I lead the Information Insight team and we are responsible for managing the universities business intelligence product – Power BI.
I joined Imperial’s ICT division shortly after Power BI was released, and since then, I have seen significant change in the analytics space, moving away from a small central team of programmers to an ‘analytics for all’ approach. This has empowered Imperial staff to produce the analytics they need, when they need it. The key focus for our team is to enbable people, who may have a varied range of analytics experience, to make the best use of the tools we offer.
“Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.”
How did I get here?
For someone who holds degrees in cultural studies I came to analytics through an unusual career route! A summer job in a space planning role at a major supermarket taught me a range of skills with spreadsheets that I put into good, and enthusiastic use, when I set out on my career in higher education. My passion for this type of work soon turned into colleagues saying, ‘Gemma likes spreadsheets, let’s give her this data task’, and this became my primary role. From there on I worked with various datasets including; university data, surveys, and longitudinal studies. I started combining data and project management work, and then progressed to enjoy working in business analysis.
My future aspirations
I believe strongly that the right technologies can enable people to achieve their goals, and this is a key focus for me. Data is key to making informed decisions at every level of the business, and this scale of need will lead to more people wanting to do even more with data. I want to provide an analytics product that will help people achieve that, while also putting in place structures and guidelines that will help keep that data, and the people analysing it safe.
“Find a working environment that respects and enables you.”
Follow your passions. The more you enjoy your work, the better you will be at it.
Find a working environment that respects and enables you.
Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.
Instead of fearing change, make it an opportunity for you to get where you want to go.
Find out more about Gemma’s career journey on our everywoman in Tech webinar blog post – You should never be the one to tell yourself no!
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