Talk us through how you landed your first role in the industry…
My degree was a 4-year Batchelor of Science course in Business System Modelling which I would describe as a numerate business degree with modules including maths and statistics. The 3rd year was a placement year in industry and following a number of different interviews I was placed with a company called Empire Stores Ltd who were a mail order catalogue (those days are long gone!) working in the credit analytics team. To be honest, at the time it was about finding a placement with a reasonable salary and location but I found myself in a great team, learnt to programme in SAS and SQL and really enjoyed my year with them, so much so that I returned following graduation. I didn’t find credit/risk analytics was the most exciting field for my longer term career though and after 2 years I moved in to a role with an insurance company focused on marketing analytics which I loved, working with different clients to help them improve their marketing performance and the rest is history.
What most excites you about your role and working at Realise?
It is very simple, 1) People and 2) Making a difference both within Realise and for the Unlimited Group and our clients. I feel very fortunate to work with a very talented group of individuals who have the same passion and drive to make a difference but do so with the same values. We work extremely hard having fun along the way and there are lots of different off shoots outside of work from watching a colleague in his band, playing golf, running and of course having a few drinks. Realise allow and actively encourage each and every one of us to explore new and exciting techniques in the data science space to ensure we can deliver a material difference for our clients in a collaborative way. Finally, the client list at Realise provides the opportunity to work with some really exciting and innovative brands and sectors. During my time with the company I have worked for clients in media, retail, finance, leisure and housing sectors. One particularly great example was when I worked with an investment bank to help them prioritise who to talk to, when and regarding which product portfolios by creating a lead scoring system that drove a 550% improvement in successful call rates.
If you could change one thing about the industry for the better, what would it be?
I think the industry is already moving in the right direction but slower than expected and