Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I have over 25 years’ experience delivering complex ICT solutions to the SME, Manufacturing, National Security, Law Enforcement, Financial and Enterprise markets. My background is problem solving which covers a multitude of challenges. My career has been varied and has given me extensive experience in operations, sales management, project management, technical consulting and systems and process management.
What’s your role at Nalytics? What does that entail on an average day?
As a Solution Consultant at Nalytics, my background within Enterprise Search, Text Analysis and Data Visualisation helps support the development and deployment of Nalytics within the Legal Sector, as well as any other sector for that matter. I am responsible for the delivery of consulting and support services to our clients and prospects. And work closely with the Sales, Marketing and Product Management teams to ensure that we horizon scan the market to deliver products that people gain value out of. I don’t have average days, I have awesome days! I am privileged to work with some fantastic people every day who challenge me all the time and like a good challenge in return.
What’s your favourite aspect of the job?
I think that I am lucky in that my role is varied, I cover many business areas which challenge me day in and day out. I am a social type of person and like to work in teams, communicating with my peers to help them and have them help me. That said, I could flip the question and answer a different one; what part of my job don’t I like – which is simpler to answer in some regards. I am a firm believer in doing things that you enjoy, as your quality of work will drop if you don’t like the task. Which is why I like being a problem solver in a technology company; I get to help people on a daily basis and use new and innovative technologies to help improve their lives and make their jobs more enjoyable.
What made you want to get into the tech industry?
I didn’t want to work in a kitchen all my life! No seriously, I did want to get into the hospitality management and catering industry at an early age which I think helps with my customer service skills. However, I realised whilst at school that problem solving was what I enjoyed most. During High School we had a computer room with 24 PC’s in individual booths and they were seen by many as the future! Santa brought my brother a ZX Spectrum and I spent many long hours typing code from magazines bought in John Menzies (yup I am that old) to do simple tasks. I was mesmerised by the capabilities….then came War Games starring Mathew Broderick and I was hooked by the idea of what technology could do – not the anarchy side of it though!
Are there any industry developments that you think people should keep an eye out for?
I see lots of developments coming into fashion, some of which are just developments by clever people with no practical application. Some of the best developments have disappeared because they could not describe the problem that they were solving. So, I like to look out for a combination of; technology, problem solving and improving people’s lives (and you get to assign your own value to what improves lives). Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be an overused phrase at the moment, but I do believe that it has the ability to help improve everyday tasks by doing repetitive tasks and giving the human back some time to do what we do best; make decisions.
What are your interests outside of work (hobbies, etc.)?
I am lucky enough to spend my time coaching rugby for my local club. Having played the sport since I learned that they had cheap beer in the bar, I came to realise that it was less painful coaching than playing!
Any other interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share, that people wouldn’t already know?
I have managed to run out of pages on a passport, have bagged all the continents and would recommend travel to anyone. I like to explore new cultures and, being a bit of a foodie, like nothing more than sampling the local cuisine the way that it should be done. Having said that the best part of any trip is coming home to see my family and most importantly my wee French Bulldog – Sheldon Cooper (yeah, we named him after our favourite character from the Big Bang Theory).