Prof Maria Fasli is the Director of the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre and founding Director of the Institute for Analytics and Data Science at the University of Essex. She was educated in Greece (BSc Informatics 1996) and obtained her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Essex (2000). She has held positions at the University of Essex since 1999 and was Head of School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) between 2009-2014. In 2005, she was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the HEA UK for her novel approaches to education and supporting the student experience. In 2016, she was awarded the UNESCO Chair in Analytics and Data Science. Her research interests lie in artificial intelligence techniques for complex systems and analysing and modelling structured/unstructured data. Her research has been funded by Research Councils and other organisations (over £8M to date) and she has worked with a range of companies in data analytics and artificial intelligence related projects. She has published over 130 papers in the field of AI and data science and has delivered keynote talks at international conferences and other events.