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ICO head still in top three of DataIQ data leader list

The UK’s information commissioner remains in the top three data leaders after claiming top spot in 2018 in the DataIQ 100 list of most influential data leaders, but GDPR is not the only focus in the industry

Orlando Machado, chief data scientist at Aviva Quantum, the data science practice at insurance firm Aviva, has been named the UK’s most influential data leader in the sixth DataIQ 100 list of the UK’s most innovative industry leaders who drive business success through the intelligent use of data.

Moving up from eighth position in 2018, DataIQ said Machado was at the heart of Aviva’s mission to disrupt the industry with a focus on a subscription-based model that removes the friction from applications processes using data science, bringing his deep domain knowledge and commercial focus to bear using cutting-edge techniques.

DataIQ, a cross-industry community of data and analytics professionals, compiles the list using objective criteria that recognise those with the greatest leadership skills, engagement with the board, industry contribution and influence, best data privacy practices, and who are innovative with data.

The top 10 of the 100 industry leaders recognised in 2019 are:

  1. Orlando Machado, chief data scientist, Aviva Quantum
  2. Daniel Ray, director of data, NHS Digital.
  3. Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner.
  4. Ramneet Julka, director, customer analytics, Barclays.
  5. Wade Munsie, chief data officer, Royal Mail Group.
  6. Nuala Kennedy-Preston, chief data officer, People’s Postcode Lottery.
  7. Anita Fernquist, chief data officer, Zurich Insurance UK.
  8. Scott Joslin, senior vice-president, data strategy, Turner International.
  9. Lauren Sager Weinstein, chief data officer, Transport for London.
  10. Paul Ravenscroft, head of personalisation and digital insights, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Ahead of the top 10 being announced, the most influential data leader for 2018, information commissioner Elizabeth Denham, said the community of data professionals had grown significantly and those on the DataIQ 100 list demonstrated great leadership in the use of data, and personal data in particular.

Commenting on the efforts of the Information Comissioner’s Office (ICO) in this regard, she said the ICO was engaging with industry to discuss the advertising technology (ad tech) model.

Advertising technology broadly refers to different types of analytics and digital tools used in the context of advertising. Discussions about ad tech often revolve around the extensive and complex systems used to direct advertising to individuals and specific target audiences.

“We have AI [artificial intelligence] specialists working with us to crack algorithmic auditing, and have doubled the staff at the ICO, which includes engineers, forensic investigators and we have a lot of policy wonks, who are helping us to figure out this world of data.”

The DataIQ 100 provides a list of the top data and analytics practitioners in the UK. DataIQ said this year’s top 10 emphasised how businesses across all sectors were focusing more closely on boosting value from their investments, alongside the ongoing importance of data privacy under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

David Reed, knowledge and strategy director at DataIQ, said it was evident from this year’s results that the industry was constantly evolving, with 70% of the top 10 being new entries.

“The focus on business transformation and datafication reflects a clear shift from last year, when everyone was focused on preparation for the GDPR. Data protection and regulation remains a top priority for businesses and is no less important than previous years, but it is great to see other focuses also being brought into the mix,” he said. 

Reed said the field of data science was becoming “intensely competitive”, with the number of nominations for 2019 up to 560 from just 250 two years ago.

Lindsay McEwan, vice-president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at customer data management firm Tealium, the headline partner of the 2019 DataIQ 100 list, said data had become fundamental in everyday life.

“That is why it is so important to celebrate the leaders and champions in the rapidly growing industry. We are extremely proud to be part of the DataIQ 100, and our support reflects the importance we place in ensuring data is accessible, actionable and effective for businesses in all sectors,” she said.

“The past year has seen huge changes to the data landscape. With the implementation of GDPR, businesses have had to rethink the way they run and focus on data governance. However, as businesses have got to grips with the challenges that come with the new regulations, we are also seeing data being considered as a valuable business asset. 

“At Tealium, we believe in building positive consumer relationships and creating a 360-degree customer view which allows companies to provide tailored, real-time experiences according to each unique customer.” 

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