Zurich chief Anita Fernqvist tops DataIQ ‘power’ 100

Anita Fernqvist (Online)DataIQ, the UK membership business for the data and analytics community, has named Zurich Insurance UK chief data officer and operations director Anita Fernqvist as the most influential data leader in its 2020 DataIQ 100.

Launched in partnership with Google Cloud, the annual “power list” recognises the most influential leaders in data and analytics. The growing importance of chief data officers, chief analytics officers, data scientists and data governance experts is highlighted by the fact over 1,000 nominations were received, a record for the DataIQ 100.

The list identified the top 10 individuals in data that are shaping their organisations as:

1. Anita Fernqvist, chief data officer and operations director, Zurich Insurance UK

2. Scott Joslin, SVP data strategy, digital ventures and innovation international, WarnerMedia

3. Orlando Machado, chief data scientist, Aviva

4. Louis DiCesari, global commercial head of data, analytics and AI, Levi Strauss

5. Simon McDougall, executive director of technology and innovation, Information Commissioner’s Office

6. Elaine Priest, group chief data officer, Royal Bank of Scotland

7. Kevin Fletcher, chief data officer, HMRC

8. Cristina Diofebbo, senior director strategy, insights and analytics, Sky

9. Roberto Maranca, VP data excellence, Schneider Electric

10. Firas Khnaisser, head of decisioning, Standard Life

Previous winners include Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, former Sainsbury’s chief data officer Andrew Day and Aviva Quantum chief data scientist Orlando Machado. Other categories include Data Titans, Global, Influencers and Data Enablers. The full 2020 DataIQ 100 list is available here> 

Fernqvist identified building the data team at Zurich as her proudest achievement. She added: “We started small, battled to get our voices heard, and step by step built a mature data capability. Looking back at the transition from the small team of 11 to what has grown into a mature, self-sufficient and professional team of industry-recognised data professionals with fantastic employee satisfaction scores and a fabulously fun working culture, is something that everyone involved should be proud of.”

For the first time, the DataIQ 100 was announced live online, with Covid-19 forcing the planned launch at the Science Museum to become a virtual event.

DataIQ chief executive Adrian Gregory said: “Despite the unprecedented circumstances, it was important that we launched this year’s DataIQ 100 to showcase the people who know how to use data intelligently to deliver profitable results and stronger growth.

“Those honoured are making extraordinary strides in the field of data innovation and possess the influence, profile, experience and knowledge to drive this vibrant industry forward and help create truly great businesses. New for 2020, we have identified 25 UK based leaders making a real difference on the global stage.”

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