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Ford Names Former Nationwide Exec to Lead Data

Paul Ballew is charged with hastening "development of mobility, connectivity, and autonomous driving innovations."

As the auto insurance industry awaits the impact of drastic changes to its customers' vehicles, a former member of the industry will help drive those innovations.

Paul Ballew has been named Ford Motor Company's first executive director and chief data and analytics officer. His job will be to "better understand consumer behavior and help speed development of the mobility, connectivity, and autonomous driving innovations," Ford says in a statement.

Ballew worked as SVP for customer insight and analytics at Nationwide Insurance beginning in 2007, helping establish the carrier's customer insights and analytics capabilities. The database he built won an award from the American Statistical Association. He left Nationwide to work at the database company Dun & Bradstreet before taking on his new role at Ford.

“We are committed to making people’s lives better through innovations on mobility, connectivity, autonomous vehicles, performance, and the customer experience,” said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields, commenting about the hire. “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 is responsible for "establishing an enterprise-wide vision for analytics and integrating all of Ford’s research, analytics, processes, standards, tools, and partner engagement." He will report to EVP and CFP Bob Shanks.

“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,” Shanks said in a statement. “He will turn what has been a secret weapon for us into a company-wide endeavor, driving growth in all parts of our business.”

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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