Global Head of Innovation, Chief Data Officer
Lee Fulmer is the Chief Data Officer for UBS Investment Bank, working with peers to govern, leverage and commercialise data to help grow the business and deliver for clients. Lee also serves as Chair of the Bank of England's Reporting and Data Standards Transformation Board.
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.
Virtually all my previous roles have involved using data to drive change – it is just that ‘data’ and ‘change’ were not considered career disciplines until recently.
I have been fortunate to work in roles across various fields – government, academia, media and finance. Within these roles, I have learnt new skills and developed new insights into understanding, manipulating and monetising data. This focus on leveraging data ultimately made me a natural fit for the CDAO role.
What are some of your guiding leadership principles?
To serve my team. I think as our careers develop, we forget there is a stage where we are no longer expected to do the work, but rather to make sure the work gets done – and correctly!
My success reflects the broader success of my team. Therefore, I focus on removing any friction that could make it difficult for my team to do their job, enabling them to achieve their potential.
My top executive career tip is not to waste money on a Master of Business Administration degree. They are not dynamic. Instead, do a Scrum Master certification – it will be a lot more useful to your success.
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?
The most disruptive force throughout history has always been people – not the tools they use. Things like DLT, cloud, and ML are not inherently ‘disruptive’, it is how we (mis)use them.
Our collective focus as data professionals should be to educate as many people as possible in the ‘dark arts of data’ – to demystify it and harness everyone’s natural disruptiveness for a competitive advantage.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDAO?
Get close to your business. I think the biggest mistake many CDAOs make is seeing themselves solely as a control function. While governance is important, our job is to be an enabler for the business – not just to act as law enforcement. Spend time shadowing the business teams and learning what outcomes they need. I guarantee you will uncover data problems you can help solve.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I have an unhealthy amount of Star Wars Lego – possibly a borderline addiction as my family stages regular interventions!
- In my past life, I was a commercial fisherman working on a halibut longliner in the Gulf of Alaska.
- I have a separate career as a photographer. I won four medals in the ‘Prix de la Photographie, Paris’ this year.
What is the value of joining an Evanta community?
Meeting other data professionals across industries! Every one of us has unique experiences shaped by our abilities, companies and industries. Every time I meet someone at an Evanta function, I learn something new that I can leverage in my own job.
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