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Peter Johnson, Head of Analytics, Chaucer Group

Describe your career to date 

The best way to describe my career to date would be an evolving journey that I am so very grateful for. Nearly two decades ago I came to work in the City, young, enthusiastic with basic IT skills and a thirst to learn and succeed. Chaucer gave me the opportunity to start my career as a junior management information analyst eager to learn all about the (re)insurance industry.


Chaucer is a fantastic place to work, and this is the reason why my career has been shaped by this one company. Over the past two decades, the company has supported and encouraged my growth through peer-to-peer learning, multiple training paths and data roles, offering great market insight and business knowledge with timely exposure to the right stakeholders to support this progression. 


Over the past two decades the role of an MI analyst has changed dramatically, from a very manual and analogue process to an automated and digital one. My career has tracked this change in terms of how my skills and understanding have developed in order to ensure we are delivering optimal data to our employees in the most effective framework. 


The most rewarding transition in my career to date has been the move from practitioner to leader. My current role is now very much focused on being data driven rather than process driven, I have the incredible opportunity to use my knowledge and expertise to give back and evolve a new generation of data.

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

Within my pillar of analytics, I am responsible for multiple agile delivery streams and initiatives supported by more than 15 data experts. These roles are varied and include dashboard developers, data modellers, business analysts, testers, scrum masters and a data apprentice. 


The themes of data that we are targeting include optimising “business as usual” solutions, enabling growth alongside the continuing maturation of our function with the data strategy. 


Ultimately, I want to ensure that we are using the right data and solutions to deliver success for our stakeholders and that they have the data at the right time in a format that is easy to use and understand.


Tell us about any ambitions you have in terms of becoming a data leader

Transitioning from a practitioner to a leader has been the most challenging and rewarding part of my career to date. This is because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and found letting go and delegating difficult. I shaped my career on a love for engaging with business representatives to drive benefit. 


My ambitions for the future focus on adapting my mindset to drive benefits with greater collaboration and transparency. I want to bring data to the forefront of all business decisions. As a data leader, I want to use my experience and love for data to help grow and embed a data culture that’s exciting and positive.

What key skills or attributes do you consider will be essential your success in this role? 

I believe that transparency, collaboration and a growth mindset is essential. To drive a positive and exciting data culture, I will take skills I have learnt and adapted as a parent, modelling behaviour/reflection and staying in touch with everyone at all times.


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

Self-development is important for both technical and soft skills. The key is being aware of what development is needed and when, I have learnt that being exposed to the wider data community and similar peer groups has helped me with this process, as well as offer great inspiration. 


I have also found great benefit in mentor style offerings that help you self-reflect and understand alternative perspectives. Learning from data leaders who have already experienced the highs and lows of data projects is highly recommended.


All of the above are only effective when implemented with a good understanding of your business requirements, coupled with support and direction within your business. 

And what about the skills of your data teams and of your business stakeholders? How are you supporting their data literacy? 

Data literacy – or what we like to call data fluency – can become very challenging if, as a leader, are not modelling and educating your community. This needs to be supported with transparency and collaboration, utilising growth frameworks to ensure the culture and community evolves with the data framework and technologies used. 


I believe the data community is collectively on a journey and as a leader I think the most powerful way to embrace this is to bring everyone on the journey with you. This will entail including people at certain events, highlighting what education channels people can benefit from, along with running internal events that all stakeholders and effected users can be involved in and benefit from. 


Ultimately, being as inclusive as possible and visibly engaging people at every step of a data strategy to promote change in a positive way, as well as having a well-informed workforce is the key to a successful data culture. 


How do you keep pace or stay in touch with your peer group? Do you see it as important to have an active professional network? 

I believe it is very important to stay in touch with my peer group, professional networks are paramount to ensure that everything you are doing within an organisation is appropriate to the success of the business. 

This brings the collaboration level to its pinnacle, it is key to collaborate with the data industry as a whole but equally to your professional networks and then filter this down within your organisation through your data community to ensure transparency at every level. 


To keep pace with this means being present as much as possible and if you see a gap then create an event that helps overcome this barrier.

Peter Johnson
has been included in:
  • Future Leaders 2023 (EMEA)