The UK’s top 50 data leaders and influencers

Information Age today unveils the inaugural list of the UK’s top 50 data leaders and influencers.

The prestigious Data 50 list was whittled down from more than 200 nominations and shines a light on those transforming organisations, enhancing decision-making and driving business value through the use of data, as well as managing its proliferating growth.

The explosion of data – and what can be done with it – has been the most transformational trend to emerge from the digital age. It is also the area where the most groundbreaking technology has been developed.

The pace of innovation in this industry has been rapid, with new ways of generating insight from data springing up regularly. Big data is projected to grow to a £50.1 billion market this year, according to Wikkbon.

Organisations have responded by creating roles like the chief data officer, chief analytics officer or chief data scientist to identify how such opportunities can be applied to relevant business scenarios, and to oversee the processes, tools and governance around them.

Those filling these roles, as well as traditional IT leaders like CIOs and others involved in the deployment of big data technologies, have shown just how impactful they can be in improving services, driving efficiencies and cost savings, and trailblazing new opportunities for growth.

And while it’s easy to dwell on the ‘sexier’ examples of big data, other cutting-edge technologies have enabled unprecedented ways to build infrastructure that can house and scale its growth – and protecting sensitive information from ever-expanding cyber threats is also a critical consideration.

All functions involved in driving data innovation in the UK were considered for a Data 50 accolade, whether it be the vendors creating the technology, the end-users deploying it, or the consultants and integrators helping them do it.

Update 26/2/2016
All of the following Data 50 winners were presented with their trophies and celebrated by hundreds of the industry’s top players at The Data 50 Awards on 25 February 2016 in London.

The evening ceremony also revealed the winners of ten special ‘Best in Class’ categories. Find out who won these awards here.

The winners of these categories were decided by a panel of judges, each a prominent data leader in their own right.

Find out how you can be recognised on the annual Data 50 list, or how you can book a place at the next Data 50 Awards, on the website.

The Data 50 – 2016


1. Jon Mansley, Head of Data, Analytics and Insight, Aviva

Jon has been leading the charge in bringing innovative change to one of the UK’s oldest sectors with data and insights, and has become a stalwart of the industry. Leading a mix of teams across this 300-year old company, he is grappling with the challenge of how to make a traditionally product-focused sector and organisation into one that brings customer insight to the forefront. He has been working relentlessly to embed an understanding of the power that the right kind of data and analysis can bring to decision-making – in particular, bringing the experience of the customer to life.

2. Simon Gratton, CDO, Zurich

Simon is currently making headlines for his mission to design a new data-driven insurance model that both unifies and accelerates sales and distribution, pricing, reserving and operational intelligence from back-office to each key customer and broker interaction event. Before that, he led Capgemini Financial Services’ business information management function, where he developed an agile, data-driven digital operating model to support banking, insurance and the capital markets. Previously, as CDO and head of architecture at Royal Mail, he led major transformation initiatives and changed the culture from one of physical distribution to that of a digital, data-driven supply chain.

3. Brian Bissett, CDO, XL Catlin

Brian is credited with the transformation of XL Catlin’s company-wide attitude towards data and its importance. He has a broad remit to improve and control all aspects of data across the company from data governance, system design and reporting to MI and analytics – promoting a culture of data ownership and recognising data as a critical corporate asset. A key component to the success of driving home his ‘data is king’ initiative is a clearly defined data policy and information management strategy, outlining the vision, objectives, strategy, principles and policy by which the organisation should operate.

4. Charles Cai, Head of Data Science Technology, BP (Trading Division)

Charles has more than two decades of experience in global transformational programme deliveries at global investment banking and energy trading companies. He has excelled at designing and building large-scale big data systems, global energy trading and risk management, and advanced temporal and geospatial predictive analytics. Over the last two years, he has led global projects in distributed machine learning of global energy flow prediction, big data architecture, and data science-as-a-service. His team’s machine learning-enabled global energy flow prediction model at BP was the first significant data science project in a major oil and gas company. Charles is also an active contributor at various forums, meetups to promote big data, data science knowledge sharing and data science community building.

5. Andy Crisp, EU Data Strategy Leader, Dun & Bradstreet

Andy has brought a large amount of data innovation to Dun & Bradsheet over the years, including a new data management system that improved the accuracy, coverage and timeliness of the company’s data and significantly reduced customer complaints in identity data. With this in place, he also created a new approach to solving customer needs by capturing unique insights into what signifies an ‘operationally active company’. Some of the innovation he has led encompasses what Gartner calls ‘business moments’, aggregating data to build triggers and alerts, and he is now responsible for executing the company’s data and insights roadmap across Europe.

Public sector and non-profit

6. Gareth Lloyd, CDO, Companies House

Gareth led the project to build the ‘free data’ version of Companies House’s new search service, unifying the search and filing services in the process. Companies House has seen exponential growth in the access to and use of its data, averaging 1.5 million to 2 million API calls per day, and over 100,000 website visitors performing an average of 14 transactions each. It now has 170 million records available free of charge, with millions more added each year, making the UK the most transparent corporate environment in the world. Through Gareth’s leadership over the digital services team, Companies House is at the front of the charge to government-as-a-platform.

7. Lauren Sager Weinstein, Head of Analytics, Transport for London

Lauren has led research and analysis of large data sets that are created automatically in the course of transport operations, including those from the Oyster card, automatic vehicle location systems and train signaling systems. This work started as research projects long before the term ‘big data’ became popular. Lauren’s work has enabled better targeting of service information to customers by analysing their journey patterns; automated refunds in the event of service disruption; better planning of transport services by creating a very granular analysis of daily usage; and support for businesses in London in understanding travel and shopping patterns.

8. Nick Leake, CIO, Kings College London

Upon joining King’s College, Nick quickly recognised its approach to data management needed to be overhauled. He subsequently introduced a comprehensive approach to data management which included a data governance strategy group, an enterprise data model, enterprise data management policies, better data centre facilities, an improved approach to providing statutory reports to governmental data collectors, and more up-to-date data reporting tools. He also recognised an increasing need for advanced computational solutions to undertake larger medical and other research programmes using HPC clusters. He set up two successful groups each with five other institutions to overcome both of these challenges collaboratively.

9. Andrea Powell, CIO, CABI

Andrea has creatively used big data with the worthy goal of helping solve agricultural problems in the developing world and enhancing food security. With responsibility for delivering the most effective combination of content and technology, Andrea has led the charge to transition CABI’s publishing business to an almost purely digital operation, such that approximately 90% of publishing revenue is now generated by digital products. With 100 years’ worth of growing and changing data locked away in silos, Andrea led a change management programme involving NoSQL and predictive analytics to allows researchers to use its extensive content in a flexible fashion.

10. Charles Ewen, CIO, Met Office

Charles directs a programme that is implementing what will be one of the world’s largest supercomputers by 2017. Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate Research produce vast quantities of data. The Met Office has a data capacity of some 60 petabytes and is projecting to approach an exabyte by 2018. In an increasingly data-driven world, Charles and the science and technology teams at the Met Office have developed policies, techniques and approaches that will not only cope with the vast scale of the operation, but also maximise the degree to which the information contained within the data can be widely exploited and re-used.

Media, internet and learning

11. Russell Marsh, Global CDO, IPG Mediabrands

Russell drives data innovation and connections across the 127 global offices of IPG Mediabrands, and has initiated several global and tranformative projects. He has been deeply involved in building the strategy and global data partnerships with companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Experian to help connect the data in new ways, allowing more granular level household targeting insights. He has also championed the development of master data in the business, using machine learning to connect and normalise over multiple disparate systems and across thousands of clients and vendors globally. This allows IPG to substantially reduce the time spent generating operational reports.

12. Duncan Ross, Data and Analytics Director, TES Global

Duncan leads the team developing the World University Rankings and generating data products that allow universities to compare themselves with their peers, as part of Times Higher Education’s goal of enhancing the worldwide higher education sector. This year will see a significant expansion of the number of institutions covered in the rankings, with things like bibliometric indicators and reputational data blended together with more traditional measures of performance to provide a balanced and recognised measure of success. Duncan is also a trustee of DataKind UK, a charity that is focused on helping the not-for-profit sector do more through the smart use of data.

13. Freddie Quek, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Wiley

Freddie has led the team that has proven it is possible to use technology to repurpose data to build new revenue streams, even for a 200-year old academic publisher. Wiley is known for publishing the works of more than 350 Nobel laureates as part of its international scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly publishing business. Freddie has helped Wiley reinvent itself online and move towards becoming a knowledge company. Already 60% of its revenue comes from providing digital solutions, and its online library contains more than 21 million documents, including 6.4 million journal articles and 16,500 online books.

14. Simon McCalla, CTO, Nominet

Simon leads a team working with big data to ensure the smooth running of the UK internet, providing a vital resource that processes billions of DNS requests daily. The newest innovation from Simon’s team is a data visualisation tool for DNS traffic. Producing meaningful analytics by rapidly storing and analysing over 250,000 DNS queries per second, the British-made, world-first tool was initially developed to help Nominet as a registry, ensuring that the UK internet remained trusted and secure. Simon found that existing tools didn’t have the capability to rapidly store and analyse DNS query data in-depth, so developed one from scratch.

15. Simon Kaffel, Head of Information Management, O2

Simon is currently leading a team of data professionals providing industry-leading focus on data governance, quality and control. As head of data and analysis at Zurich Global Life, he was credited with changing the way the company utilised data to drive commercial advantage through a focus on the customer and delivering actionable insights. During 11 years at Sky, Kaffel was responsible for building an industry-leading data team that was consistently recognised for best practice in data management. His passion for placing data at the heart of commercial decision-making at all of these organisations has resulted in innovative data solutions that meet specific business needs.

Business to consumer

16. Peter Williams, Head of Enterprise Analytics, Marks & Spencer

Peter has steered a number of transformative analytics projects into major change management opportunities at M&S.  By embracing a digital mindset that puts data at the heart of the organisation, his decision to use an analytics and BI platform has transformed the business conversation and culture. And by generating demand for data in areas where opportunities were previously unexplored, the data visualisation tool has supported a remarkable revolution in a 130-year-old business, cementing its emergence as an industry technological frontrunner. Now, M&S data is not only big but fast; aggregated in high volumes to transform a variety of sources into clear graphics.

17. Julian Bond, Head of ICT, Hillarys Blinds

Julian has led a transformation that has brought the generation, control and exploitation of data to the heart of Hillarys – providing the analytic platform that has driven sustained business growth and profitability through enhancing decision-making enabled by deeper insight, joined-up data analysis and increasingly ‘bigger’ data. Julian has developed and delivered a strategy that has pushed the boundaries of enterprise mobility as a mechanism to generate, capture (and then increasingly exploit) a rich source of business data in relation to consumer behaviour, customer experience, market competition, the relative attractiveness of its products and services, and a range of related process and operational metrics.

18. Gillian McMeekin, CDO, Whitbread

Gillian provides the strategic leadership, collaborative coordination, creative problem-solving and administrative authority necessary to achieve mission- critical reforms and advances in business intelligence and data administration at Whitbread. Her remit spreads wide, with leadership over data governance, data integrity, data warehousing, data reporting, data security, master data management, business intelligence, analytics and big data, and compliance to the Data Protection Act for Whitbread. Gillian has ensured the right data gets to the right people at the right time at Whitbread – with the right tools to aid strategic development plans of the organisation, KPI management and operational efficiencies.

19. Barry Panayi, Head of Data Science, Bupa

Barry spent the first year of his tenure visiting teams in several of the countries the company operates to show how data could help them make better decisions. He developed a methodology of ‘data discovery workshops’ that were delivered to teams in a range of areas from procurement of medical supplies, prescribing of drugs, pricing for dental products, fraud reduction and management of financial metrics. During the course of this work, Barry created a data community to link up all the data-curious people at the company – and by the end of year one, it was the biggest community on Bupa’s social platform

20. Jon Pickles, Global Director of 360 Engagement, The Travel Corporation

Since joining The Travel Corporation in 2014, Pickles has reengineered the data backbone of the 30-brand-strong organisation. His goal was to build a 360-degree view of the two million travellers that The Travel Corporation serves so that the global organisation becomes more agile, better understands its customers and on-boards new businesses more quickly. The new architecture enables his small team to achieve that. The next step is to move beyond sales into marketing, call centre and guest relations – further capitalising on customer data and setting the path for TTC to become a customer company.

Open source

21. Sean Owen, Director of Data Science, Cloudera

At Cloudera, Sean has worked for big online and retail companies, most recently Marks & Spencer, advising on the best way to approach business challenges, build technology solutions and apply big data analytics to real world problems. At M&S, Sean has designed the analytics approach and helped on implementation of an analytics hub. The retailer has successfully built a 360-degree customer view, improved attribution modelling, and brought their analytics capabilities in-house with an enterprise data hub. Sean has been fiercely committed to using big data and data science to deliver better business metrics for companies, not just abstract improvements like ‘faster’ or ‘more accurate’ models.

22. Andy Leaver, VP International Operations, Hortonworks

Since Andy’s appointment as VP International Operations at Hortonworks, the company has witnessed substantial growth in the UK, doubling the size of the team and recently moving to larger EMEA headquarters in the City of London. His vision for the new centrally located Hortonworks office is as a local hub for ecosystem partners and community to gather and share ideas around big data. Through his leadership, Hortonworks’ international contribution has grown to represent more than 10% of its overall business, acquiring major new customers across nearly every major industry. Andy leads the teams from Sydney to Singapore to Tokyo.

23. Ciaran Dynes, Vice President of Products, Talend

Ciaran leads global product management at Talend, including responsibility for managing $75-100 million commercial middleware integration product lines. His extensive experience sees him driving cross-functional teams, managing products from cradle to maturity, justifying and negotiating new product development investments, as well as company acquisitions and launching new products into international markets. Ciaran encourages companies to look at using data to make a 1% improvement or cost reduction across a whole range of processes. He is at the frontline of big data adoption in the UK and is a real enabler and facilitator helping companies understand and utilise their data to maximise their success.

24. David Richards, CEO, Co-Founder and President, WANdisco

Since co-founding WANdisco in 2005, David has led the company on a course for rapid international expansion. He is recognised as a prominent champion of British technology and entrepreneurship and, in 2012, led WANdisco to a successful listing on London Stock Exchange, raising over £24 million. Recently announced British big data customers include British Gas, dunnhumby and Compare The Market, while the firm also raised $25m towards the end of January, taking total funding to $65 million. WANdisco has demonstrated considerable momentum in 2015, with three of the world’s top banks now using its software for big data deployments.

25. Dan Keeley, Director, Code BI

Dan is an established independent Pentaho consultant who has been developing business intelligence systems since the company’s inception. He has actively promoted the adoption of open-source business intelligence and big data analytics in the UK, and is a go-to expert in technologies in the expanding big data universe, such as MongoDB, Cloudera, Spark, HP Vertica, Couchbase and Hive. Dan’s nomination for this award recognises his contribution to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, a charity to which he has donated his considerable time and technical skills towards the delivery and ongoing maintenance of high-quality analytics typically only available to enterprise customers.


26. Mat Keep, Principal Product Manager, MongoDB

Based out of London, Mat is responsible for building the vision, positioning and content for MongoDB’s products and services, including the analysis of market trends and customer requirements. Mat has worked with leading UK financial institutions in defining data strategies for modern banking applications and market analytics, as well as a number of other companies. These include helping Square Enix scale some of the world’s most popular games on a modern database, helping define the big data requirements within Bosch’s Internet of Things suite of products, and helping 3D Repo in their development of an open-source, cloud-based building information management platform.

27. Paul Preuveneers, Senior Sales Engineering Director EMEA, MarkLogic

The first MarkLogic employee in Europe, Paul has spent eight years championing NoSQL technology and working closely with customers, including major banks, media firms and service providers. He has been instrumental in shaping technology strategies for many European organisations, and has influenced the future direction of NoSQL technology in general by driving the integrated support for semantics and bitemporal to the platform. With a role that has expanded in scope in parallel with the company’s strong European growth, Paul has been instrumental in helping around 40 organisations with mission-critical, big data deployments that extract more value and insight from data.

28. Vinay Joosery, Founder and CEO, Severalnines

Very strong on product and technical development of open-source databases, Vinay has helped global and UK businesses like BT, AutoTrader Group and Ping Identity to scale, manage and develop cloud operations. With over 7,000 users to date, Severalnines’ core application ClusterControl is the leading automation and management solution for MySQL, MongoDB and Postgres databases. It is mot known amongst system administrators, database administrators and database developers, who stress the importance of using DevOps tools that ClusterControl provides. At Oracle, Vinay headed the Global MySQL Telecoms Unit, and built the business around MySQL’s high availability and clustering product lines.

29. Manu Marchal, Managing Director EMEA, Basho

Manu’s founded the first and largest big data-focused community in Europe, Big Data London, with Manu inviting the early adopters and innovators, the data scientists and big data engineers to interact with senior decision makers from the mainstream organisations that hoped to capitalise on the forthcoming data revolution. The growth of Big Data London and its community has helped established the city as Europe’s data capital. Since Manu’s appointment as Basho’s EMEA MD in July 2014, the team has doubled in size and been key to the company’s overall growth – in Q2 2015, it grew its customer acquisitions by 50% over the previous quarter.

30. Mark Darbyshire, Chief Technology Advisor, SAP

A central lead for SAP’s innovation strategy, Mark helps customers enhance their awareness of new advances in data science. At the IfM Centre for International Manufacturing, he consulted on the £23 million REMEDIES project which aims to evaluate and implement technology innovations with the goal to develop more patient-centric and integrated end-to-end supply chains within the UK pharmaceutical supply chain. In his work with Sheffield Hallam University, he supported the launch of a new Centre of Excellence for SAP solutions, and he has also helped McLaren Technology Group in its quest to drive incremental efficiencies.


31. Nick Halstead, CEO and Founder, DataSift

Under Nick’s guidance, DataSift has become one the UK’s fastest growing SaaS businesses, with revenues in the tens of millions, and an ecosystem of more than a thousand companies building applications on top of it to gain insights from social data. During the past seven years, he has not only created only of the world’s leading R&D-led data processing companies, but invented a revolutionary new language for unstructured data processing. DataSift has signed more than 1,000 corporate customers in 40 countries, expanded from 20 to 150 employees in three countries, and raised more than $77 million in investor capital.

32. Jim Manzi, Chairman, Applied Predictive Technologies

In 2012, McKinsey, MIT and IBM all issued reports on the implications of big data, with a common conclusion: the primary benefit of big data was that it enabled business experiments. Jim came to the same conclusion more than a decade earlier. He co-founded Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), which has been awarded multiple patents to analyse data and was recently acquired by MasterCard for $600 million. Prior to starting APT, he researched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked at AT&T Laboratories to oversee the development of pattern recognition software in their Data Networks division.

33. Hugh Cox, Founder and CDO, Rosslyn Analytics

Nowhere is the acuteness of Hugh’s business diagnosis and the transformational effectiveness of his data analytics clearer than a recent implementation of Rosslyn’s software by PHS Group. Through improved spend visibility, Rosslyn’s cloud data platform enabled the company’s procurement department to deliver £2.4 million annualised benefits in just one year. Throughout his career, Hugh has helped some of the largest organisations in the world to better understand and effectively monetise their data. Rosslyn’s global client list includes Adecco, BG Group, Boots, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Diageo, Linklaters, Merck, Patheon, TFL, Walgreens, Sony, and Weir Group.

34. Gerald Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder, Information Builders

In an age where the average longevity of an S&P 500 company is 15 years, 40 years of success is a remarkable achievement for Information Builders, which has endured numerous different innovations in the BI industry. It also makes Gerry one of the world’s longest-standing CEOs. While headquartered in New York, it has a strong base and string of customers in the UK. For example, the UK’s largest clothing retailer, Arcadia, turned to Information Builders to roll out BI software to more than 5,000 users. The system improved Arcadia’s basket analysis, allowing shops to mix and match clothes and offer personalised products.

35. James Richardson, Business Analytics Strategist, Qlik

James has been speaking, writing and advising many hundreds of organisations on BI and analytics worldwide for over two decades, both as a software professional and as a Gartner analyst. He joined Qlik in 2013 and is currently a key member of its innovation and design team of industry thought leaders who are challenging organisations to re-think the way they operate and – most importantly – interrogate data and insights to see if there are better ways they can be doing business. He has always been a champion of the view that everyone needs to look deeper into the data ‘story’ that is being presented to them.

Services and consulting

36. Craig Saunders, Director, Analytics Resource Centre, Xerox Consulting and Analytics Services

Craig helped create the centralised support engine for analytics in Xerox Services. In his role, he leads teams consisting of consultants, data engineers, business analysts, visualisation specialists and data scientists to bring added-value solutions to Xerox’s clients through the use of data. Specifically, he has been involved with a wide range of big data projects at Xerox including management of the Xerox Innovation Group Smarter Document Technologies programme, as well as developing Xerox’s Automatic License Plate Recognition System and Statistical Machine Translation solution. He was also responsible for managing the development of Xerox’s Agent Performance Indicator, now in use in more than 40 call centres.

37. Neil Sholay, Head of Oracle Digital, EMEA

As head of Oracle Digital within the EMEA region, Neil has a pivotal role within one of the most influential technology companies on the data landscape. Working with some of the best known brands in the world, Neil has helped organisations see not only the potential of data to transform their business, but its ability to fuel whole new business models. He has helped businesses see how data, used smartly, is the means to a powerful end, and is currently working with a global bank to help share its internal data with retailers, utilities, governments and other organisations to provide better customer experiences.

38. Sam Seddon, Client Executive for Wimbledon, IBM

Sam is responsible for managing the end-to-end delivery of the technical solutions that IBM provides to Wimbledon. New in 2015, IBM analytics notified Wimbledon of breaking match facts in real-time with historical content and context, allowing them to make proactive content decisions. In addition, a unique query solution allowed Wimbledon staff to ask questions in natural language, and IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson, provided the access to Wimbledon’s natural language archives, revealing additional content to assist in creating engaging and relevant news articles. With 3.2 million data points captured in a sub second time, IBM served up uninterrupted access to real-time Wimbledon match records.

39. Mike Weston, CEO, Profusion

Mike Weston has helped some of Europe’s most innovative businesses maximise the value they get from data for over 18 years. Since joining Profusion in 2012, he has realised his vision of building a data science consultancy business, enriching a number of global corporations with sophisticated techniques to enhance their decision making and drive new business value – tripling the size of the business as he’s done so. Mike has been continuously raising the profile of big data and data science to organisations and the wider community, highlighting the virtues of a data-driven approach to business.

40. Guy Mucklow, CEO, PCA Predict

PCA Predict, set up by Guy and Jamie Turner, was one of the first companies to recognise the potential of cloud computing as a more efficient medium for delivering data-as-a-service, launching its hosted address validation service in 2001. The company now processes millions of transactions for some of the largest organisations around the world, including Royal Mail, Dow Jones and Tesco. Its address validation software accounts for around half of all addresses captured on UK e-commerce websites. Under Guy’s leadership, the business has evolved from a business start-up sustaining losses in the early years to a £10 million turnover company.

Infrastructure and protection

41. Joe Baguley, VP and CTO EMEA, VMware

Joe is a pivotal player in the UK data market, helping some of the country’s most well-known companies and brands drive their data strategy. He is in charge of giving customers advice around the storage and robust security of their business data. In doing so, he is ultimately helping drive strategy for the data sets of thousands of companies across Europe, advising and ensuring their data is secure at a time when external security threats are more prevalent than ever. He has worked with a number of leading businesses across the UK and EMEA, including Cancer Research, Kingston University, SEGA and Vodafone.

42. James Norman, Public Sector CIO, EMC

James has continually led the way in campaigning for the use of data experts within the public sector as well as the introduction of a code of responsible data analytics. Recent projects he has been involved with include sustaining universal healthcare through the use of data analytics, helping University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust use information and informatics to improve patient care, and retooling the Ministry of Defence for the opportunities big data can provide. Before EMC, James had over 20 years’ experience within the NHS and Department of Health, holding many senior positions within finance, performance, information and IT.

43. Chris Eng, VP of Research, Veracode

Chris leads the team responsible for integrating security expertise into Veracode’s technology. One of the unique characteristics of application security is there are no standards defining acceptable security flaw density, or which criticality of defects are acceptable, or what remediation timeframe is adequate. This makes it especially difficult for organisations to understand where their security measures stand with relation to the greater application security situation and what changes to their programme need to be made. Understanding the challenge this lack of information poses to organisations, Veracode has done significant research to provide data that will establish an application security benchmark.

44. Raj Samani, VP and CTO EMEA, Intel Security

Alongside his role educating consumers and businesses about the safe use of data and threat of cybercrime, Raj helps major law enforcement agencies bring down cyber attacks. Most recently Raj, and Intel Security, collaborated with Europol, the FBI and Dutch authorities to dismantle a botnet called Beebone used by criminals to spread malicious software to thousands of computers globally. This had a huge global impact as infections initially detected in 195 countries were wiped out. Raj regularly goes on record to provide strategic advice to advance discussions, awareness and solutions around cyber threats, which in the past has put his personal safety at risk.

45. Etienne Greeff, CEO, SecureData

Etienne is one of the early pioneers of the information security industry and has spent more than 20 years promoting an innovative use of technology and services to solve organisations’ most complex issues. Having joined the company in 2001, he has overseen its transformation from an $8 million business to a circa $50 million operation. As CEO, he continues to forge ahead with evolving and refining his vision in the form of the company’s end-to-end approach to cyber security: assessing security risks, proactively detecting issues, protecting critical assets and responding rapidly to security threats – all using a data-driven approach.

Knowledge and integration

46. Martin Szomszor, Head of Data Science, Digital Science

In March 2015, Martin completed the build of an online database and collation of more than 6,500 case studies of the social and economic impact of university research for the Research Excellence Framework. Commissioned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, this was the first attempt in the world to gather and assess information on the socioeconomic impact of publicly funded research. The project provides wholly new information about UK research benefits, initially buried in thousands of documents. Szomszor’s database development and subsequent visualisations have made that information accessible and useful to a much wider group of analysts and researchers.

47. Gavin Starks, CEO, Open Data Institute

Gavin has been instrumental in establishing the UK as open-data global market leaders – estimated to contribute $3 trillion per year to the global economy. In just two and a half years, Gavin has established the ODI as the global authority in open data, unlocking £37 million of value. He has catalysed an international debate at world leadership level on the need for a global data infrastructure. Gavin’s approach to promoting and enabling an open data culture saw the not-for-profit secure £3.9 million income in 2014, just 12 months after launching. A further £3.8 million was secured in 2015, matching its UK government funding.

48. Euan Adie, Founder, Altmetric

Euan is at the forefront of the alternative metrics movement in academic research, which is changing the way scientists get credit for their work and how funders and governments assess the value of the research they pay for. Altmetric, the company he founded, delivers data on hundreds of thousands of research articles and other outputs each day to help academics worldwide show the impact of their research. It does this by automatically pulling together and processing large amounts of data from policy makers, scholarly reference managers, newspapers and magazines and social media, then giving them smart ways to visualise and understand it.

49. Mark Hahnel, Founder, Figshare

Mark founded a platform for academic researchers to share and get credit for all of the data they create over the course of their career. He has made a significant contribution to the open data movement by providing a free platform for anyone to make data openly available, and spent a significant amount of time over the past four years speaking at various conferences to raise the awareness around open data issues. He has been resolute in his vision throughout and despite resistance from the academic establishment he has helped influence what is now seen as an inevitable move toward open research data.

50. Alan Grogan, Associate Partner, Atos Consulting

Alan advises global corporates around the world on data strategy and how to move from being data supported to data enabled to data-led. His advise and work has supported many significant and visible outcomes, including Barclays’ launch into many new geographies, the deployment of NSA-used technologies in investment banking, the turnaround of RBS’s UK corporate bank, and the design of employee surveillance architectures to support data asset protection, brand protection, fraud, and overall governance, risk and compliance. He has also been working with the European Central Bank (ECB) to form a European CDO think tank to support data regulation and strategy.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...