Hills aims ‘to build impact’ as CEO of The Data Lab

Brian Hills: interesting juncture

Brian Hills has been confirmed as the CEO of The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI.

He has been interim CEO following the departure in January of Gillian Docherty, who left the organisation to become chief commercial officer at Strathclyde University.

Mr Hills has worked at The Data Lab for the last seven years in a variety of roles including deputy CEO and head of service design. He previously worked at Skyscanner and Sumerian and was recently included in Data IQ’s 100 most influential people in data.

In his new role, which becomes effective immediately, he will be responsible for leading the innovation centre’s 50+ strong team, as well as driving the growth of AI and data science skills across the academic and business community in Scotland.

Les Bayne, chair of The Data Lab, said: “Brian’s passion for supporting organisations to realise the power that data and AI can have is second to none.

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“He has been an integral figure in the evolution of The Data Lab and its impact in Scotland, and is someone that brings not only technical insight but a considered approach to leadership. His appointment to the CEO role is much deserved and I look forward to working closely with him as we build our plans to become one of the most impactful data communities in the world.”

Mr Hills said: “AI and data science are at a very interesting juncture; organisations understand that they could massively gain from their execution.”

However, he said companies are on the edge of a data skills cliff which provides The Data Lab with a “unique opportunity” to grow the community that brings together organisations, data talent, academia and suppliers.

“I relish the opportunity to scale our impact in Scotland and beyond. Working closely with the team, I will continue to build on the success we have already created and continue to push for a data powered future.”

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