Through our Spotlight Series, we delve into the minds of our colleagues to find out more about their roles, what motivates them, who inspires them and much more.
What originally attracted you to BGL Group?
As someone who’s driven by social purpose, I was really drawn to the idea of using my creative and data skills to help millions of people save money. The rest just slotted into place around it - great company culture, fun working environment, extensive benefits package (the virtual GP service is amazing) and of course not spending four hours a day commuting to London was a plus too!
Tell us about your journey through BGL since you joined the Group
My initial role was to work with our Commercial team and insurer partners to create data/insight products that save customers money. It was a brand-new role and a great opportunity to combine my relationship management, analytical and creative skills to create something from nothing.
Following the recruitment of two analysts into the team, we set to work creating segmentations to help us understand customers better, conducting statistical analysis to evaluate performance of price incentives, analysing customer reactions to regulatory changes and working with an external party to land an ambitious new anti-fraud product.
Fast forward a few years and I now lead a team of four incredible analysts with an expanded remit covering our Insurance, Breadth and Money Product teams. This is the first time these teams have had analytical support, so it’s another great opportunity to build something from nothing. We’ve also evolved to work more closely with our Insights team, making sure our own internally focussed analytics is positioned alongside the external market context where possible.
Tell us about your role as an Analytics Manager
Much of what initially attracted me to the role is still very much the case today - building stakeholder relationships, coming up with creative solutions and delivering beyond expectations. Of course, I’m less involved in hands-on delivery and more involved in the people management side of things now, but BGL’s Leading with Impact programme has really helped with that transition (something I’m sure many analysts find difficult) and I’m a lot more confident with engaging, motivating and developing my team.
I also work very closely with the other managers in the department to ensure we’re maximising the reach of our projects within the business and improving our ways of working.
Tell us something not many people know about you
I’ve got many interests but perhaps the strangest is unicycling. I learned just after completing my A-levels for a bit of a challenge over the summer. It’s been to university with me and everywhere else I’ve lived since; the smiles and confused looks from passers-by when I’m out on it are just brilliant. I even arrived at the church on it on my wedding day!
Lockdown highlights and lowlights
Lowlight: Our toddler not getting to see all the really important people in our lives.
Highlight: Impulse-buying a five-foot giraffe unicycle in a moment of lockdown boredom. It’s no harder physically to ride than a regular unicycle but the peril does make it psychologically more difficult!
Can too much data analytics be a bad thing?
Yes, in the wrong hands or with the wrong tools. Excel can do amazing things (trust me, I’ve used it to build games and even Spirograph before!) but there’s a limit. That’s where we come in; our job is to take in huge quantities of data, work some magic on it and play our findings back in a clear, simple manner so that decisions can be made.
As for “too much analytics”, there’s definitely a risk of “too complex”. Many analysts and data scientists are motivated more by the technical aspects of the role than the business impact, and whilst there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it can lead to a temptation to create something whizzy and clever that stakeholders will struggle to understand, trust and ultimately act on. It’s down to us as managers to maintain a healthy balance between the two and make sure anything we create is actionable.
Who inspires you?
I take inspiration from musicians such as George Gershwin, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jacob Collier, whose relentless challenge of conventional thinking has led to some incredible creations. Gershwin’s piano concerto fused jazz concepts into classical music, Lin’s Hamilton musical brought hip hop to Broadway with a bang and Jacob’s complex harmonies and microtonality keep winning him Grammys!
The ability to think differently and experiment is so important in the world of analytics and data science, by applying this to the tools we have at our disposal we can ultimately make a massive difference to the businesses we work for.
Who’s your favourite meerkat and why?
Sergei gets my vote; he’s the technical whizz behind the scenes that keeps the lights on that every company needs!
Interested in joining BGL? Take a look at our current vacancies