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​Xero creates new chief data officer role

Xero has appointed Tony Stewart to the chief data officer role where he will be responsible for accelerating automation, business systems rollout, and big data projects.

Xero has appointed Tony Stewart to the newly established role of chief data officer.

The company said he will be responsible for accelerating automation, business systems rollout, and big data projects.

Prior to Xero, Stewart was group CEO of Intergen, and has hands-on experience in financial management, human resources, sales and marketing, and technology leadership.

Xero CEO Rod Drury said Stewart's data and analytics skills will be invaluable to the company.

"His knowledge of building technology growth companies, combined with his deep expertise in business process automation, data analysis and analytics will bring significant benefit to our automation projects and our strategic data assets," he said.

In April, the company revealed that its next focus will be to give small businesses access to big data. At the time, it would deliver big data through its latest business performance dashboard.

In August, the company took its commitment further, announcing that it would use the data it has to bridge the gap between small businesses and their access to getting funds from financial institutions.

Xero co-founder and CEO Rod Drury said at the time that given it has helped businesses get their accounting data into the cloud, they want to be able to use that data to open small business owners up to capital.

He also pointed out that Xero has access to data that can help banks and businesses price risk accurately.

"We have this history of information, and not just from one bank but multiple banks, and historical information, we can use to calculate risk; we can even change the pricing of risk over time," he said.