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Data Veteran Puts his Expertise to Use in Altruistic Venture

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Hany Choueiri has spent the past decade-and-a-half enabling some of the largest financial institutions in the world to make the best use of their data. Now he is freely giving his expertise to helping smaller firms do the same for themselves.

The creator of data quality and management systems for HSBC’s European operations and the Bank of England, among others, has built a free-to-use data maturity model to give firms insight into where they are putting their data to good use and where they can make improvements. He’s also released An AI Ethics Policy template that organisations can embed into their data policies manifest.

Choueiri released both offerings through his Data for Purpose company. They ate the first products in a planned suite of free services that he says will let companies embed the data management best practices he has learned during a career focused on financial services. Longer-term, he hopes to create a self-supporting community of users of his tools.

“With the advent of technology people can do a lot with data so everybody needs good maturity models, ethical policies, data quality standards and so on,” Choueiri told Data Management Insight. “Sometimes they struggle to get that resource. So I want to give it to them.”

Know Your Data

Understanding how well they are using their data is essential for a financial institutions to unlock the full value of that information. But making those assessments can been expensive. UK-based Choueiri was driven to act after noticing that the British government offers an excellent free data maturity assessment service to public organisations, but that nothing similar exists for private companies.

Importantly, this means there is no standard industry model for companies to measure themselves against.

“At every organisation I’ve worked, they strive to benchmark themselves because when new technology is introduced, boards ask how good they are at using it – do they have the expertise and the frameworks, and so on,” Choueiri said. “They want to be able to say, ‘here’s an industry standard model that we benchmark ourselves against – it’s not us just saying we’re great’.”

Choueiri sees his data maturity model as a driver for change within organisations. He envisages the assessments it offers will be used to justify investment in data areas where companies are failing. As well, they could add weight to pitches for project proposals in domains where the model shows the company has strong data capabilities.

“It’s a simple framework to assess how good companies are in the data domain – do they have the strategy; do they have the education?” Choueiri said. “Most of these maturity models have to be paid for, so by publishing something that’s free to use I can hopefully be beneficial to a large number of stakeholders and industries.”

Best Practices

Data for Purpose was created as a vehicle for Choueiri to crystalise his years of data expertise into a single venture. He brings a wealth of skills from a career that’s seen him build everything from clients’ data policies and data security strategies to their glossaries and dictionaries.

Over the years “I’ve picked roles that gave me the full breadth of experience”, he said. “It has armed with a huge amount of experience because I’ve done consultancy as well as held permanent roles – I’ve seen it in so many organisations and everybody does something different. That way you find pockets of excellence.”

Since forming Data for Purpose Choueiri has been busy building systems for high-end clients while fulfilling board and trustee roles at the GLEIF (Global Legal Entity Foundation) and the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Fortunately, he also found himself with a little spare time in the past year, offering him a “golden opportunity” to begin building out this social purpose vehicle.

With the data maturity model finished earlier this year, Choueiri began working AI ethics policy tool. This was created in response to the growth in interest around Generative AI adoption, although it applies to the use of any AI platform. The policy template can be downloaded and then tweaked to suit individual company needs, saving them time and cost in writing their own policy from scratch.

While he has considered monetising the services he creates, Data for Purpose remains an altruistic pursuit to provide help where it is most needed.

“This is about sharing data best practice for the benefit, particularly, of those smaller and medium-sized organisations that don’t have the money to invest or to go to a consultancy,” he said.

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