Governing Body Spotlight
Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CDAO Community
Chief Data Officer
Brad is an accomplished senior information, digital and data technology leader, CIO and CDO with over 25 years of experience across sectors including energy, oil and gas, telecommunications and cable TV. He is currently the Chief Data Officer for Upstream, Integrated Gas, Safety and Asset Management at Shell.
Learn more about leaders in the UK & Ireland CDAO community here.
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I have worked with data throughout my entire career as an information and digital professional. I started my working life as a software developer, becoming an Oracle DBA and delivering transformational IT projects and programmes, and later leading IT and digital teams. Through all my roles I have developed a deep appreciation that data is the lifeblood of digital transformation and organisational success. In my current role, I lead the data journey for two-thirds of Shell’s business, leveraging data to improve operational efficiency, increase safety and reduce carbon emissions.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
Integrity and compassion are the core principles I aim to lead by and look for in others.
With disruption being a key theme of the past few years, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?
The CDAO role will increasingly focus on:
- Leveraging data mesh to cut across organisational data silos.
- Implementing data products to enable ease of access to key data and to build in a data consumer feedback cycle on data quality.
- Securing and retaining data skills for the organisation and working on the grassroots buildup of data talent from within the organisation, as well as inspiring students to consider data careers.
- Improving data literacy across the organisation will remain a focus, but with the long-term aim of achieving data fluency.
- Using a systems-thinking approach to conceive of organisational data as an ecosystem that interacts with external data ecosystems, aiming for ecosystem balance and health.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?
Join a data community. Data leaders are a great bunch who enjoy collaborating and sharing. Start with the business questions and work back to the data from there.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I started learning to play the drums after having wanted to my whole life.
- I enjoy making my own cured meats.
- I do my best to be a great husband by helping my wife with her work... She is a wine writer and has to review many wines!
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
Connecting, learning, socialising and sharing insights with peers – and having fun while doing so.
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