Governing Body Spotlight
Co-Chair of the UK & Ireland CDO Community
Global Head of Data & AI
Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.
I was lucky enough to have my first data role with data geniuses Dunnhumby in 2007. After a few years there working in Price & Promotions, Media, and Category management roles, I moved to Nottingham and became Head of Insights for Boots. The opportunity to work at WPP-owned Marketing Technology Consultancy Acceleration came in 2014. Since then, I’ve been in the WPP in various guises, including as a freelance Data Strategist working with Mediacom, VMLY&R, Wavemaker, Geometry. I became a permanent member in January 2020, becoming the first Global Head of Data & AI.
Learn more about leaders in the UK & Ireland CDO community here.
What is one of your guiding leadership principles?
“Reward the behaviour you seek” is a bit of a mantra of mine in work and as a parent! It’s a much more positive approach focussing on the good.
With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a data and analytics leader going in the next 1-2 years?
The drive for data literacy and building out the data and AI community across WPP’s 100,000 employees will continue! I have a target to demystify AI for 50,000 of my colleagues, and increasingly our clients are wanting to join us on this journey. Then continuing to blend our data and AI work across the network so that our products work together to deliver creative transformation for our clients.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the role as a CDO?
Get stuck in! Find a mentor. Read loads. Hang out with other data peeps. Enjoy the journey, even the getting things wrong or being slow.
Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.
- I’ve just become the proud owner of a house rabbit; it’s really cute, or was until it ate through our internet cable and we all fell out.
- I’ve been kickboxing on and off for 20 years. I used to do full combat but don’t anymore; I’d probably cry now if a boxing glove hit me in the face!
- I think the London Underground map is one of the most sophisticated data visualisations I’ve ever seen.
What is the value of participating in a professional community through Evanta?
I’ve loved being part of the Evanta community; in the past year, we have had so many useful and inspiring conversations. You can tell there is trust in this group as the members are willing to be open and honest about the ups and downs of their role.
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