Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the UK & Ireland CDAO Community

James Hodkinson

Global Head of Data and Analytics


James Hodkinson is the Global Head of Data and Analytics at Dyson, and five years ago he started a digital transformation within Dyson’s research and development initiatives. James has led the team from static unpopular reporting to interactive world-class analytics. With a focus on delivering excellent service to his stakeholders, he has increased engagement across multiple departments and across teams.

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 started my career working as a Queue Analyst at a telecoms company. I thought this would involve complex operational research, queuing theory and optimisation algorithms, but in reality, it mainly involved hassling call centre advisors to get back on the phone to reduce the queue!

Subsequently, I transitioned into more analytical roles over time, getting more involved in resourcing, reporting and application development. Moreover, I changed industries numerous times, working for AXA insurance, Airbus and eventually Dyson, where I have been for twelve years.

My role at Dyson involves leading a global Data & Analytics team across the UK and Southeast Asia where we enable research and development engineers, technicians and scientists to get innovative products to the market faster.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Build good relationships with everyone you work with. Choose attitude above aptitude.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?

I see my team delivering less analytics but enabling more analytics. We will continue to try and simplify complexities, by doing the heavy lifting and transforming – then provide high-quality data to users. I imagine we will discover new methods and tools that will help us in this mission.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?

Learn from those around you and realise that you do not have all the best ideas. Collaboration can be very fulfilling and will prevent you from working in silos. Build teams that have mutual trust for each other.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I spend too much time doing DIY. I am currently trying to finish a large extension project where I decided to re-plumb and rewire the whole house.
  2. In the nineties, I used to be in a band called ‘2nd Nature’. I played the saxophone and we recorded a CD. We never made it big though and have boxes of unsold CDs!
  3. I support Liverpool FC as they were the best team in England back in the eighties when I was a kid. I have enjoyed their recent success – albeit there were about thirty barren years between league titles.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

Getting to meet data leaders and peers from different industries and areas. Sharing and discussing our challenges and stories is so helpful!

Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CDAOs, for CDAOs

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