Head of Data Science Solutions - BBC
- What motivates you on a daily basis – what gets you up in the morning?
There’s something really beautiful about working for the BBC. It’s not commercial; it’s a public service so the problems that we’re solving are slightly different from those in other organisations. We want to bring better and more journalism to under-served audiences – so we’re asking questions such as: “how do we encourage more young women to read political news?” Those are really exciting problems for a data scientist and for a technologist to be solving.
- How has a setback or obstacle shaped you?
Obstacles are opportunities to find strength. In the newsroom we’re trying to transform everything into the digital era so I’m continuingly explaining why we’re doing this and what it’s going to look like. And in my role we’re also dealing with people’s fear a lot – so we’re explaining that they’re not going to be replaced with robots. Instead, we’ll be building robots to help them!
- How important is it to have other passions in your life?
It’s important to have things outside of work because it’s a source of confidence and pride that no one can judge you on. I do running because it clears my head, it’s good for health and there’s a sense of achievement when you run an ultra marathon or climb a big mountain.
- What advice would you give your teenage self?
I’d tell her that it’s ok to ask for help, to admit that you don’t know how to do something and that it’s ok to say to your lecturer, your manager, or your friends that, “I’m stuck and I don’t know how to do it.” I would probably have got further and be better at my job right now had I known that earlier.