The 2 subjects I enjoyed at school were Maths and Politics – I loved tackling mathematical challenges and getting the right answer, but I also love a debate (and a chat). As a result, I did a Combined Honours degree in Mathematics & Statistics and Politics which enabled me to do both subjects. After university, I wanted to use the skills I learnt in both, which led me to data, analytics and insight – areas which allowed me to use my Maths and Stats knowledge whilst putting my storytelling and argument development skills to good use. I started my career at the BBC using behavioural data to tell stories about TV viewers, radio listeners and online browsers, before joining Marks & Spencer in Customer Insight to tell our customers’ stories.  I started my career at the BBC. Initially a researcher, I was keen to get more hands on with data, merging storytelling and analytics (putting my degree to good use). This led to me to move over to the Marketing Analytics team (doubling the team size!). It was a challenge to embed data driven thinking into this creative juggernaut, particularly a few years ago before the full realisation of the power of data iPlayer produces and TV viewing habits moved away from “live” TV. Work highlights include cohort analysis as kids transition into young adults which fuelled the CBBC strategy, and modelling media consumption which fed into the decision to close BBC Three. After this, I was keen to take on more data, expanding her knowledge of techniques and tools whilst taking on a new industry, which is when I joined Marks and Spencer in the Customer Insight team. Here I worked my way both across and up, taking opportunities to work across a variety of areas (Food, Clothing & Home, Sparks, Bank, Customer Segmentations, Data Management, Social Media, though always in Customer Insight) whilst building technical and softer skills. I started by building my knowledge in different languages and systems, building on my technical foundations, before then building on the insight, storytelling and influencing aspects. I now manage Data Insight for the Clothing & Home side of the business, encouraging my team to “think outside the box” and get creative with their analytics, as well as engaging with stakeholders (which varying in confidence with numbers) and trying to drive insight into decision making, because even the greatest analytics is meaningless without interpretation and insight. Outside of work I’m satisfying my creative side by either watching or performing comedy.

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