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Dan Adams

Dan Adams, Senior Vice President, Data Strategy and Operations, Precisely

Describe your career to date

I’ve been building and licensing data products since the start of my career in 1996. I have worked with location-specific solutions including geocoding data, navigation databases and information spatial data for over 27 years. Throughout the course of my career, I’ve managed global teams, built products from real-time data and been responsible for the entire data product system, ranging from sourcing and field collection to product delivery and support.  

 

I consider myself a passionate data entrepreneur and have been fortunate to work on teams focused on creating products that have a real-world impact. I find developing products that enhance quality of life and generate incredible results for customers to be the most rewarding. 

 

I currently serve as the senior vice president of data strategy and operations at Precisely – the global leader in data integrity. In this role, I oversee the global strategy, development and execution of the company’s data operations, which focuses on a rich portfolio of data integrity solutions.  

 

Before joining Precisely, I served as the vice president of data at Pitney Bowes, following the acquisition of Maponics, where I was CEO. I’ve also held senior leadership positions at TomTom, GDT and Tele Atlas North America. In roles ranging from general manager to COO to CEO, I have directly managed all aspects of the data business, in both pre-and post-acquisition phases, including data operations and revenue generation in multiple phases of growth. I’ve also spearheaded change management and ensured continuity for team members over the course of a number of company acquisitions.  

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

As a fast-growing business that has made six acquisitions in the past three years alone, the reality is that we are in different stages for various parts of our operations. We’re fortunate to be able to leverage Precisely’s solutions and data integrity best practice to accelerate that maturity quickly.      

 

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

In my current role, I lead a global team of roughly 160 data professionals, located primarily across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland and India. I work directly with teams that are focused on data production and the building of data products, including engineers, data analysts, data scientists and data sourcing specialists. As a team, we work cross-functionally to drive operational quality and efficiency. We’re ultimately responsible for managing and optimizing the Precisely data enrichment portfolio, including over 400 datasets containing more than 9000 attributes. This includes demographic data, property attributes, dynamic weather data and much more. 

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

One major challenge we’re seeing is the tension between data leaders and the call within organizations to deliver more value from internal and external datasets. It can be very expensive to bring new data into a process and most data leaders are grappling with the costs and complexity. This is exacerbated by concerns about privacy, security and operational efficiency, particularly in the current climate. 

 

Our aim is to make using data more efficient and secure so we can ease this tension and, ultimately, better support data leaders in building foundations of trusted data for more confident decision-making across the business – something that becomes even more critical during uncertain times. 

 

Have you set out a vision for data? If so, what is it aiming for and does it embrace the whole organization or just the data function?

We’re very lucky because, given the nature of the business, a love of data is something that’s naturally embedded into our culture! We have data at the core of our operations and do also work to enhance the data literacy of each team member through specific and action-oriented development plans. For business stakeholders, we drive data literacy by eliminating the jargon and nuance around data and translating results into business terminology. The data literacy of our data-specific teams is typically higher as their background is more data and computer science-focused. Data literacy often comes down to communication and understanding – and our company culture reflect both of these values. 

 

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

Every organization we work with is ultimately trying to achieve the same goal – to make more confident decisions based on data they can trust. Our mission is to help customers fuel decision-making with foundations of high integrity data that is accurate, consistent and contextual, so they can focus on building new possibilities and achieving better business outcomes. 

Dan Adams
Dan Adams
has been included in:
  • 100 Enablers 2023 (USA)