Plusnet Digital: In Conversation
During the Summer of 2017 Plusnet’s Digital team came together as a centralised function under the leadership of Liam Dyson. Since then, the team has grown exponentially, working towards its mission to do right by their customers and deliver the right experiences, through insight and creativity. Liam speaks to Molly Evans about building the analytics function at the heart of this mission.
Liam “There are lots of opportunities in digital roles at the moment, but you obviously like it here. What makes your job unique?”
Molly “Two things, variety and ownership. Having previously been agency side, I was used to working for a range of different clients every day. You might think that variety goes away when you move client side, but Plusnet has a very vast digital estate. We work on everything, from the acquisition and conversion of new customers, to providing in-life support to existing customers. This happens across a whole range of channels including; the website, mobile app, social media and Community…… I could go on.
What’s really unique about our analytics team is that we have end-to-end ownership of the entire function. That goes from implementation (Google Tag Manager, data layer configuration etc.) through reporting and insights (data visualisation, storytelling, GA360, survey and heatmap analysis) all the way to optimisation (A/B and multivariate website testing) of products, channels and campaigns. We’re responsible for the quality of the data we collect and empowered to action the insights we generate from it. I’m biased, but I’d say it’s a pretty sweet deal.”
Liam “There’s certainly loads to be on with! Analytics is fundamental to everything we do in Digital, so there’s a plenty of demand on your team as the department grows. You’re recruiting a lot at the moment – what kind of candidates are we looking for?”
Molly “You hear a lot of people talking about the analytics “unicorn”, a combination of creativity and logic so rare in a candidate it must be a myth. Well, if that’s true, then all of my team must be unicorns! Obviously, analytical mindset and technical skills are crucial – we have to be numerate, rigorous and data-driven. However, it’s equally important that my team have strong communication skills and the ability to explore insights with creativity and open minds. They say “science isn’t finished until it’s communicated”, so as analysts that means, it’s important for us to translate our work through data visualisation and storytelling, making our insights actionable for stakeholders.”
Liam “Great. When you started here there was no Digital Analytics function. Two years on you’re a team of four and still growing. What’s been the most challenging part of the journey and where do you see the team going next?”
Molly “There have certainly been a lot of challenges. One that immediately springs to mind was the desire to do ‘everything at once’. We have to be careful not to be scattergun and end up spreading ourselves too thinly. Instead, we have to focus and choose to do less but and do it well, building the firm foundations of implementation that give wings to our insights and optimisation. When the team was smaller, we had to be cross- skilled out of necessity (which I have to say I’m very proud of) but as we grow it starts to open up opportunities to specialise. I’d love to get to the point where my Leads each have a “Special Interest” (i.e. a workstream) and a “Special Skill” (e.g. Implementation or Optimisation) with teams of analysts to support each work stream, but who have specialist lead support for each skill.
There are lots of cool projects in-flight and on the horizon, including the development of our first mobile app due to launch this year. The growth of the wider Digital team provides opportunities for us too. We’ll begin to benefit from collaboration with new colleagues in UX/UI, content and delivery, as well as working with dedicated product owners for journeys and channels across digital sales and service. It’s been such an adventure to get this far and right now it feels like we’re on the cusp of some mega exciting stuff. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next few years will bring.”
Plusnet Digital are currently hiring for leads, analysts and much more. Keep an eye on careers.plus.net for the latest opportunities.