Q: Welcome to GALE! Can you tell us about your role as Head of Data Science & Analytics?
Thanks! I’m really excited to be here! At 4 weeks in, I’m still figuring out how to “connect the dots,” but essentially, my role is to lead and develop our growing data science function and scale even greater heights! This is through how we support our internal customers and, in turn, meet and exceed the evolving needs of our clients. I’m focused on the tools and techniques we employ, as well as driving further development of our considerable internal data assets to continue to innovate, and to keep clear water between what we can do for our clients vs. our competitors.
Q: What’s the piece of emerging tech you’re most excited about?
The data science and analytics world is constantly evolving, although I continue to be intrigued by applications for machine learning and, in particular, how it will continue to improve our lives outside of traditional analytics applications. On a related note, autonomous vehicle innovation is highly interesting as are newer social media platforms, although my kids aren’t too impressed that I even have TikTok on my phone!
Q: In your role, what’s the top way you see brands under-utilizing data today?
I’m still coming to grips with how many of our clients are using data but, in general, I know that businesses have access to vast amounts of data these days, largely through greater digital enablement and the proliferation of data-capturing devices and technologies. But often, they have not invested in the skills and tools to be able to figure out what to do with it all. It still surprises me how many businesses still don’t really understand who their most valuable customers are, let alone how to find more of them and retain the ones they have already. Thankfully, at GALE, I’ve already seen that we have an experienced, talented team who can help turn our clients’ data into meaningful insights that can genuinely be actioned to increase revenue and loyalty.
Q:What advice would you give to someone aspiring to get into data science?
Beyond a grounding in the prerequisite core technical skills, I think what separates a good from a great data scientist is a business-focused mindset and the ability to see the application of the work they’re doing for our client. What’s the “so what?” — how can we execute on our work to drive valuable outcomes for our client’s business? I think great communication skills and the ability to explain highly complex work in straightforward terms that our clients and stakeholders can easily understand is super important too!
Q: What do you think sets GALE apart from other companies?
We clearly have a hugely impressive and motivated group of G’s (I think that’s how we refer to ourselves!?), but beyond this, the true, integrated end-to-end solutions we can provide to our clients are a key differentiator. And judging by our growth, it’s a valuable proposition for our clients as well!
Q: When you’re not at work, you’re…
I have 2 daughters who I love to spend time with, although given they are 13 and 15, I’m not sure they necessarily feel the same way about me! I also love cars, motorcycles and boats…. actually anything with an engine, preferably a V8! I used to like eating out (before we weren’t allowed to in Ontario anymore), movies, and am an avid Orangetheory member.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
I often sit and think on famous quotes from people from the past and how that has meaning in my life. As a Brit, the way Winston Churchill inspired a whole nation facing defeat and ruin in World War II was truly remarkable and inspirational, and I often read his quotes and speeches. It reminds me that great, unlikely things are possible if we truly believe, decisively act, and can inspire those around us to follow and do the same!