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Celebrations for excellence in data at the 2024 DataIQ 100 Discussion

Awards for innovation and culture were presented at the DataIQ 100 Discussion, as well as an induction to the DataIQ 100 Hall of Fame for Ming Tang, CDAO, NHS England.
DataIQ 100 Discussion Awards - Mars

The first honour of the day, the Culture Award, was presented to the team at Mars for their work developing data culture across the organisation, with an emphasis on their recent AI work. The Culture Award recognises a team and a global data-driven organisation that has repeatedly shown it has gone above and beyond to ensure the understanding and integration of AI for all. This is exemplified by the AI lab in Newark, New Jersey, which demystifies and democratises AI as well as experimenting with new AI technology to ensure essential upskilling of associates.   

Mars proudly boasts a company culture that is centred around innovation, excellence, responsibility, collaboration, diversity, and inclusion that values AI and data professionals at all times. The team at Mars are active in the wider community and offer AI and data professionals multiple opportunities to apply their skills in the consumer packaged goods industry through partnerships with academia and non-profit groups such as Women Leaders in Data and Analytics and the Responsible AI Institute. The Mars team picked up the award for Best Place to Work in Data and AI at the DataIQ AI Awards.  

DataIQ 100 Discussion Awards - Direct Line Group
The Direct Line Group accepting the Innovation Award.

The Innovation Award was presented to Direct Line Group whose work progressing AI tools in a responsible way truly stood out as the benchmark for other organisations to follow. The data team at Direct Line Group have been clear that AI is only as good as the underlying data and governance that surrounds the data, with their work focusing on improving quality and compliance.  

One of the generative AI (genAI) projects Direct Line Group began in 2023 focused on business-critical areas, such as applying genAI to call centres to reduce agent’s cognitive loads, speed up the process for new joiners, and use knowledge-based search assistant agents for advice. This project was shown to be a success and is in the process of being rolled out to all 400 staff over the coming months at the Green Flag brand.  

DataIQ 100 Discussion Awards - Ming Tang.
Ming Tang, CDAO, NHS England, was inducted into the DataIQ 100 Hall of Fame for her tireless efforts in the data world.

The final award was the prestigious DataIQ 100 Hall of Fame Award, presented to data icon Ming Tang, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, NHS England. Tang has been listed in the DataIQ 100 multiple times and took the number one position in 2021. Her work pioneering a data-driven approach impacted every person in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic and she has capitalised on her position to make a truly national difference with data, analytics, and AI. The pandemic had an unimaginable impact on the NHS and highlighted the importance of data, with the need for rapid, secure sharing of data which accelerated the development of a digital twin to create predictive models and tools for scenario management.  

Tang’s resolve comes from a belief that the work done today must be better than that done yesterday and the data-led programmes across the NHS now reflect this. The work put in by Tang and her team have shown enormous benefits to users in some of the most difficult life circumstances, drastically improved efficiencies across a complex organisation, and significant reductions in costs across numerous areas.   

The work Mars and Direct Line Group have done are reported on in detail in the new book, Winning with AI, written by DataIQ’s Chief Knowledge Officer and Evangelist, David Reed.  


To enter the 2025 DataIQ Awards and showcase the data talent of individuals and teams within your organisation, click here. 

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