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The Top 100 Innovators in Data and Analytics 2018

Mark Ramsey, Ph.D.

Profile Images (38)What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?

Opportunity to leverage my background in big data & analytics to help GSK transform how new medicines are discovered, developed and delivered to patients.

What led you to your current role?

My passion for helping organizations leverage data as a strategic asset, combined with the GSK dedication to making a step change in data driven decision making across R&D.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced you, can you tell us about them?

My father has been a huge influence in my life. From an early age, he taught me the value of combining vision/strategy and execution. To this day, my leadership style is one of leading by example - being able to not only speak about AI/ML, but actually develop and deploy models. Being able to actually work with the technologies, versus just talking about them, changes my ability to have discussions from the CEO to a data scientist, to a data acquisition specialist.

Can you describe to us a current project/transformation you are working on?

A key effort now is executing the new R&D Strategy to access large databases derived from carefully genotyped and phenotyped patient populations, coupled with technological advances in data analytics, to direct drug discovery and development to a new generation of targets with significantly increased probability of success.

What has this project taught you?

Access to databases that can be used to assess the impact of genetic variation on human disease offers significant opportunities to improve drug development.

What excites you most about the future?

The future is exciting for me in three key areas:
  1. The continued explosion of very granular observational data as the adoption of IoT moves into high gear.

  2. Continued advancement of AI/ML algorithms, including transfer learning to accelerate accuracy.

  3. At or above Moore's Law growth in hardware performance in support of the first two. Combined, these three dimensions are the drivers to an amazing future.

If you could give 1 piece of advice to someone looking to start a career in data & analytics, what would it be?

Recognize that change will be constant and embrace it. A career in this area means learning new skills and abandoning others is commonplace. During my 25+ year career in data & analytics, the drivers and technologies have changed and evolved at least a dozen times - and I see no end in sight for that trend.

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