My involvement in data and analytics began at an online adventure travel start-up after leaving university. With only four people at the company, we all took on various roles and it fell to me to create and manage our fledgling customer database. This piqued my interest in data and, when the venture closed, I decided to move into the charity sector where I took on a junior role at Cancer Research UK, delivering campaign data for marketing.
I stayed with the charity for over a decade, expanding my experience and taking on a variety of data, analytics and CRM roles as the charity grew rapidly. Eventually I took over as lead of the data team and a role in the organisational change programme.
In 2017, I decided to look for commercial experience and joined Worldpay as head of CRM and consumer insights for the UK. I have stayed with the company through several merges and takeovers; and am now vice-president of client and marketing analytics.
In my first role at Worldpay, the challenge was to prove there was a market for providing our customers with insights that could help them be more successful at running their business. We knew the potential was there, but we had to create the insight products that our clients wanted with very little investment in data and tools. With a small team, we were able to show that there was an appetite and a commercial opportunity. It was a very challenging 18 months, but the team delivered some groundbreaking work.
As companies race to make sense of AI and what it means for them, I expect to see and hear more about the practical applications outside of the financial sector.
This challenge has remained constant throughout the various teams and organisations that I have worked in; access to data that we can confidently use and drive action from. In simple terms, our goal is to drive value for the business through providing insight that can be acted on, whether that is defining specific marketing tactics or shaping overall strategy. The technology and data exist, the challenge is to bring them together in the hands of the data analysts and scientists to deliver at pace and at scale.