Ben Walker

Consultant Profile

“Is there a better way?”, Ben asks, as he reveals his drive to make a real, tangible difference for a business. With deep knowledge of the design principles for a successful solution, Ben creates architectures shaped to both meet operational requirements and leverage the capabilities of ArcGIS. He is an instinctive problem solver and is passionate about avoiding waste in all its forms.

Serendipity played a huge part in Ben’s journey to Esri. Back in 2003 he was already an experienced GIS software developer, but recognised that his current position was not providing scope to grow. With impeccable timing, a role that perfectly matched his skills came up in Esri UK.

Ben is acutely aware of the challenges facing UK utilities today and has a clear vision of the role GIS will play a role in addressing them. “Utilities often use GIS primarily to store network records”, he argues, “But GIS can do so much more”. He sees ArcGIS as a tool to answer difficult questions through predictive analysis of large geospatial and business datasets. From transforming distribution networks to improving flood resilience, Ben helps utilities maximise return on their investment in asset data and systems.

He always has an eye on the direction a business is taking, to ensure that solutions are aligned with the enterprise architecture. Ben asserts, “I look at any IT architectural decision through the filter of the business roadmap”. 

Experience:
  • Provided a reliable, stable direction for the GIS application suite of a major UK electricity network operator over a period of many years.
  • Technical architect for the transformation of a national gas distribution network, delivering reduced operating costs by simplifying business processes.
  • Solutions Architect and Technical Lead for the technology upgrade of a Government organisation’s entire GIS capability.  Scope included a full applications suite including electricity, gas, water and telecoms solutions.
Skills:
  • Design of solutions that address the business problem, without over-engineering.
  • Building strong working relationships across the whole project team: stakeholders, developers, project management and users.
  • Creation of future-proof technical architectures.
Professional Style:
  • Constantly reassuring – a calming voice when the going gets tough.
  • Gets the job done whatever it takes, but makes work fun at the same time.
  • No nonsense – tells it how it is.
Qualifications/Training:
  • Bsc Computer Science, Newcastle University