2019 Data Science & Training Partner

Why we’ve partnered with WiD UK 2019

Mango plays an active role in the vibrant and innovative data science community with an aim to help nurture talent and promote innovation. We know a diverse team means a complementary set of skills and talents, which is why we have partnered with Women in Data as their data science training and consultancy partner for the third year in a row. We are proud to champion people from all backgrounds and as a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter we are committed to greater diversity in recruitment and retention. Our free training workshops aim to give the WID audience new skills that they can apply directly at work and help them get started in their data career.

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Name: Jen Wilkins

Position: Head of Talent and Development

Expertise: I help develop and engage our existing team, and attract new people to join Mango.

Education: BSc in Maths from Warwick

Towards the end of my maths degree, a friend found an application form for my first job in the careers department at university and encouraged me to apply. I had that same job for 17 years and under the job title of Software Engineer, I wrote code, tested code, captured requirements, ran small projects, and managed some of our accounts in the civil government space.

When I came back to work after my second child, the biggest fire that I was asked to fight with was resourcing. In this role, I was part of the Delivery Leadership Team, and loved helping run our business. Unfortunately we were bought out, and became unrecognisable from the company that I felt that I had grown up in – I left and spent the summer with my children.

While looking for work, I found Mango – looked them up and then looked up data science – a mix of maths and software – this sounded perfect, and the office was located less than 5 miles from home. I joined Mango on my 39th birthday. I spent the first year resourcing projects, managing a small project, and team leading some of our consultants. In February of this year, I moved into my current role as Head of Talent and Development. Mango is a growing, maturing company with a fabulous, friendly welcoming heart. As with any growing company there is plenty that’s great, and plenty that’s still work in progress.

Mango is absolutely enabling me to have a meaningful, senior level role, within a thriving company as well as a family life – and I am tremendously grateful for that.

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Name: Beth Ashlee

Position: Data Scientist

Expertise: Having a combination of technical and soft skills that make projects a success.

Education: Biomedical science at Cardiff University

I got into data science after applying for a summer internship at Mango. I didn’t really know much about the data science community, but spent the next few weeks learning more technical and practical skills than I had in 3 years at university.

I have now been working as a data science consultant for nearly 3 years and due to the wide variety of projects, never found a dull moment. I have had amazing opportunities to travel worldwide teaching training courses and interacting with customers from all industries.

The variety is my favourite part of the job, you could be building a Shiny application to help a pharmaceutical company visualise their assay data one week, and the next – teaching a training course at the head offices of large companies such as Screwfix. Project work has provided me with hands-on experience, both working as part of a large team, and leading my own projects.

For the last year, I have taken up the role as Technical Lead on Mango’s largest and longest running Shiny application development projects. This application is used daily by over 100 members of the sales team within a leading UK payment processing company – the company has reportedly increased cross sale of payment products by 24% using the Shiny app.

I have also been leading a separate project within the UK government to assist with their migration from SAS to R. No one day is the same at Mango, which is one of the main things I enjoy.

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Name: Rebecca Trivella

Job Title: Director of Sales and Marketing

Education:  University of West London; Design and Media Management

My journey into data began when I was a Merchandiser at Sainsbury’s – my background in 3-dimensional design enabled me to use my problem-solving skills, which I really enjoyed. I then went into Sainsbury’s Own Brand Development, where much of my time was spent on packaging design – I liked finding things that sort of worked, that weren’t quite perfect, and then going through the process of thinking about of how it could be done differently or be improved.

When I was looking for my next step, I joined AC Nielsen as an Account Manager – a research organisation, mainly focused on retail data and providing interesting insights to customers. Data was really changing at that time with the introduction of new data gathering methods, such as the Boots Loyalty Programme. I found this interesting, as ultimately it was problem solving, using Data rather than physical design. We were doing things like looking for insights and patterns that would inform Retailers and Manufacturers to make better decisions, regarding things like Pricing, Buying Unit sizes, forecasts for new product launches and “just in time delivery”.

I remember setting myself a goal in my early twenties that I would be a Director by the time I was forty – which was something I achieved at my time in Alterian. The reality is it is just a title and relatively meaningless, as you can be a Director of a 2-person small Department or 2,000 people – but it meant something to me at that time. I could picture the role in terms of what I thought about it and it gave me the focus, drive and determination, that on reflection, helped guide me to where I am today.

In terms of influences, I had a manager at AC Nielsen and subsequently IRI, called Carol Cornell – she was a positive role model, an incredible athlete, as well as being a powerful, successful and determined woman. She helped me not to be ashamed of focusing on my own ambition and gave me context of what that might mean in my working life. I remember her telling me to be at peace with being an assertive and driven woman. That I shouldn’t feel ashamed or try and not be ‘too female’ in certain situations. That I should be myself with confidence, even if I was in a room full of men; which in Data and IT, I almost always was. I was also fortunate to work at Alterian for James Eiloart and David Eldridge. Alterian was fast growing in those days and changing each year through acquisition. James and David gave me the opportunity to try new things and I always had a go. As Brene Brown writes about in her book “Daring Greatly”, it is often our fear of failure that holds us back. After reading her book 7 years ago, I have held firmly in my mind, “what would I do differently if I wasn’t scared of failing or feeling embarrassed”, and tried to let that guide my choices, rather than going for the comfortable option; the place I feel safe.

The reason I joined Mango in the first place, is because of the powerful things that we do with data – data is my passion. Amazingly, I have been talking about how companies can drive value from Data for over twenty years, but it has never been more relevant and truer. At Mango, we are in an incredibly fortunate position. With over 17 years of experience in this exciting space of Data Science, we are constantly growing and looking towards the future, and I feel that I can help Mango and our clients make the most of the opportunity, to thrive on data.

“We expect to see a move to more data-driven business models that will revolutionise the way our organisations function.”

How Mango Solutions see the data landscape changing in the UK in the next 5 years

Data and (advanced) analytics is currently going through a renaissance that is strikingly similar to the days of big data hype – with a dictionary of jargon to understand, endless marketing literature talking up “AI” as a solution to any problem you happen to be thinking about, and the insistence that investment in software platforms is most certainly the answer. Like the ‘big data’ world at some point Mango believe we’ll stop talking about data and analytics and start hyping the next-big thing.

However the most exciting part – in the same way that ‘big data’ changed the world, we expect to see a move to more data-driven business models that will revolutionise the way our organisations function. In our ever increasingly competitive landscape, companies that make the best decisions will win, and that can only be enabled with data and advanced analytics. So the future of data and analytics is all about how we’ll transition it from being the “new shiny thing” to being the fundamental way we do business.

About Mango Solutions

Mango Solutions is a data science consultancy that specialises in enabling a data-driven culture within businesses, helping them derive value from data science and data analytics initiatives. It does this via a collection of products and services, delivered by Mango’s team of data scientists and data engineers, which help companies use advanced analytics and AI/ML techniques to create operational acumen that improves business performance. Services include strategic advice that addresses fundamental business challenges to transform data into a business asset; data science solutions aligned to driving use case value; training and upskilling through educational programmes and data engineering to create the right analytic environment. Mango also offers products for regulated open source development, including ValidR and Data Science Radar to support world-class capability. Visit www.mango-solutions.com or follow

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