Tim Conroy: Leveraging Technical Expertise and Analytics to Improve Financial Health for All

Tim Conroy | Chief Technology Officer Decision Analytics | Experian UK&I
Tim Conroy | Chief Technology Officer Decision Analytics | Experian UK&I

Today, many business leaders believe that data is the most important asset and most valuable resource. Data can reveal the strengths and weaknesses of businesses and help make informed decisions. Passionate business leaders believe in the power of data and are experts at tapping the potential of data for achieving their organizational goals. Tim Conroy is one such leader who believes that data has the power to change lives. Seeing an idea becoming a reality fascinates Tim, marking his 25th year in the industry. With Experian UK&I, Tim implements his expertise as CTO, UK Decision Analytics.

Breaking the Model of Traditional Leadership

Following an unconventional route, Tim spent seven years studying Civil Engineering in Sheffield before joining the UK’s largest postal and delivery company as a graduate software developer, focusing on Cobol, CICS, and DB2. Tim told his parents it was a conscious decision, and the synergies between construction and IT were there for all to see – both include products being built. However, the real reason was that Tim wanted to continue playing football for a local team.

Tim spent two years coding, realizing he wasn’t the best at it, but he managed to create an environment where people worked well together, as told by several colleagues. Fortunately, he then did a role swap with the team leader who wanted to go back to the technical side of things, and with that, his obsession with working with tech teams began.

Tim undertook seven years with the postal company before being part of a large outsource to CSC. He was fortunate to land his first prominent managerial role in 2003, never looking back. Tim actively looked to take leadership roles across various domains as he wanted to understand the pressures across the entire supply chain – Sales, Technology, Delivery, and Operations.

One of the most significant challenges Tim faced was probably trying to break the model of a traditional leader in a corporate company. His primary advice to anyone is that to succeed, “You must be yourself and have a laser focus on your greatest asset – the people you work with.”

Tim believes that tech is just tech without a great team to turn into a product the industry craves and helps solve solutions they face.

At Experian’s inaugural Careers Week Tim was asked how he managed to succeed in this and his previous roles. He said, “It’s a combination of things – having confidence in yourself, recognizing I worked well with people, and building on that experience all help to get me to where I am today.”

Enabling People to Thrive by Unlocking the Power of Data

Experian is a global organization playing an important role in the worldwide economy. Its mission is to unlock the power of data to create opportunities for people, businesses, and society. Its strategy has been to improve financial health for all through its core products, social innovation, and community investment schemes. By investing in its people, technology, and innovation, Experian responsibly harnesses data to transform businesses, help communities prosper, and enable people to thrive.

Empowering Consumers to Take Control of Finances

The world is built on data. It’s all around us, growing in power and influence every day. But only by understanding that data can it be deployed correctly. Experian works to turn that data into something meaningful. It gathers, analyzes, and interprets data to help organizations of all shapes and sizes achieve their goals – whether that means planning for a secure future, getting to know their customers better, or helping them understand the suitability of their customers for financial products.

Experian empowers consumers to take control of their finances and meet their ambitions, such as buying their first home. As an example, in the US and the UK, Experian has launched Experian Boost, giving people – for the very first time – the chance to improve their Experian Credit Score by adding additional regular payments to their reports. By helping people and organizations make the most of their data, Experian makes a positive difference to society and communities.

Leveraging Technological Advancements

Experian currently has 110 million consumers using its free platforms to help them understand and manage their credit reports; since 2013, Experian has reached 61 million people through its social innovation program. In 2021, it volunteered over 21,000 hours, focusing on financial education and other relevant causes.

Experian believes it is its responsibility as a leading player to help consumers and organizations leverage its expertise to improve financial wellbeing for all. Tim says four key areas of focus where Experian is leveraging technological advancements are: API & Microservice, Comprehensive Automated Testing & Deployments, Adopting DevOps, and Cloud Migration.

Being More Diverse and Inclusive

Tim would like the industry to be more diverse and inclusive. He would like to see an industry accessible to everyone and provides opportunities for people of all backgrounds.

Experian is 20,000 people across 44 countries, comprising 94 nationalities and spanning five generations. It feels it is vital that everyone feels supported to grow and succeed. In 2021 it launched its first global Diversity Equity and Inclusion report to increase transparency around its progress and goals. Tim would like to see that become an industry standard, certainly for the largest players in the market.

Experian continues to invest in innovation, specifically in leading-edge technologies where it can add additional value to its customers. It is working with its wider ecosystem of partners to bring this to life, sharing its resources and expertise to innovate together.

Enabling Great Things to Happen with Great Culture

It’s hard for Tim to believe, but this year marks his silver jubilee year in IT, and while he has always had support, Experian is different.

The culture of learnability, togetherness, and environment Experian operates in enables great things to happen. As such, and it’s probably no surprise, he doesn’t look beyond Experian.

In terms of future goals, two broad domains that come to Tim’s mind are obsessing about delivering value to market by raising the bar in product development, and constantly hiring brilliant people to join Experian.

Tim says, “We have an abundance of talent in Experian and I’ve always felt it crucial when your fortunate to be in a position of influence, that you make time for those who are looking for support with their careers. Personally, it’s hard to beat seeing colleagues unlock their potential.”

Succinct Advice

Tim advises aspiring entrepreneurs in the innovation sector, “Go for it! If you are passionate about what you do, are driven to succeed, and believe in your cause, then the world is your oyster. There has never been a better time to be innovative due to the rate of technological change and the global reach social media platforms are giving us. Surround yourself with good people, work hard and grab the opportunity with both hands.”