Meet Senior Insight Lead Derek
“I work with a group of people who have active and curious minds, who love exploring new technologies and ways of working”
Name: Derek Mitchell
Job title: Senior Insight Lead, Learning & Development
What area do you work in? Customer Service Group
How did you get to where you are now? I started my career with an interest in process efficiency. This saw me undertaking analysis of machine and process performance within areas as diverse as cardboard box manufacturing and smoked salmon production. I moved here with an interest in applying the principles of process efficiency within the service industry. I started as an analyst looking at the performance of the Technical service centre as it was at the time, understanding type and frequency of demand. I then moved to the Behavioural Science arm of the company for a couple of years where I worked with super rich data informing many facets of the business ranging from engineer performance through to customer contact strategy, before moving my knowledge into Marketing to understand and inform the performance of our new customer propositions. Having gained knowledge across the company, I moved into Financial Services, becoming a Senior Insights Leader for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail bank. This gave some valuable perspective on the best practice in Analytics and technology available in other industries, but ultimately, the pace was a bit too slow and I yearned for the less risk adverse, and speedier, our ways of working.
Describe a typical day… I get up, I look at the work my team are doing, clarify the direction we’re heading, and I realise we’re delivering a truly world class Learning Insights capability. My ‘to do’ list is constantly changing as my team span multiple Directorates, and the priorities for each can change on an hourly basis. The bulk of my time is spent ensuring that all new demand is aligned to, or reshaped to fit, our strategic direction, which is to be demonstrably the best Learning Insights function in the world.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? My key function is simple, I need to ensure that the right people are getting the right training, in the right way, at the right time to maximise business results, to ensure employee engagement remains high, and make certain that our customer needs are met. This is increasingly seeing me look at employee segmentation, applied Behavioural Economics, massive data sets, A/B testing, external best practice, and all sorts of cool ‘data & behaviour stuff’
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I‘ve two young children so it’s really important that I strike the right balance between work and home. The technology and flexible working approach we have, mean I can keep on top of work and meetings while travelling or working from home, which really makes a difference. Senior leaders are very supportive, and take proactive steps to ensure that work/life balance is in front of everyone’s mind.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? My team. I work with a group of people who have active and curious minds, who love exploring new technologies and ways of working. Seriously, in terms of aptitude and attitude, the Insights guys here rock. They are thought leaders in their field.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Learn about what is possible through the use of data. Pull yourself back from looking at excel spreadsheets, and ask yourself, what information might exist which tells me how and why people behave the way that they do, now go find that data, and uncover something new!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I enjoy exploring new ways of doing things, and recently used Facebook, exclusively, to find a buyer for my previous house, and source my current one.