Big data and analytics have become insurance industry buzzwords in recent years, but for Helen Crooks, chief data officer at Lloyd’s of London, data has been a longtime passion and has defined her entire 30-plus-year career. “Data in its current visible guise wasn’t really around when I started working in the space. My career has followed the trajectory of the development of data,” Crooks acknowledges.Executive Summary“The opportunity to modernize and to automate the Lloyd’s market without losing the essence of the market is all about getting data to flow,” according to Helen Crooks, whose job it is to do just that. In this profile of the CDO of the market, Crooks talks about her career path, her responsibilities today, and people and diplomacy skills needed to carry them out.
Since college Crooks has been ahead of the curve when it comes to data. After graduating with a joint honors degree in Mathematics and Sociology from Keele University in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, Crooks had a choice of becoming an actuary or following the lesser-known career path of systems analyst. It was the latter that enticed her. She fell into working on the first ever European production system that was based on an Oracle database, Oracle V2. While the concept of big data did not exist back then, it was database engineering and designing computer systems that really took root.