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Dominic Jordan, Director of Data Science and Analytics, N Brown

What has been your path to power?

 

I’ve been very lucky to have had my career develop in a time where technology has caught up with what I happen to be good at. I am now able to work in the role I do because the technology, the ability to generate and process data and the requirements companies have to be successful have intersected with my skillset in a way which has been very fortunate for me. I’ve also been really lucky to have worked in some very innovative and forward-thinking companies. That started with a Seattle-based company called INRIX, which operated in the geospatial analytics space and which allowed me to really built my skills in data science (while travelling the world …).

 

More recently I have been working for a brilliant Manchester-based company called N Brown – an incredibly innovative, data-driven and inclusive company in the fashion space, and very much on an upward trajectory. At the time of writing I’m about to start my job at Manchester United, where I expect data to be transformational as the club is very much looking to be dominant in this space. Overall, I could not look back on my career and think I have been anything other than very fortunate to be able to do something I am good at, and enjoy massively, for some great companies.

What impact has the pandemic had on the role of data in your company/organisation?

 

Data work is quite well suited to hybrid working in many cases, although I think we have all missed the collaborative aspect of the role. At the same time, there has never been a higher emphasis on making data available and accessible, and telling stories with data. So the enforced remoteness has undoubtedly elevated the profile of data. On the other hand, affecting human-in-the-loop decisions has been a lot harder – influencing those decisions has been significantly more challenging as a result of that reduction in human interaction.

Does data now have a seat at the table during strategic discussions? If not, what will it take to get it there?

 

At N Brown data absolutely has a seat at almost every table. That’s not just my doing; it’s embedded in the culture of the company, which has been put in place by our CEO Steve Johnson. He has a vision for where the company is going and how it is going to use data to get there, and he has hired only people who have been the ability to achieve that goal through the use of data. So I would suggest that if this isn’t happening in companies, it is a cultural shift that has to come from the top. Hiring clever people and hoping they are going to change the company through the quality of their work alone is an incredibly difficult ask.

 

What are your key areas of focus for data and analytics in 2022?

 

When I was taught statistics and when I’ve taken courses in ML, data is almost always presented without context. That’s why one of the complaints from data science is that 90% of the job is cleaning and processing. The areas that I have focused on recently include data meshes, Bayesian models and causality. A common theme for these areas is the context in which data is produced and in which data is critical.

 

You can’t operate as a data science team in a vacuum, you have to understand the context of where the data has come from, what problems you have with the data, what you know about the systems that produce the data and the domains in which that data is being generated, as well as how people are going to use the information that you create. For that reason, I don’t think my focus is so much technical as cultural, putting data in context and building systems which operate effectively in those contexts.

 

Tell us what leadership means to you in the context of your role as a senior data leader.

No answer provided.

What key skills or attributes do you consider have contributed to your success in this role?

No answer provided.

 

How did you develop – and continue to develop – these skills or attributes?

No answer provided.

Is the data tech you have keeping pace with your goals and requirements? Are your providers leading or lagging behind your demands?

No answer provided.

Dominic Jordan
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2022 (EMEA)