Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the Houston CDAO Community

Laura Gardner

Head of Data and Digital Services


Laura Gardner is the Head of Data and Digital Services at Anglo American where she leads the Group Data Analytics and Digital Services teams that deliver data to the organization and help to maximize on their digital transformation. Laura worked in the mining, and oil and gas services industries and has developed a very broad range of experience throughout her career.

Learn more about the Houston CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

Having a passion for international business and a people-first mindset is what led me to move into Anglo American and support the development of the Digital Academy, which allowed the company to gain a foundation on data terminology before starting on a digital transformation journey.  Having a military background, coming from a large family of 11 kids, and living in multiple countries has helped shape me into the leader that I am today. Through-out my career, I've had a tremendous support network and always accepted the challenges amazing growth opportunities presented to me.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Always having a people-first mindset, which requires being open and transparent with your team and peers in order to build trust and execute on the work that needs to get done.

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?

More data and digital transformational leaders are needed. The focus on data and digital is not going away and having experts in these areas within the company is such a competitive advantage, especially when you know how to use the roles in the team to benefit the company and optimize results.

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

Build relationships and network - take advantage of networking events to meet professionals outside of your industry and comfort zone. When joining a company to make a digital transformation, you should focus on the digital maturity of the organization as this will allow you to know the level of work that will be required for you to show progress and the value you bring to the organization.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I love to cook.
  2. My favorite sport to watch is baseball.
  3. I enjoy traveling.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community?

I enjoy meeting new people, getting insights from other industries and sharing new and different perspectives with peers.

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