Her recognition brackets that given to European Commissioner Vivian Reding, who headed the list in 2014 because of her work as one of the lead architects of GDPR. Denham is also the fourth woman to be placed at number one, following Julia Porter of Guardian News and Media in 2015 and Payal Jain of Barclays in 2016. Andy Day, chief data officer of Sainsbury’s and the former incumbent of the top spot, remains the only man so far to be given this honour.
Commenting on her placing, Denham said: “DataIQ provides an important forum for data professionals to share best practice and learning - essential in such a fast-paced and changing environment. Leaders and practitioners in this space - everyone in the data and analytics sphere - should learn from data and augment their services through data intelligence, but also ensure that they don’t lose sight of their brand and the essence of their service.”
She added: “Data is a powerful tool; when used ethically and responsibly it can be used to empower and enrich all our lives. It is incumbent on all of us as data professionals to earn the trust and confidence of the public in how their data is used, so that everyone benefits in a data driven world. GDPR is a game-changer and a powerful incentive for businesses to embrace good data protection practice.”
David Reed, knowledge and strategy director of DataIQ who led the selection process for the DataIQ 100, said: “The role of Information Commissioner is critical in ensuring GDPR has its intended impact - a balancing of individual and consumer rights around data processing. Elizabeth operates at the nexus of those interests and has shown herself to be adept at emphasising the ‘carrot’ of opportunity, while reminding the industry of the ‘stick’ of penalties. We are proud to put her at the head of our list of the most influential and important data-driven business professionals of 2018.”