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Dr Haroon Abbu

Dr Haroon Abbu, Senior Vice President, Digital, Data and Analytics, Bell and Howell

Haroon Abbu’s path to power

Abbu began his career as an industrial engineer. He was always fascinated with driving business results by optimizing systems, people, technology, and processes through data. Since joining the company in 2007, Abbu has led Bell and Howell’s digital transformation efforts, leveraging state-of-the-art technology to create positive customer-focused successes and strategically bring valuable data and analytics insights into vital elements of the business. He has vast experience and expertise in implementing and integrating enterprise applications, streamlining processes, and building digital and analytics products. 


A recipient of multiple awards including recognition in the 2022 Global Top 100 Innovators in Data and Analytics report, Abbu has realized digital transformation to bring about organizational breakthroughs that have empowered employees and facilitated Bell and Howell’s customers to obtain greater value from its services. His priorities remain focused on developing a corporate culture empowered by digital technology, taking advantage of innovations such as IoT, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more. He is a sought-after thought leader, keynote speaker at industry events, and coauthor of Trust: The Winning Formula for Digital Leaders, a Practical Guide for Digital Transformation. 

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

Well established for a company of our industry and size. We have a mature data analytics strategy and platform to service our customers that includes remote equipment monitoring, remote diagnosis, self-service portals, to name a few. 


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

Digital, data and analytics team is established as a center of excellence within our company. This supports all business units and business functions across the company. As a member of the executive team reporting to the CEO, I am responsible for all digital technologies, enterprise applications, business intelligence, service automation, and data analytics. Most of the team is based in our NC headquarters but we do have offshore teams on contract. 

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

The economic challenges are forcing a hold on certain investments in digital analytics capabilities. A more stringent ROI and quicker payback is expected. So fully optimizing the current investments in data analytics and demonstrating the double-digit impact of digital technologies on top and bottom line is necessary. 


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?

Data is strategically intentional for us. Part of our strategy is to innovate our service business models through digital and data to achieve both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. We have established data analytics as center of excellence across the entire organization. 


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

Yes, our cloud data warehouse, data pipelines and centralized visualization capabilities ensure data is appropriately modeled, quality checked, and consistently delivered, most of them in real time. 

Dr Haroon Abbu
Dr Haroon Abbu
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2023 (USA)