Leyre Murillo Villar. CDO Data Controller

Data Controller Career Path

Welcome to our Data Controller Career Guide.

Data Controller career path

I did an MSc in Computer Science. The first three years of the degree was focused on data structures and data management. The second part on artificial intelligence and neuronal networks. I had many options and was unsure about which career to pursue. I chose computer engineer degree as it was the most unknown to me, where my knowledge gap was bigger and because it sounded fancy.


Having a degree it is definitely not the only path to a successful career. It helps because it gives you the possibility to learn some skills and problem-solving mindset that you may need in the future. But the most important part is your willingness to understand problems and find suitable solutions, your passion to get to the root of the real-life problems and ask appropriate questions and your ability to network with different people, connect the dots and find patterns and meaning in the chaos. 

Data Controller Career Opportunities

Once I finished I started working in Madrid at Deloitte for Santander Group, developing data analysis initiatives, where I managed to apply all the programming and data skills I had learnt at university. I guess it was a mix of luck, effort and true enjoyment that kept me going. After a couple of years working in the external audit domain for Santander, I joined EY.  There I was given the opportunity to launch/create the data quality service. And I realised that not only I was good at it but also everything made sense in my head and I was able to make the best use of my creativity and my curious mindset.

Data Controller Challenges

We are seeing more women in a management position, leading to a diverse blend of skills and leadership styles. Also more diversity and inclusive policies are now being developed. For example, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, among them the Goal 5: that Gender Equality. This states that talks about how to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Ask questions, understand the why and the how. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, learn from them. Fully embrace chaos and changes, as many challenges will come, use them as a testing environment to try new things. Think where you are today, where you want to be and build your path to get there. 

Read more about Working as a CDO Data Controller – Leyre Villar.

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Data Controller Career Path