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  • Carlo Nebuloni, Chief Data Officer, AXA UK&I

Carlo Nebuloni, Chief Data Officer, AXA UK&I

Describe your career to date

After my degree in industrial engineering, I started my career in consulting, working for the major Italian insurance clients. This is where I learnt the fundamentals of the insurance business and developed a passion for it. In these 12 years as a consultant, I learnt skills such as process design and re-engineering, strategy and technical skills, such as data modelling. These would be fundamental for my future developments.

 

My last project as a consultant was the design of a new direct business for AXA Italy and I got so passionate about it that I ended up being the first employee in that business, named Quixa. I joined as CIO, with a mission to build from scratch all the direct platform for digital processes.

 

That was a fantastic experience where I developed – a first in Italy – a fast quotation process for motor insurance, quoting with just number plate. There were a lot of data connections involved in the background. I then joined the UK direct business of AXA in 2013 as COO, shaping the operations with data-driven insights, and introducing cross-selling which was a massive success.

 

Finally, I moved to the AXA UK and Ireland in charge of cross-selling and developed our first single customer view, which led me to the CDO job. As CDO, I am supporting four business units, developing the data strategy and increasing the maturity of the data teams sitting with the business units, which are now delivering tens of millions in value through data use cases.

What stage has your organisation reached on its data maturity journey?

AXA UK & Ireland is a large organisation made up of four business units and transversal functions. As such, maturity is different in each part of the organisation, spanning from traditional analytics to applying AI embedded in the customer journey, delivering huge benefits.

 

Tell us about the data and analytics resources you are responsible for

Our organisation is very much decentralised. My direct team is made up of ten people, but we support and coordinate around 200 data professionals across the whole organisation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. As such it is a huge coordination effort, where I am in charge of the transversal data strategy, the risk position, the transversal data governance, common tooling and workforce planning.

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your organisation and on the industry as a whole?

I see both challenges and opportunities. The main challenge I see is around the ethics in data and the emerging regulation of AI, where this might have huge negative implications on data and data usage, if not well explained and understood by the public at large.

 

In particular, I think that all of us as data professionals have a huge role to play to educate all the actors and stakeholders on the fact that data can be used for good for the whole of society.

 

On the other hand, we need to ensure that strong ethics principles – such as explainability, transparency, robustness, etc – are embedded in our operations so that we can demonstrate with facts the principle.

 

In terms of opportunities, I think the development of cloud computing has been a massive helper for data, and, in the future, it will make all our lives much easier.

Have you set out a vision for data? If so, what is it aiming for and does it embrace the whole organisation or just the data function? Indeed, our data strategy is very much interlocked with our business strategy. As such, it is aiming at delivering the initiatives necessary to support the business strategy and the necessary enablers in terms of data, such as capabilities and skills, tooling, data availability.

 

Have you been able to fix the data foundations of your organisation, particularly with regard to data quality?

Huge steps have been made in terms of data foundations in the last couple of years, though this is a continuously moving requirement, and the bar is constantly raising with the maturity of the organisation. In terms of data quality, a big improvement has been delivered last year with introduction of data quality measures, thresholds and dashboards, at least for the critical data elements.

Carlo Nebuloni
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2021 (EMEA)
  • 100 Brands 2022 (EMEA)
  • 100 Brands 2023 (EMEA)