Why we’ve partnered with Women in data…

The Databricks partnership with WiD supports our committment to building a community where we can promote inclusion, career growth, leadership, mentorship, and networking.

Our partnership with Women in Data allows us to be part of a community of women who can learn from one another, advocate for each other, and work together to advance awareness, inclusion, engagement, and policies in data.

Lexy Kassan, Sr Data & AI Strategist, AI Ethicist


Expertise: Data culture, data strategy, digital transformation, data science ethics
Education: Masters in International Finance and Economics, Brandeis University
Bachelor of Science Economics, Syracuse University

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lexykassan/
Twitter: @lexykassan @DSEthics

Lexy Kassan is a thought leader for doing good things with data. She oversees and guides customers in transforming their data culture to best position for creating value out of technology and analytics investments. She has seen first-hand the power of empowering people with the right tools and just enough governance to optimise processes and achieve business outcomes.

Data has an increasing role to play in our lives and societies and Lexy is actively involved in shaping that role. She is a thought leader in data and AI ethics, Founder and Host of the Data Science Ethics Podcast, and a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on the topic at institutions around the world. Her work has helped organisations across both private and public sectors delve into the responsibilities and societal ramifications of applying advanced analytics in their space.

Lexy is a supporter and advocate for supporting underrepresented groups in STEM. She has been a tutor for Girls, Inc. and mentor to multiple cohorts for CorrelationOne’s Data Science for All including sessions for women and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Within Databricks, Lexy acts as a strategic advisor to some of the largest customers in EMEA, bringing decades of expertise, recent trends, and best practices to bear to ensure success in data & AI initiatives. She also wears the hat of data and AI ethicist consulting with clients and product to deliver a platform that enables more responsible use of data by design.

Dina Elsokari, Sales Director UK & Ireland


Expertise: Data Engineering, Data Integration and ETL, Financial Services
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design, Master of Arts in Textile Futures

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dina-elsokari-a71a04b

Dina Elsokari has had a career in data for 13 years. In that time she has worked across go-to-market roles, from inside sales, pre-sales, marketing, sales overlay, and account executive all the way through to managing her own teams.

As a mother of two Dina has had to navigate a male-dominated environment while juggling personal life responsibilities. Dina is a huge advocate of supporting women in data, offering career advice, and mentorship for her female peers.

She has developed her career by being open to opportunities and change, this has given her the chance to be involved in strategic global marketing campaigns for product launches, development of content and a voice of a customer at events. Global enablement programs and working with some of the largest Financial Services institutions in the world.

Dina’s first experience working in a startup environment she was hired as employee number 4, where her role was to identify opportunities and manage accounts – this launched Dina’s experience in the Master Data management world and integration. She then went on to a role in Product Marketing when her company was acquired by Informatica – Dina was the voice of the Cloud MDM product and was the company’s subject matter expert for enablement, customer engagements and marketing content. It was at this point Dina chose to go back into software selling with a focus on Financial Services.

At Databricks, she was the first person on the ground for Financial Services in EMEA and currently leads a team of 8 Account Executives focused on driving new business for Enterprise UK & Ireland.

“Our partnership with Women in Data allows us to be part of a community of women who can learn from one another

Holly Smith, Resident Solutions Architect


Expertise: Big Data & AI: Spark, delta, cloud architecture, data engineering, data science, analytics & visualisation, python, scala, SQL
Education: Bachelor of Science Mathematics

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/holly-smith-63201424/

Holly was an early London hire at the then Series D startup, Databricks in 2019. She joined from Lloyds Banking Group where she worked as lead data scientist. A new opportunity at Databricks allowed Holly to help data teams solve the world’s toughest problems.

Bringing her leadership skills to Databricks, she has been instrumental in making customers truly successful with their data. Over the last two years, she has kept her technical skills sharp by going back to hands-on work so that she always has a finger on the pulse with the latest emerging technologies. Through her consulting work, she has implemented petabyte scale data pipelines and advises some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies on how to get the most value out of their data. At Databricks, her contributions aren’t just limited to existing customers and she has spoken to wide audiences at Data and AI Summits through talks and training courses. This year she has trained 1500 people on how to use Databricks.

Holly brings a unique style to her work, with an emphasis on the democratisation of information. She can be counted on to break any complexity down to the crux of the problem. After passing her 5x Developer certificates in multiple languages, she has coached many others to pass their exams too.

She is on the Scoping & Impact committee member for Datakind UK, a nonprofit that harnesses the power of data science for social good by bringing together teams of pro bono data scientists with social change organisations. To ensure the right projects are worked on, she assess social change organisations for their ability to make a positive impact in a meaningful, ethical and data driven way.

Women in Data recognised Holly in 2020 for her contributions to its mission. In partnership with Women in Data she has trained over 100 women in Apache Spark, and has spoken at schools to encourage young girls into a career in tech.

How databricks sees the data landscape changing in the UK in the next five years

Organisations’ top data priorities over the next two years fall into three areas, all supported by wider adoption of cloud platforms: improve data management, enhance data analytics and ML, and expand the use of all types of enterprise data.

We predict that we’ll see ML inside all applications, currently, SAAS apps ask you to manually pull data out to understand and analyse it. However, in 5 years, we see this intelligence being built within the applications themselves where data is processed and delivered in real-time.

By 2023, 85% of AI solutions by vendors will focus on concrete domains and industry verticals. By 2024, multi-cloud strategies will reduce vendor dependency for two-thirds of organizations but primarily not through application portability. Gartner says that cloud-based AI will increase 5x from 2019, making AI one of the top cloud services.

Purdey Miles, Senior Enterprise Account Executive, Financial Services Team Lead


Expertise: Data Culture, Data Strategy, Digital Transformation, Financial Services
Education: Bachelor of Applied Science, Archaeology

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/purdeymiles/

Purdey Miles is a Senior Enterprise Account Executive at Databricks, where she is passionate about giving people tools so they can leverage their data to make data-driven decisions. With 10 years of experience, she has helped many Financial organisations transform their businesses; from creating new innovative products to enhancing employee experience. When she first graduated, she helped customers migrate to the cloud, which enabled businesses to do things that they were never able to do. Following this, Purdey found the most exciting part of the role included projects centred around data and found key aspects of helping businesses transform their people and processes to enable a data-driven culture super exciting and rewarding.

Purdey is intentional about working with diverse teams, who bring a strength where she may have a weakness, or bring a different gender, cultural, or ethnic perspective. She has been very fortunate to have some exceptional mentors & coaches on her career journey, at Databricks, Microsoft & DXC. All of which have helped shape the person she is today, challenge her positively and helped her grow both professionally & personally. These people have inspired her on her journey and she continues to maintain relationships with them to help her develop further. The importance of creating a network of mentors and coaches has been pivotal to her success & she is eager to pay back what she has been fortunate to experience herself.

Today, Purdey manages a number of enterprises where she is responsible for enabling their data strategies, data culture & adoption of Databricks within those businesses. In addition to that, she spends her time mentoring a number of her team & cross-functional teams helping with their career development. She is a big believer in continuous learning & encourages others to think where they can really make a difference, and then encourages them to push the boundaries. Purdey believes in creating an environment where people should be comfortable with asking questions and adding that fresh perspective to the conversation.

about databricks

Databricks is the data and AI company. More than 7,000 organisations worldwide — including Comcast, Condé Nast, H&M and over 40% of the Fortune 500 — rely on the Databricks Lakehouse Platform to unify their data, analytics and AI. Databricks is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the globe. Founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, Delta Lake and MLflow, Databricks is on a mission to help data teams solve the world’s toughest problems.