To understand whether this would be the right career path for me I undertook an internship at a Flash animation and gaming firm prior to starting A-Levels, I soon realised this was not the right path. Whilst I enjoyed the coding aspect, I didn’t enjoy being behind a desk with little communication with people.
To keep my options open I studied Mathematics (instead of Computing) at University and my first job was within Market Research doing both Qualitative and Quantitative analysis. This time I loved the people aspect as I was talking to respondents, clients and agencies to help answer a business’s problem, but there wasn't too much coding other than a bit of SPSS syntax.
That's when I moved to M&S. I joined the Customer Insight Team as a Customer Analyst and from the start I was analysing the vast array of data that we have, as well as engaging various stakeholders around the business - it's the perfect mix of technical and commercial skills. Over the last 5 years I have worked my way up and I am currently Lead Customer Analyst for Foods.
At M&S we have a vast amount of data and a world class infrastructure which allows us to delve deep in the data extremely quickly, on a very granular level, to explore what drives customer behaviour. One day we could be understanding performance with the M&S customer in one specific Food category, the next we could be helping input into M&S’ overall 3-year strategy.
Once we have got to an answer our job doesn't stop there. I find the best way to present data is by telling a story and that's exactly what we try to do as a team, but always making sure we end on an actionable conclusion. We then help the business evaluate any changes implemented on the back of the work produced.
My final piece of advice would be to never be scared to try something new, you don't know what you might develop.
Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer is a major British multinational retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London. It specialises in the selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products. M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds.