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The Data Lab Chief Executive Awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

Ross Kelly


Data Lab Chief Executive

Docherty has worked in the technology sector for more than two decades and is renowned as one of the UK’s most influential data professionals.


The Data Lab chief executive, Gillian Docherty, has been awarded an OBE in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her service to information technology and business.

Docherty, who is at the forefront of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in Scotland, has worked in the technology sector for more than two decades and is renowned as one of the UK’s most influential data professionals.

Having graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1993 with a BSc in Computing Science, Docherty spent more than 22 years in various senior roles at IBM. Following her time at IBM, she has gone on to garner international recognition for her contribution to technology and business.

Since 2015, she has served as chief executive at the Edinburgh-based innovation centre. In addition to her role as chief executive of The Data Lab, Docherty also sits on the boards of several organisations, including the SICSA Industry Advisory Board, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and the Scottish Government’s Data Delivery Group.

Commenting on her OBE, Docherty said: “I am honoured to receive an OBE for services to information technology and business. The data science and artificial intelligence landscape in Scotland, the UK, and across the world is incredibly exciting and inspiring, so to be at the very heart of something so important in shaping the future of business and the economy is extremely rewarding. To be recognised in this way for doing something I am truly passionate about is incredible.

“It is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be involved in data science, AI and technology and The Data Lab is absolutely committed to assisting industry and public sector to leverage data in new ways, fuelling innovation through collaboration, building skills and growing talent.

“The use of data will continue to have a fundamental impact on our day-to-day lives, and so it’s vital organisations grasp hold of the endless opportunities it presents across all sectors and become part of a thriving data community.”

In 2018, Docherty was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Technology from Robert Gordon University and, in the year previous, she was named among the top 10 of DataIQ’s 100 – a list outlining the most influential people in data-driven business.

Mark Hunter, chairperson of the board at The Data and Chief Transformation Officer at Sainsbury’s Bank, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Gillian and amazing recognition of her career in information technology and business. Everyone at The Data Lab is delighted for Gillian and look forward to the next chapter where, under Gillian’s leadership, we aim to maximise the economic and social benefit of data for Scotland, and beyond.”

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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