Announcing “The Project” Finalists

Congratulations to our finalists of Chief Data & Analytics Officer’s ‘The Project’ – Craig Hamilton – Westpac NZ, Arron Baker - Immigration New Zealand, MBIE, and Gladwin Mendez – Sovereign!

Thank you to all who entered the competition, picking a top three proved to be very difficult!

Each of these finalists will be presenting at the upcoming Chief Data & Analytics officer New Zealand, where they will not only be sharing their ideas and case studies, but will also be vying for the title and to win the inaugural Data Champions Trophy.

The audience will vote on their favourite project presented, no standard metrics just based on audience chills and thrills. Awarding the winner the all important bragging rights, and our ‘Data Champions’ trophy.

Make sure you’re there to see our finalists present their ideas by registering for CDAO New Zealand here.

About the Finalists

Chief Data & Analytics Officer New Zealand
Chief Data & Analytics Officer New Zealand
Chief Data & Analytics Officer New Zealand

Craig Hamilton, Sales & Business Performance Manager, Westpac NZ

Craig has recently returned from a tour of Silcon Valley to, not only facilitate the build and implementation of our Fast Data Platform, but also drive innovation & technology across Westpac as a whole. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge & experience & has been an integral part of bringing our Westpac Data Strategy to fruition, especially within the Fast Data & real-time analytics space.

Craig's Presentation

Living Life in the Fast Data Lane - In a world 1st for banking we’ve deployed a real-time streaming analytics platform, taking our customer comms capabilities to the next level by facilitating real time behavioural marketing campaigns, predictive fee alerts & much more.


Arron Baker - Assistant General Manager – Insight, Design & Assurance, Immigration New Zealand, MBIE

Before joining the public service Arron worked in a number of academic, ICT and publishing roles. Arron has held a range of immigration management roles including visa services, ICT, business development, border, compliance, intelligence, investigations and identity services.

Arron led development of New Zealand’s ‘National Plan of Action to Prevent People Trafficking and more recently INZ’s Identity Programme developing a modern identity management and biometric systems capabilities.

Arron is currently AGM Insight Design & Assurance responsible for the leadership of service and channel strategy, change programme, system insight and assurance functions.

Arron's Presentation

Immigration New Zealand’s Data Quality & Analytics Strategy: Foundations for Reference Data Management - The INZ Data Quality & Analytics Strategy is introducing business-led data governance and data stewardship, beginning with identifying, standardising, and aligning its reference data. Just enough, just in time, but smarter!

Gladwin Mendez, Insights Partner, Sovereign

Making a difference to his stakeholders, colleagues and his company through pragmatic Data Strategy, Governance and Quality is what he lives for. It's an area he is extremely passionate about, having worked with a large number of New Zealand’s biggest companies from his many years leading analytics teams at Big 4 consulting firms. This has allowed him to get an insight into what good looks like, leveraging this knowledge to pragmatically gain value out of organisations data and processes

Gladwin's Presentation

Sovereigns Data Lab - Leveraging the Die Hard effect* to maximise success - Aside from immediate value delivered back to the business (improved efficiency [over 10x], consistency and quality) it has the critical benefit of creating a community and forum for us to engage more positively with our analytics users in the business.