Interview with the 2021 DAIR Awards Winner in the Individual Category “Data Management Professional of the Year” Vanessa Eriksson

Vanessa Eriksson - DAIR Awards Winner

The Nordic Data and AI Readiness (DAIR) Awards acknowledge and celebrate exceptional individuals, teams, and organizations that have done great work in data, analytics and AI across the Nordics. Before the 2022 edition of the Nordic DAIR Awards, we talked with some of the winners of the 2021 edition.

Hyperight: Last year, when you got the “Individual Category Data Management Professional of the Year” Award you were working at Zenseact as a SVP, Chief Digital Officer. Has anything changed since last year and what are you working on these days?

Vanessa Eriksson: I’m still working in the role of SVP, Chief Digital Officer at Zenseact and loving every bit of it! Earlier this year, we created a workgroup to explore and set an AI Strategy. I am pleased that we’re almost done, and now in the process of identifying the best use case from the list of potential use cases, where the benefits of AI can be easily realized. Naturally there’s a lot more that we’re working on especially since I have Security and Digital in addition to Data under my responsibilities.

 Hyperight :What motivated you to apply last year, and do you have any advice for future applicants?

Vanessa Eriksson: I was thrilled to be nominated. It fuelled my confidence to fill out and submit the application form, and I am extremely happy I did that. Being in the data sphere for a while now, I have an extremely good network of data professionals and I have nominated several of them to this year’s DAIR Awards. My belief is that we are always so critical of ourselves that we sometimes need a little nudge to help us see the fantastic people we are and the awesome capabilities we possess. My advice to all future applicants is – You are You, extraordinary and brilliant. Believe in yourself!

Hyperight: Looking back on the DAIR Awards from last year, how would you describe the experience of the ceremony? Did you expect to win the Award?

Vanessa Eriksson: I am a very spiritual person and somewhere deep inside, I had this nagging thought that I was going to win! You see, the awards took place on the 8th of December 2021, and not only is my daughter’s birthday, but it also is the birthday of Mother Mary (my biggest supporter!). I am constantly blessed by her, and I just knew that she would do that on her birthday too. The awards were the first of its kind held in Stockholm and I loved the glam and glitz of it all. It was truly a night that I will remember in the many years to come.

Hyperight: Has the Award made any difference in your career, and do you plan to apply this year? 

Vanessa Eriksson: Yes, I believe winning the award for “Data Management Professional of the Year” has made a difference, it has given me a platform of credibility. No, I do not plan to apply this year. I received my recognition, now it’s time for someone else to take the baton from me.

Hyperight: Regarding awards, people are known to choose some interesting spots for safekeeping. Where in your home/office do you keep your DAIR Award?

Vanessa Eriksson: My award is set high in the center of the living room for everyone to see!

The deadline for applying and nominating for the 2022 edition of the Nordic DAIR Awards is October 15th. The Awards are divided into two main categories: Individual and Company. Explore more about the DAIR Awards.

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