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  • Jose Sanchez Loureda, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, The Crown Estate

Jose Sanchez Loureda, Chief Data and Analytics Officer, The Crown Estate

What has been your path to power?

 

Looking back, I would say there’s been two main motivators for me in my career: choosing to be involved with projects that I felt were challenging and interesting, and aligning with roles and companies that had a strong sustainability and purpose agenda.

 

It’s been important to me to be involved with genuinely challenging and interesting projects, in some cases with a significant probability of failure, in order to test myself, grow and develop further. And I have found over the years that aligning this with my values and purpose makes the longer-term effort over years much more enjoyable and fulfilling.

 

I am also a big believer in continuous education and development; having a growth mindset and learning new topics is something that I have always enjoyed doing. From my early days in academia where I was very focused on maths and physics-related topics, to my evolution into data science, programming and technology during the first part of my career, to broader data and digital transformation, and then, more recently, servant leadership and technology strategy.

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

 

If anything it has accelerated trends that were already present in our industry around becoming digital-first. As data is the conduit to the customer in a digital world this has placed data much more prominently within the organisation. From a workplace-related perspective, the shift to online and hybrid working has led to a big change in understanding people management and team collaboration, both of which have meant data becomes much more important.

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

 

Data is regarded as a central pillar within the organisation, as a means to improve operational efficiency, gain strategic insight and also increasingly as a driver of business value. This is recognised at the highest levels of the organisation, and the challenge will be to execute and deliver on these areas of great promise.

 

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

 

I have four areas of focus: building up the team further, continuing to develop the data platform through a use-case value driven approach, completing the data strategy and embedding the data governance model across the organisation, as well as an emphasis on data culture and literacy. We will also support a few strategic projects that aim to fundamentally make a difference to our business objectives.

 

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

 

Leadership takes many forms, my general philosophy is centred on servant leadership. From this viewpoint my central role is to enable my team and the rest of the organisation to perform in the best way possible. This involves recruiting the right people, working with the business to agree on the right strategy, as well as providing a clear narrative and data story for the team and business to align with. A leader should also set the right culture and values within the team, and embody them.

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

 

I would say initially my technical and problem-solving skills helped in the early part of my career, and as I have learned and improved my leadership skills they have become more important for the success of the team.

 

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

 

Reading books on topics such as team building, collaboration and leadership are some ways, as well as having a mindset of being able to learn from everyone you come across – no matter the position or role they might be playing in life at that particular moment. I believe there is always something to be learned and appreciated from anyone.

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

 

In general I think the data tech is in reasonably good shape, and there is more of a lack of skills in terms of leveraging the technology. That might also explain the shift towards analytics automation and other products which aim to reduce the burden on technical skills within an organization while enabling the average employee. Perhaps the one area that could do with more investment is around data governance, to support that it scale and across the whole of the organisation in a relatively painless manner.

Jose Sanchez Loureda
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2022 (EMEA)