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The Data Lab welcomes ‘influential’ deputy CEO

The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI, has boosted its executive team with the promotion of Brian Hills from head of data to deputy CEO and head of service design.

With over 22 years’ experience in analytics and software engineering across domains including telecoms, IT and digital, Mr Hills (pictured) will support CEO Gillian Docherty, and lead the scaling of The Data Lab’s impact across Scotland through the growth of existing services and the development of business opportunities.

Joining The Data Lab as a founding member of the leadership team in 2015, he led the design, launch and growth of the Innovation Centre’s key services  from the skills programme to DataFest, The Data Lab’s annual flagship two-week data festival, and technical leadership across the innovation centre.

In 2019 Mr Hills was part of the leadership team that secured a further five years of funding for the Innovation Centre.

He also led the bid to fund the TORCH service (supported by Scottish Enterprise and University of Edinburgh) and has led the development of a culture and values initiative across the organisation.

Mr Hills said: “The ethical use of data in everyday life has never been so prevalent as it is today, with data and technology transforming how we learn, work, communicate and go about our daily lives.

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“The most prominent example of this relates to the global coronavirus pandemic, with both Scottish and UK politicians taking to our TV screens daily and masses of data generating the foundations for their press conference updates and our exit out of lockdown.

“As a founding member of The Data Lab’s leadership team, and as we begin to look ahead to a post-COVID-19 future, my primary mission will be to continue building on our tremendous achievements to date – bringing together business, academia and the public sector to develop and execute new data innovation strategies which boost productivity, create new market opportunities, benefit society and ultimately help Scotland maximise value from data.”

Ms Docherty, CEO, said: “It is fantastic that Brian is now stepping up from his role as Head of Data to take on the position of Deputy CEO.

“He is passionate and influential in The Data Lab, and indeed, Scotland’s growing data landscape.”



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