Ian Ridley

Executive Data Architect

I joined the Waterstons Data and Analytics team in 2018, having previously worked in the Defence, Manufacturing and Healthcare industries. My previous roles have included software development, database development and IT Management but my passions and strengths have always been around data. Since joining Waterstons, it's been great to work on a diverse range of projects for a diverse range of clients. The variety of work means no two days are the same.

I didn’t start out on the typical career path, I originally thought (mainly due to poor careers advice) that I’d like to work in engineering so I left school at sixteen when I was offered a technical apprenticeship at one of the UK’s largest defence contractors. By the time I’d completed that four year apprenticeship, I’d learnt a lot - I’d learnt how to build a military vehicle (or parts of it) but I’d also learnt that I no longer wanted to be an Engineer. Fortunately, the Systems Manager who happened to sit at the desk behind me at the time had spotted my knowledge and interest in computing and offered me a job as a Systems Analyst and agreed to sponsor me through a degree in Computing. That first role involved working with VAX/VMX ISAM databases but it wasn’t long before I was working on the Microsoft data platform (SQL Server 6.5 at the time!). I’ve since spent the last 20+ years working with the Microsoft Database and Business Intelligence stack with a few years of Oracle in there as well. These days, I mainly have my head in the clouds (the Microsoft cloud that is!) as a growing number of clients are realising the benefits of moving their BI solutions to Azure.

When I'm not at work, I like to spend time with my family. When the weather is good, this normally involves days out for walks on the beach or trying to track down new parks to explore. When the weather’s not so good, then you'll find me "helping" the kids with such things as Lego building or challenging them to Super Mario Kart! Some would say I was a very competitive Dad, I'd say I’m encouraging them to always try harder!


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