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News 22 Jun 2021 - 3 min read

Dentsu, Koala and NAB data execs ranked as Australia's top 10 analytics pros

By Sam Buckingham-Jones - Senior Writer

“Data practitioners are now being elevated to C-Suite positions and creating an organisational culture for data practitioners to thrive is paramount,” Dentsu's Lionel Kho said in a statement.

Data hotshots from Dentsu, Koala and National Australia Bank make up some of the top ten analytics leaders in Australia according to the latest ranking from The Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia.

What you need to know:

  • The Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia has announced the Top 25 Analytics Leaders of 2021, with Dentsu, Koala, Victorian Government, Australian National University and National Australia Bank in the top five.
  • Dentsu's Lionel Kho is top gun. NAB has two execs in the top 10.

Execs from Dentsu, Koala, Australian National University and National Australia Bank (NAB) are Australia's best of analytics leaders. The The Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA) said those who made its top 25 rankings all delivered innovation and demonstrable ROI in the face of Covid.

Lionel Kho, Vice President of Data and Analytics at Dentsu International was ranked top. Within the agency group, Kho expanded the data and analytics service offered and added real value to the organisation, IAPA said.

“Data practitioners are now being elevated to C-Suite positions and creating an organisational culture for data practitioners to thrive is paramount. I am proud to play an active role in this work at Dentsu,” Kho said in a statement.

Koala’s Virginia Wheway, Vice President of Data and Analytics, was ranked second. She led the company to “billion dollar outcomes” and delivered predictive analytics benefits, identifying more online revenue flows during the pandemic.

Brad Petry, Executive Director of Technology and Insights at the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, ranked third, while Alex Antic, Head of Data Science at Australian National University was fourth.

Sally Smith, Head of People Analytics at NAB, ranked fifth, and Karthik Venkatasubramanian, Oracle’s Vice President of Data and Analytics, ranked sixth.

“This is the most diverse set of entrants we have ever seen in the Top 25 Analytics Leaders. We are encouraged that the industry is so robust and represented by an incredible range of talent in Australia,” Annette Slunjski, Managing Director of the IAPA, said.

The Top 25 Analytics Leaders were chosen by a panel of leading analytics and business leaders. The rankings recognise excellence in four key areas: strategy and impact, influence and advocacy, innovation and improvement, and team growth and leadership.

The top ten for 2021 are:

  1. Lionel Kho, Vice President, Data and Analytics, Dentsu
  2. Virginia Wheway, Vice President, Data and Analytics, koala
  1. Brad Petry, Executive Director, Technology and Insights, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Victoria State Government
  2. Alex Antic, Head of Data Science, Australian National University
  3. Sally Smith, Head of People Analytics at National Australia Bank
  4. Karthik Venkatasubramanian, Vice President, Data and Analytics, Oracle
  5. Shaheen Saud, Head of Data and Analytics, Minter Ellison
  6. Lisa Marchant, Head of Communications Transformation, National Australia Bank
  7. Nonna Milmeister, Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO), RMIT
  8. Andrew Woods, Strategic Analytics Manager, Sydney Water

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