17 March 2022

Adebayosoye (Ade) Awonaike, PhD Data Science at the University of East London (UEL), who now works as head of data at Legal and General Capital (LGC), was listed on DataIQ's top 100 influential data and analytics practitioners.

DataIQ has been tracking the rise of data professionals since 2014 and the list represents the first and only fully-curated power list of the most influential people in data.

The 44-year-old, who will graduate from UEL this year was nominated by both his professional mentor and his manager at LGC.

"My journey started as an electrical engineering in oil and gas when I was a teenager," said Ade.

"I decided to focus on the 'data' end of my skillset and worked in a variety of roles before enrolling on my Doctorate at UEL in 2015 and later secured my role at LGC. 

At UEL, I developed a machine learning with based framework which could estimate individual UK house prices. This analysed publicly available information about property characteristics, past sales and neighbourhood amenities to produce an in-time estimation of a house's price, which helped buyers, developers or landlords make decisions.  

"As a result of my PhD experience, I now look to develop a strategies that will position my team and I to support, create innovative solutions and present insights to a range of stakeholders for data-driven decision making on investments and overall business growth.

"My memories of UEL are purely about the atmosphere on campus. I always felt at home and encouraged to do my best. Beyond that, there are a lot of amazing academics and students in the School."

Data now has a seat at the table

Outside of education and his career, Ade, runs a local job club helping people in his community return to employment. He credits his family, wife and two children for supporting his success.

Now a leader in his sector, Ade says that the data industry has a seat at the table and must continue to push forward.

"Across many organisations, data professionals are now given budgets, being asked to deliver larger data-driven solutions and challenged with making metrics available to decision makers, so I think it is clear that data has a seat at the table.

"At LGC I am a first-generation data leader, so I have had to do a lot of this work by building completely new foundations. This has required a cultural change at the organisation to make sure we're using and understanding data in everything we do.

"My advice to any aspiring data professional would be to be patient. Assess your starting position and what is around you - whether that is employer or education - you always have more available than you think.

"Stay focused and build networks with the right people. Don't be afraid to ask questions and do your own research. Understanding what you need to improve will set you on the right path.”

For more information see DataIQ's top 100 influential data and analytics practitioners.

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