My Journal



Episode 2: Dr. Timo Hannay: ‘The Technologist’

Dr. Timo Hannay is a ‘technologist’ and founder of SchoolDash. We speak about his great career in (co-)building a variety of technology tools advancing science and education and what it is like to be an introvert in a seemingly extraverted world.

Dr Timo Hannay is founder of SchoolDash, an educational data analytics company that seeks to empower parents, enlighten policymakers and inform the public debate on schools.
He previously founded Digital Science, a research software company, and before that ran the online business of Nature Publishing Group. He has also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and as a correspondent for The Economist, among other publications.
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in neurophysiology from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London.
But just reading Timo’s bio would not do justice to the great man that he is. “There is something about Timo” that makes you want to understand him better and find out more even if Science, Education or Data is not your cup of tea.
“He is a mixture of boyish enthusiasm, inventiveness, and is mildly self-deprecating.” writes Robert Harrington in an interview with Timo for the Scholarly Kitchen in 2014.
I tend to agree that Timo’s entrepreneurial spirit and can-do mentality made him a unique contender in the massive corporate environments he successfully operated in and am certain that his brain goes at a 100 miles an hour – even if it does not always show.
Timo is the personification of versatility and, seemingly, never appears to be tired or fed-up of listening to new entrepreneurial ideas – a quality which undoubtedly has helped him in making a successful venture out of SchoolDash whose data analytics and reports – have been used and interpreted by many renown organisations and media in the UK.
Timo successfully managed to realise his vision in getting vocal about data so all those involved could better understand what is going on in the UK educational landscape and beyond.
SchoolDash is a success, contrary to Timo’s expectation when he started the organisation in 2015.
In a goodbye post as Managing Director of Digital Science he modestly wrote:
“I want to help schools make better use of the reams of data that flow out of our education system. If that sounds idealistic, it is.  It’s also a risk and most likely will fail.  But that’s what people said when we set up Digital Science.  As this experience has taught me, taking risks can occasionally reap great rewards in terms of achievement and satisfaction.”
Achievement and satisfaction accomplished – I’d say!