Ed Thewlis

Ed Thewlis is CTO and co-founder of The Data Shed.

From Economics to Analytics to Data Engineering, Ed is a self-confessed data geek; his enthusiasm for data, and for making it accessible to everyone regardless of technical literacy, is what drives him. Ed is passionate about helping people and businesses to see how every aspect of our lives is interwoven with data – and the benefits and risks that brings.

Ed started out as a chef, a career choice that might seem far removed from data. But in many respects, running a kitchen team or a data team is largely the same – they are both very

process-oriented, fast-paced, jobs; everyone needs to know exactly what they’re doing, timings are critical, and, when things go wrong, everyone must change gear together to fix the problem. The only major difference is that kitchens tend to buy the best ingredients to make amazing food – in data, we tend to work with horrible, neglected ingredients to generate insight and action.

Ed was always pretty good at maths, and data just became a way of working out how to solve problems. When he realised he could predict the volume of calls and claims into a call centre, his career found its true direction.

Ed believes that, in the right hands, data transforms and saves lives; it can teach us about the past and help us to predict the future, and at The Data Shed he creates technology that helps organisations better understand the people they serve, and improve their lives as a result.

As CTO of The Data Shed, Ed makes a point of trying to see things a little differently.

Rather than viewing the problem, and therefore the solution, as just one single huge process, Ed starts by looking to see the thousands of tiny processes that make up the whole. This enables Ed and his team to create highly personalised strategies for their clients – elegant orchestration, simplicity of design, and a willingness to use metadata for more than just documentation result in a genuinely great solution.

Ed believes that working in collaboration with others brings benefits to everyone: ‘If we’re willing to share with our community, we can borrow from others and contribute back, and we all learn and grow in the process. Rather than ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, I prefer to think of it as lots of us forming a human pyramid’.