22 Jun '22

Meet the Team – Ryan Wall

My name is Ryan and I recently joined DTSQUARED as a Data Project Services Manager.

I enjoyed school and wanted to continue studying at university, but when I finished my GCSE’s I decided that I didn’t want to take the traditional A-level route. Instead, I did a four-year apprenticeship in Aerospace and Defence through which I gained a Computer Science HNC that gave me the entry requirements for a Bachelors. The company I was working for then sponsored me to go and study at Bournemouth University, where I completed an engineering honours degree with some study abroad in Paris.

After my degree, I took on a graduate programme for two years as part of the same sponsorship. This involved software engineering work in areas such as e-Battlefield and Mission Support Systems and e-CounterMeasures for airframes. Progressing to a management fast-track, I then had the opportunity to work in the Contracts and Commercial area. It was here where I encountered my first information management problem, in that the team were not utilising any insight from previous contracts to inform new contracts they were working on. After doing some research, I created a business case and managed to get some CapEx funding to build my first data warehouse using Oracle 7 technology. This allowed the team to better understand how they managed past contractual obligations within their portfolio to help improve their current approach. I really enjoyed this type of project as it provided a real business outcome, whilst also equipping me with an important set of skills and knowledge that I could carry with me to the next stage of my career.

I then entered the world of consulting and joined CSC as a senior data consultant, performing a data engineering role doing activities like data modelling, data architecture, and ETL architecture. The first client I worked with was Diageo and I travelled all over the British Isles during this time, which I really enjoyed. Later I developed skills in Master/Meta and Reference Data Management, Data Quality and Data Governance, whilst also exploring areas such as enterprise performance management, business intelligence, and analytics. Whilst spreading my wings technically, I also managed to climb the ranks and ended up running the firm’s business intelligence consulting practice for my final two years there. This role gave me more commercial exposure and enabled me to become more strategic in my consulting in the data and analytics space, with my responsibilities ranging from things like RFP ownership, shadow PnL and aligning the global go-to-market messaging internally, as well as acting as Design Authority and ownership over a client portfolio for their customers.

After twelve years at CSC, I moved to an Indian pureplay consultancy called HCL to run business analytics services across Europe. When I started they had one key customer, and over the course of the next eleven years I helped build their portfolio up to around 40 active customers, with a $25M PnL and between 200-300 consultants at any one time working inside my portfolio. The technology landscape changed a lot during this time, which meant most of my work focused on the data side of digital transformation, Big Data, and then onto Cloud adoption and migration. The goal had always been to deliver hard-hitting business outcomes by leveraging data, but historically this had been inhibited by technology systems as the monolithic solutions architected for peak requirements struggled to deliver consistent RoI. When Cloud came on the scene, however, this was a game changer because it allowed you to better deal with unstructured data through the data lake pattern and provide solutions that can scale horizontally and vertically, as well as having huge cost benefits through new architectural patterns. It was also during this time that data really began to sit front of mind in society more generally, as it became utilised and monetised (for good and bad!) by organisations across the world. As such, it shifted from a by-product of process to a highly valuable asset, meaning that my role also turned to thinking about how to offensively and defensively monetise this asset within my space.

I left HCL in mid-2019 and spent the summer with my children, with a view of returning to work the following year. But of course, the pandemic hit and we had no choice but to stay at home, so I did some freelancing. This included supporting new start-ups with their data strategy and helping to incubate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning practices for small consultancies. I was then contacted by DTSQUARED and was interested in what I heard and decided to join the team in May 2022. I am really excited to be able to use my knowledge and experience in different areas like AI and ML, Data Products on Cloud, presales and customer management to help deliver positive value outcomes for our customers. So far, I like that the company is centred purely around data. Although I have done a lot of work with big consultancies in previous roles, it has never been the main focus of their business, so I look forward to getting stuck into some data-driven projects in a data-centric organisation. I also like that there is a very entrepreneurial culture and flat structure within the group, meaning you can get involved in different areas wherever you think you can add value.

Outside of work I am a Bath RFC & Liverpool FC fan and an avid World Superbike and Moto GP follower, and in my spare time I like to go out on my own Ducati. I’m a keen sports fan and enjoyed playing everything I could in my youth – these days it’s golf and occasional 5-a-side.  I also have four children and three dogs who keep me very busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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