The Economist

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Head of Data Platforms

Head of Data Platforms

Job Locations 
United Kingdom-London

More information about this job




The Economist is a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, published weekly in print and digital editions, and daily through our Espresso app and We deliver our information through a range of formats, from newspapers and magazines to conferences, films and digital editions. What ties us together is the objectivity of our opinion, the originality of our insight and our advocacy of economic and political freedom around the world.


At The Economist we are transforming our data operations to support the growing needs of a modern digital media business. As a result we are looking for an experienced data technology expert to lead our “Data Platforms” team. Reporting directly to the Chief Data Officer, you will be responsible for delivering a robust data platform which supports all our data activities, including business intelligence, insight analysis, marketing activation and data science.


The Data Platforms team, alongside “Insight and Data Science”, makes up our newly created central data team. We are a combination of several previous teams, each of which successfully managed a subset of The Economist’s data. Collectively we hope to provide new capabilities, more unified data and generally satisfy the growing demands of the organisation. Our ultimate goal is to advance the maturity of data usage across the business.


The Data Platforms team is responsible for all aspects of data technology delivery, including traditional warehouse operations, cloud-based big data activities, data ingestion, integrations with 3rd-party systems, data processing/ETL and management of data quality. As the leader of this team, you would be responsible for understanding the needs of the business, creating a data platform strategy and managing the people responsible for delivery of your roadmap.


We are seeking someone who has proven experience delivering scalable data platforms, including “big data” systems for managing TB-scale datasets such as web analytics. You should understand the data challenges of a modern digital business and the changing landscape of data technology, and be able to see how one provides solutions to the other. You will know what sources of data exist within an organisation like The Economist and why these have value. You should be comfortable managing and developing a team, including understanding budgets and hiring. You should also be comfortable being in a position of responsibility and delivering large technical projects.


In return we will offer you a visible leadership role at The Economist. You will create the data technology strategy and roadmap and take the credit for delivering it. Ultimately you will have the opportunity to play a key part in the ongoing transformation of The Economist from a legacy print publisher into a leader in digital media.



In this role you would be expected to:


  • Work with stakeholders across the digital teams and beyond to understand the data technology needs of The Economist
  • Create an overall strategy and roadmap for satisfying those needs through development of our data platforms
  • Lead the team responsible for delivery of all aspects of our data platforms including:
    • Integration of data sources into our central platforms
    • Management of data quality
    • Delivery of data warehouses which enable rapid access for a wide range of uses
    • Delivery of data to 3rd-party systems for marketing activities
  • Directly manage the technical delivery team, including facilitating training and development
  • Identify business opportunities which could be enabled by our data platforms and communicate those back to the business
  • Remain informed of new developments in data technology and seek to apply these to improve the performance, capability and cost of our data platforms
  • Identify opportunities to better utilise our existing data technologies
  • Promote a data-driven culture throughout the organisation

Experience, skills and professional attributes

To succeed in the role you must have:

  • Prior experience with the implementation of similar data platforms
  • The ability to manage and develop people and get the best out of a team
  • The ability to build relationships with relevant stakeholders to understand their needs
  • An understanding of how a digital business operates
  • An understanding of the data technology landscape
  • An understanding of practical data warehousing, both traditional and cloud-based

To succeed in the role you must demonstrate:


  • The ability to multi-task and manage complex projects
  • The ability to work on your own with conviction to prioritize workload
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
  • The ability to collaborate with others effectively
  • The ability to remain calm when dealing with high-pressure situations and/or stakeholders
  • A professional, polite and positive demeanour