Snowplow Spotlight Rebecca Lane
What do you do at Snowplow?
I’ve only recently joined Snowplow Analytics, so I’ll let you know when I’ve figured it out… but to be more serious - the primary focus of my role is ensuring that our customers deliver value from using Snowplow. This can range from working to understand their business problem and educating them on how Snowplow can help, to telling them about functionality that will help them.
Why did you decide to go into data analytics?
I’m not sure I actually did decide, I think it just sort of happened… I studied Physics at university and knew for sure I didn’t want to do any more actual Physics. Then I joined a graduate scheme and ended up as a Customer Insight Analyst, then moving to a management consultancy to work as a Data Analytics Consultant, and well here I am now.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I like talking to and exploring ideas with interesting people. I definitely get to do that. Also, I really enjoy and thrive in ambiguous environments, which I think you always have in a fast-growing startup.
What do you find the most challenging?
I mean, the scale of what our customers are achieving using Snowplow data is huge. I think it’s possible to sometimes feel like you have to understand every piece of technology and tool associated with each customer. But actually understanding the underlying problem a customer is trying to solve is often much more valuable.
What was the first job you ever wanted to have?
I was pretty into K’Nex (I had the big yellow box that you could use to build a ferris wheel). I’m not sure I had a particularly strong will to join the world of work as a child but probably something involving engineering of some sort.
What steps do you think the industry can take to become more inclusive?
I think this is already starting to happen but recognizing the differences you get in a diverse bunch of people as strengths is really key. I also think that the pipeline is so leaky on the way to tech and analytics that we all have a collective responsibility to try and have an impact. Mentor, give advice, go back to your school and give a talk about what you do - be more visible.
What advice would you give to women considering a career path similar to your own?
Generally, the sectors and the fields I have worked in have been male dominated. I would be dishonest if (before Snowplow) I said I hadn’t experienced both blatant sexism and unconscious bias related to gender. However, I do think and hope that generally things are getting better. Never be afraid to flag behavior/language/culture/vibe that makes you feel uncomfortable. If the organization you work for doesn’t respond to it adequately, I would question if that is the kind of organization you want to work for at all.
How do you find working for a company with such geographically distributed teams?
I think it is amazing! I’m based in London and go into the office most of the time but it’s amazing to have such flexibility in work location. As a company, we get together for an Away Week twice a year and it’s so good to meet people face to face that you’ve only seen on a video call before. But then when you get home you get sad that you won’t see most people for another 6 months!
What do you like to spend time doing when you’re not at work?
At the moment, taking advantage of what London has to offer during the summer! Sitting in parks, street food markets, outdoor concerts and, of course, the odd trip to a beer garden… I’ve managed to do quite well on holidays in 2018 - I’ve been to Vietnam, Cambodia and Greece, and I’m visiting the Azores in September so travel is definitely pretty high up on my list too.
What are 3 things still left on your bucket list?
- Cliched answer number 1 clearly involves travel on the bucket list of any self respecting millennial. I’m really keen to go to Sri Lanka and also Central America in the not too distant future.
- Learn how to ride a bike. Yes, a push bike. Yes, I’m clumsy and yes, it is embarrassing.
- I’ve pretty much only ever lived in the UK, perhaps a move could be exciting (maybe Berlin..?)