Natalie Jakomis

Group Head of Data - GoCompare

How did you get into data and technology, and why?

I started my career as a statistician in the civil service but I learnt quickly that I wasn’t fond of making decisions on gut feeling. I don’t like guessing. Data analysis can provide objectives and answers that can put an end to disagreements and being the data scientist in the discussion can often put you at a clear advantage! Also, data and tech is exciting!

What motivates you on a daily basis – what gets you up in the morning?

I naturally have a love for numbers and statistics and like to back up every decision with evidence, and ultimately that comes from data.

What’s the biggest challenge that you face in your role?

I think we all have to overcome obstacles and step out of our comfort zones every day. For me, it’s about overcoming the negative thoughts where I think that I’m not good enough or that I’m not adding the value that I should be adding. Those thoughts can be very challenging so I have to be courageous and have trust in my own abilities.

How has a setback or obstacle shaped you?  

The biggest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome is my stammer. Having a stutter growing up can knock your confidence and I’ve had to push myself out of my comfort zone by doing lots of public speaking, presentations and talking on camera.

Failure is not absolute. In my career I’ve turned it into an opportunity to learn, to reflect, and to try again.
What is the toughest lesson that you’ve had to learn?

Failure is not absolute. In my career I’ve turned it into an opportunity to collect more data, to learn, to reflect, and then to try again.

 

Are role models important to you?

There has been an increase in the amount of female role models in data and technology, but there can always be more. I think it’s important that we encourage women to put themselves forward to shout about both their individual and team successes, so that more people can hear about these achievements – and they can act as an inspiration to us and the younger generation.

How do you feel about your success?

Success for me is both achievement and getting to the highest point I can in my career, but also about being happy and healthy and spending time with my loved ones.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

I would tell her to forget about what people think about you. It’s about having trust in yourself and investing time in yourself, and then going for what you want.

What achievements are you most proud of?

If I am brutally honest,  I’m not always comfortable shouting out about my own achievements. When I received the phone call to say I’d made the 20 in Data and Technology list, I did question whether or not I should attend – and then I had some very interesting feedback from a woman on my team. She said that I was always encouraging others to celebrate their achievements and that this was my personal success so I deserve to go and celebrate it. I took that feedback onboard!

Can you tell us about the significant object that you’ve chosen?

I have chosen an hourglass because it’s a reminder that our time is precious. As individuals and as females, we need to make sure we invest the right amount of time in ourselves in order to reach our goals and achieve success.