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Sam Bourton


Oversees the global strategy and portfolio of innovation projects for QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey and advises clients on productionizing and scaling data and analytics

Sam coleads QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey, as well as QuantumBlack Labs, its artificial intelligence and machine learning R&D innovation studio. He is a cofounder of QuantumBlack and a partner in the McKinsey Digital Practice. In these roles, he oversees global strategy and the portfolio of innovation projects and advises clients on productionizing and scaling analytics.

Sam directs a multidisciplinary team of product managers, designers, and engineers building technical assets that comprise the firm’s data an analytics toolkits and teaches sector partners to create their own domain-specific analytics toolkits. He advises clients on how to scale analytics in the enterprise—based on the design and development of standardization and best-practice protocols across people, processes, and technology—and how to drive assets and code reuse across data analytics teams at enterprise scale. He also helps clients design and deploy analytics platforms from infrastructure-as-code blueprints for analytics lab and factory platforms.

Sam coleads the firm’s efforts with digital and analytics and serves international organizations and social sector clients throughout Europe, helping them to leverage the best of cutting-edge advances in data and analytics technology and methods from the private sector.

Sam brings a wealth of experience in designing and building integrated data engineering, analytics, and data visualization systems based on more than 20 years’ work in visual analytics and decision-support systems. He has built and led world-class teams and served clients throughout the world in diverse sectors, including healthcare, government, financial services, advanced industries, and sports and media.

Over the course of his career in complex software systems, Sam has led the design and development of the trackside management software for two Formula 1 teams, built a graphical modeling and global collaboration tool for bioinformatics researchers, codeveloped a foreign-currency trading platform for an investment bank, and built a simulation platform used by a national broadcasting network to predict elections.


Embrace the uncertainty of AI,” McKinsey & Company, July 2018

Will artificial intelligence make you a better leader?,” McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018

Leading with inner agility,” McKinsey Quarterly, March 2018


The University of Manchester
BA, philosophy