila was the other multiple award winner on the night, with Vicky Byrom, head of analytics, named Data and analytics leader of the year (Data Enabler), while its analytics team working on the Stop the Traffik account were handed the award for Best data and analytics team (Data Enabler).
Fifteen other companies shared the prizes on a night which saw the depth and breadth of the data and analytics industry honoured. “It was a great opportunity to recognise and reward the innovation, impact and energy found from top to bottom in this sector,” said David Reed, knowledge and strategy director of DataIQ who hosted the event. “Our panel of judges - all senior practitioners in end-user organisations - had a tough job picking from a record-breaking number of entries. The fact our winners list is so diverse just goes to show how far-reaching the transformation being driven by data really is.”
The only award not chosen by the judges, but selected by DataIQ based on research across the industry, was the Professor Derek Holder Lifetime achievement award, which this year went to Keith Dugmore, founder of DUG (Demographic Users Group). For nearly two decades, he represented the interests of large commercial users of public data sets, such as the Census, ensuring they were accessible and fit for purpose for both parties. According to Tim Drye, who now runs the renamed Data analytics User Group, “virtually everyone in the UK data industry owes a debt of gratitude to Keith.”
A full list of winners can be found here.