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David Wong, Head of Data and Analytics, PwC UK

Describe your career to date

 

I have had a wonderful career in data and analytics so far. I have been very fortunate to work with many firms across the world to help them draw insights from data and make important decisions. In doing so, I have connected with a strong community of people who have been amazing to work with. I started my career with the Commonwealth Bank, Australia’s largest retail bank. My very first project was around helping the bank develop a single customer view to enable more impactful cross-selling of their products. That experience ingrained in me early on the importance of managing data resources and creating analytic insight to deliver value. I was fascinated by modelling uncertain outcomes and using data to tell a story. I went on to study actuarial science and qualified as an actuary in 2000. In the same year, I joined PwC in the Sydney office and worked on a variety of client assignments across Asia and Australia. I became a specialist in developing probabilistic models, helping banks and insurers assess their capital requirements and stress test their balance sheets. My love of Aston Villa and the British humour meant that my initial two-year secondment in 2003 to London became a permanent move. I progressed to become a partner in PwC in 2010. In that capacity, I have led on many interesting data and analytics programmes that PwC have delivered for our clients across the Financial Services sector. Since 2020, I have led the Risk Modelling Services (RMS) business unit which provides actuarial and risk modelling services. I was appointed the firmwide Data and Analytics leader in July 2023 where I am focused on driving the significant capability that PwC has in this space to help our clients unlock the value of data in their organisations. We have over 40 partners and 1,300 data and analytics practitioners in PwC in the UK.

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

 

I think that we will see a greater focus on the data as the enabler for generative artificial intelligence (genAI) and the insights it brings, which will present both a challenge and opportunity for data practitioners. It will bring a sharp business focus onto the quality of data as well as factors such as security, access management, governance, and development of data assets. The opportunity will be there to elevate the importance of data and analytics to the board agenda in many organisations. 

How are you developing the data literacy of a) your own organisation and b) your clients?

 

Data is critical to PwC’s global strategy of being a human-led tech-powered firm. We have embedded advanced analytics at scale in the operations of all parts of our business and we see data as the necessary fuel for AI. We have invested heavily in our technology and data assets, as well as upskilling our workforce, working alongside our alliance partners to keep ourselves at the front of emerging technologies. We have also used a number of industry forums we run to increase the profile of data in the market. Examples of this include a recent X-industry NED workshop on unlocking the value of data and our regular client CDO Connect roundtable that focuses on data literacy and the evolution of the data function within organisations. 

How are you preparing your organisation and your clients for AI adoption and change management? 

 

We have been working closely with our technology alliance partners across many clients on operationalising genAI use cases – which spans across AI strategy, data foundations, responsible use of AI, and extracting value. Change management is critical – our investment in this area will only be realised if we bring our stakeholders along with us – whether that is the customer, end user, or the development team. 

David Wong
has been included in:
  • 100 Enablers 2024 (EMEA)