Witad Awards 2022: Above and beyond award (vendor)—Lisa Conner, Rimes

“Above and beyond” means different things to different people, but for Lisa Conner, head of client services (North America) and data management at Rimes and recipient of the above and beyond (vendor) category in this year’s Women in Technology and Data Awards, it means challenging the status quo with the view to doing things better and developing more elegant, streamlined solutions to existing problems. “I do think about going above and beyond regularly,” Conner explains, in response to the question of whether it is part of her DNA or if it is something she consciously focuses on. “From the first day I arrived at Rimes, I made it clear that I am a fan of working smarter and not harder―let’s do things smarter and not answer the question with, ‘but that’s what we’ve always done.’”

It goes without saying that in the data realm right now, managed services are en vogue with pretty much all data providers either already offering such a service or preparing one for market. Rimes has been at the forefront of this movement and is one of the industry’s leaders in the space, thanks to its Managed Data Service or MDS, an initiative that Conner played an instrumental role in conceiving, developing and bringing to market. “Organizations can lose money if they don’t manage data correctly,” she explains. “From my perspective, it was a fantastic project because such a great cross section of people within Rimes came together.” 

According to Conner, Rimes is not driven by or beholden to the index providers by virtue of their respective methodologies―it has its own, and not being a traditional data vendor allows it to focus on its clients’ best practices. “We can advise them about what we believe the best practices are when it comes to managing, for example, security master data, pricing data and ESG data, and we can provide them with feedback and act as a subject matter expert and partner to build a process that works for their business,” she says. “I incorporated all that data into one process, including the timing of it and offering it as a 24-hour service. That was my role in the MDS.”

In addition to her data-focused responsibilities, Conner also played a pivotal role in establishing the Rimes Women’s Group, an initiative that has since been embraced across all strata throughout the business. “I’ve been in this business a long time and there have been plenty of times when I’ve been the only woman in the room,” she recalls. “From our equity partners to our executive management team, as an organization, Rimes has really embraced diversity and inclusion. The key for me from a women’s group perspective, is not to disengage from our male counterparts, because if we create silos, we’ll forget how to talk to one another. So while I think women need to be mentors for each other, we have to bring men along for the conversation.”

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