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Graeme McDermott

Chief Data Officer, Addison Lee

I left University with a degree in a bizarre subject called Actuarial Science and entered the dark world of very grey people who worked every hour god sent and did numbers for breakfast, lunch & dinner. I got into writing algorithms behind Insurance company systems for surrender values, car insurance premiums and mortgage indemnity (remember the 80’s property boom bust).

After 7 years of trying to finish the intolerable exams I gave up and found I could make a good living working with data and MI systems. I loved the behind the scenes complexity with simplistic front ends for my fellow Actuarial users.

After an Aviva takeover in 1999 I headed to the AA to finish their product warehouse off and lead the exploitation team, only for my boss to leave shortly after and leave me in total charge.

After a few years I was approached to set up an internal marketing analytics team and work with the central function running the warehouse. After 3 years I assumed total charge as we headed away from our parent company Centrica, and the rest they say is history.

Following a further change of ownership in 2014 and increasing importance of data I took on the role as Data & Insight Director. During the final 2years at the AA I led the business involvement in the Business Process Management and CRM system purchase of Pega and led the phase0 implementation of an operational SCV.

After 17 years and 5 changes of AA ownership I decided to move totally outside my comfort zone, industry and location. In May 2016 I took on the role as Chief Data Officer at Addison Lee to help transform their data, MI and analytics function.

18 months into that journey, as data is never finished, I am enjoying seeing the fruits of my data labour whilst also setting the strategy for the next 12months as Addison Lee grows globally and modernises its platform and processes.