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Healthcare and life sciences dominate 2021 DataIQ 100 list

NHS England’s managing director of data and analytics, Ming Tang, joins data leaders from pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and GSK in the top 10 of this year’s DataIQ 100 list

The NHS and pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and GSK Consumer Healthcare figure prominently in the 2021 DataIQ 100 list of data management influencers.

Ming Tang, managing director of data and analytics at NHS England, was chosen as the most influential person in data and analytics in the UK by the list’s publisher, Data IQ, a membership and networking company for data professionals in corporate organisations.

Founded in 2011, Data IQ has been publishing its list annually since 2014, this year in partnership with data visualisation software supplier Tableau.

Ming Tang figured prominently in the NHS leadership group that set up a data store in March 2020, designed to “provide those national organisations responsible for coordinating the response [to the Covid-19 pandemic] with secure, reliable and timely data”.

Ming Tang, managing director of data and analytics at NHS England, was chosen as the most influential person in data and analytics in the UK in the 2021 DataIQ 100 list of data management influencers

The 2021 edition’s top 10 upper tranche is notable for the prominence of data professionals from the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. As well as Ming Tang, the list includes Wade Munsie, global chief data officer at GSK Consumer Healthcare; Johanna Hutchinson, director of data and data science for the Joint Biosecurity Centre at the Department of Health and Social Care; and Jim Weatherall, vice-president of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) at AstraZeneca R&D.

Robert Kent, chief data officer at Pets at Home – whose data strategy has featured in Computer Weekly – also ranked in the top 10. From the civil service, the upper denary also included Neil McIvor, chief data officer and chief statistician at the Department for Education.

Last year’s list was topped by Anita Fernqvist, chief data officer and operations director at Zurich Insurance UK, also active in healthcare. This year, she took fifth spot, making it a full top-five sweep for the healthcare industry.

“We had a record-breaking 1,000-plus nominations to review this year. Data is now a frontline tool for all types of organisations, especially when dealing with market disruption. Our 2021 list reflects the scale and pace of this change and the individuals who are responding to it”
David Reed, DataIQ

The list’s publishers said, in a press statement: “This year’s list recognises the enormous transformation wrought by the global Covid-19 pandemic, especially the way it has pushed chief data officers, chief analytics officers and chief data scientists right to the heart of decision-making.”

David Reed, knowledge and strategy director at DataIQ, said: “We had a record-breaking 1,000-plus nominations to review this year. What became clear is that data is now a frontline tool for all types of organisations, especially when dealing with market disruption. Our 2021 list reflects the scale and pace of this change and the individuals who are responding to it.”

The full DataIQ 2021 list is available here. It is described as the “only fully curated power list of the data industry’s key figures”. A company spokesperson said this means the organisation’s knowledge department considers every single nomination, scores them, selects who makes the list and gains their acceptance – there is no web scraping or assumptive inclusion and nobody can “win” inclusion. It is entirely the decision of DataIQ who goes in.

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