Ford Hires Analytics Expert to Boost Mobility, Autonomous Driving Innovations

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Ford Motor Co. has appointed Paul Ballew as its global chief data and analytics officer. The former Dun & Bradstreet executive will help the automaker better understand consumer behavior and speed development of NextGen communication systems.

“We are committed to making people’s lives better through innovations on mobility, connectivity, autonomous vehicles, performance, and the customer experience,” says Mark Fields, Ford’s president and CEO. “Taking big data and analytics to the next level inside Ford connects all of this work and is a key part of our drive for innovation in every part of our business.”

Ballew will lead the company’s data efforts globally by establishing an enterprise-wide vision for integrating all of Ford’s research, analytics, processes, standards, tools, and partner engagements.

Most recently, Ballew was global chief data and insights and analytics officer at Short Hills, N.J.-based Dun & Bradstreet. He also spent 20 years in various senior executive positions, where he researched and analyzed consumer behavior for organizations including the Federal Reserve, J.D. Power, and General Motors Co.

While at Nationwide Insurance, Ballew built the first analytics organization in financial services, transforming the way the company interacted with customers across the entire organization.

“Paul’s experience in unlocking consumer and business value from data is extremely impressive, and we are delighted to have him join the Ford team,” says Bob Shanks, executive vice president and CFO. “He will turn what has been a secret weapon for us into a company-wide endeavor, driving growth in all parts of our business.”

Ford uses analytics widely, including in its research, product development, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and sales, finance, purchasing, information technology, and human resources functions, Shanks says.

Last year, the automaker was awarded the INFORMS Prize from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences for using data science and predictive analytics to improve overall operations and performance.

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