Jackie Clayton

Analytic Academy Director, Aimia

What does your job entail?

My role has been described as a water cooler – everyone congregates around it and naturally attracts people. It’s about creating a community and a culture within a team as well as developing individual skills. Really my role is to listen and use my experience as an analyst to pick up on what people are finding tricky in their roles, where we could jump on an idea and expand it to a whole team.

How did you get where you are?

There was definitely a point when I was thinking about my university choices and I knew I wanted to do something mathematical, but there were definitely parts of maths that I wasn’t so fond of. The turning point was when I discovered you could choose what you wanted to do and you could cherry pick the good bits. That set me off down the stats path and that became the main direction I took.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I had a manager who said: “ask for forgiveness, don’t ask for permission”. That could sound a little bit arrogant, but the way I’ve interpreted that is if I’m sitting on the fence and wondering if something’s a bit cheeky, I think what would he have done? He would have got on with it and asked for forgiveness and not permission. It’s a good reminder to turn up the confidence and boldness of your suggestion. It’s worked on a lot of occasions.

What significant object have you chosen?

The object I’ve chose that represents me is a little wheelie suitcase. I moved around quite a lot as a child so there’s an element of moving that the suitacase represent. I saw this as a positive thing – it was always for a good reason and something new and exciting. I think it really represents that you can package up little bits of your life and take them off in different directions and everything can go in that suitcase. Also the suitcase is something that’s come into my work life – I’ve been lucky to travel to parts of the world I wouldn’t have go to without work

The turning point was when I discovered you could choose what you wanted to do and you could cherry pick the good bits.