Ana Rubio, CEO and Founder of Malta-based datalitiks, has brought her passion for data and sustainable development together in her work: helping clients in their sustainability journey with the use of data-driven solutions to bring value and positive change.

“I love numbers; I believe they are a must to back up ideas and drive change. This principle led me to become an economist,” explains Ana Rubio, who combined her interest in sustainable development with her professional experience to found datalitiks, a company that helps organisations in their ESG journey

Having amassed a wealth of experience over 10 years in the corporate world, Ana says it is here that she really began to understand the power of data to transform a business, spurring her own journey in entrepreneurship.

“I wanted to take this to the next level and start my own business – and I decided to go back to my original idea and purpose, to drive change and bring this to areas where I am passionate: data and sustainable development,” she maintains.

Hailing from Barcelona, the CEO has lived her adult life in Malta, moving to the island shortly after finishing her studies. “Malta offers the right opportunities to those who are looking to start their own business,” she says, describing the island as a place with enormous potential to grow as an economy.

“Starting a business in Malta has its peculiarities; the size of the island allows you to create a network faster, and at the same time, it pushes you to contemplate internationalisation even prior to launch.”

Reflecting on her leadership style and ethos, Ana describes herself as very passionate – in both work and beliefs – a key element that translates into everything she does at datalitiks.

“I don’t just dictate what needs to be done; I set direction while providing context. As someone immersed in data, I maintain a highly structured approach to planning. Conveying this to the team and involving them in the process is a means of empowering and engaging them in their roles, ultimately leading to greater results as a team. It begins with the ‘why,’ not the ‘what’,” she affirms.

This aligns with the tagline of datalitiks: using data for good. Acknowledging this can come across as rather vague, Ana elucidates, “it all started when I took on the role of a data consultant at the United Nations, bringing me closer to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This experience allowed me to leverage technology and data to delve deeper into sustainable development. Initially, my passion was centred on doing ‘data for good’ by connecting it to the real world. Over time, I successfully bridged this gap for organisations, linking their sustainability initiatives – specifically ESG – with an impact on the broader picture of the SDGs.”

Now datalitiks uses technology and data to bring these two worlds together and address a niche in the market through sustainability reporting.

Delving further into the concept of driving positive change through data analytics, Ana puts things into perspective, highlighting new regulations coming into place that require organisations to start reporting on different areas. Yet the reality is that many struggle to create value out of their data assets.

“This translates to all fields, including sustainability, and in turn places added pressure on organisations that must report on a new set of KPIs that are almost totally new to them. We have the expertise in both technology and sustainability – we understand what needs to be done and how to do it. This knowledge is extended to our customers as we help them manage the complexities along their sustainability journey. As I often emphasise, we handle the intricacies, allowing our customers to focus on the data insights generated from the platform. They can seamlessly incorporate these insights into their decision-making processes, creating value and impact through the adoption of ESG,” she maintains, pointing out that this is not some form of yearly report, but rather realtime insights that prompt immediate action, encouraging continuous improvement and change.

Since starting out just over a year ago, Ana admits that “life has changed completely,” with datalitiks having gone from an idea to a team of five people. “Last year we laid strong foundations to propel datalitiks to the next level, developing our solutions with continuous market feedback and successfully securing the necessary funding while gaining early traction.”

And, as one may expect, she has no plans to slow down. Revealing her aspirations for 2024 and beyond, Ana maintains, “we are set to officially launch our platform next year with the aim of expanding not only in Malta but also into other markets. Our primary goal is to work towards our vision of assisting organisations in transforming their data into actionable ESG insights for a better tomorrow.”

This article is part of the serialisation of 50 interviews featured in MaltaCEOs 2024 – the sister brand to MaltaCEOs.mt and an annual high-end publication bringing together some of the country’s most influential business leaders

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