Chief Data Officer
Jeff Richardson is Chief Data Officer (CDO) at Bentley Systems, leading the software developer’s full data lifecycle and data strategies. The position involves aligning Bentley’s key data objectives, end-to-end data architecture development, providing timely and accurate data access solutions for colleagues and customers via a bespoke data platform, identifying areas to iterate upon software, and driving that process.
Joining in 2004 as an SAP Developer, Richardson progressed to data analysis before moving into a Business Intelligence role in 2010. From there, he became Director of Business Intelligence in 2013, and Senior Director of Enterprise Information Management in February 2019. By August 2019, RIchardson became CDO, completing a career journey spanning the breadth of data management, mining, and analysis. This focus on data and gleaning valuable insights from it continues daily, along with mentoring Bentley Systems’ development, analytical, and compliance teams.
Security is a significant focus of his work, as he explains: “Along with instituting a security office, we have beefed up our security staff and infrastructure by around 800% in the past five years, we’re constantly running penetration exercises on our cloud infrastructure, and we are just now implementing mock data breach scenarios with our larger cloud infrastructure compliance and data teams. As we store more and more of our users’ data in the cloud, it is both our responsibility and desire to be as safe and resilient as possible.”
During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Richardson’s work has been key to the seamless transition of a global workforce from face-to-face interactions to remote work. The development of systems such as ProjectWise, along with internal data analysis platforms, the company’s robust cloud infrastructure, and a state-of-the-art security have combined to minimise disruption for internal and external stakeholders, with Richardson having had a hand in much of this offering’s development across his tenure with Bentley Systems.
“When the crisis hit, many companies who were using other, server-based products in offices became stuck and couldn’t access those resources”, he says. “For our customers, the users of our distributed cloud products, the transition was seamless and we can actually see that in the telemetry. It shows us that our work-sharing products had no disruption in usage during the country-based shutdowns resulting from the pandemic. In fact, our collaboration tools actually saw an 8-13% increase in usage, year on year, from last year.”
Richardson is an alumnus of Providence College, Rhode Island, where he graduated in 2003 with a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics, as well as of Central Connecticut State University where he attained his Master’s Degree in Data Mining and Statistics in 2014. In 2019, Richardson consolidated his education with a certificate in Business Administration and Management from Yale School of Management.
“Sometimes automation is seen as a panacea. We see it as one of a number of solutions, not a silver bullet.”