Alice Rees

Bespoke Consultant

Data is absolutely fascinating to me – where and how you can gather it, our biases and prejudices and how they affect our collection and interpretation, the stories you can find in trends and analysis, forecasting and prediction (I always wanted to be a wizard and this seems the nearest I’ll ever get), and using data to make calculated changes and seeing how well they’ve worked in the numbers.

I am a bit of a polymath and have moved through a number of careers, from digital marketing, writing and editing, managing communications for a global environmental non-profit, QA and test automation, and even a bit of cooking when I was younger. Looking at the similarities in these roles I’d have to summarise as varied work day to day, focusing on data-driven improvement, which Waterstons absolutely provides.

In marketing, I was always agency based and I loved the variety of work. My favourite part of the job was the start of a new project. Talking with a client to suss out the problems they are facing, devising a strategy, and deciding on what to measure and what targets to set. In 2017 I realised my ability to improve the internet (that’s how I saw the marketing work I did) was being held back by my lack of technical knowledge, so I took a leap of faith and quit my job, moved to Scotland, and did a software development boot-camp. I then went into software testing and automation, but working on the company side of things really highlighted how much I loved the client focus of agency work. Joining the Data & Analytics team at Waterstons felt like the most natural decision in the world.

My polymath habits follow me outside of work too, where I love doing all kinds of things. I am a passionate advocate for mental health and improving the provision for it in the UK – when I dropped out of university in 2009 due to major depressive disorder, I found the NHS help seriously lacking. I am also a vocal supporter of LGBTQA* people, particularly trans and gender non-binary people. In all ways a proud ‘Social Justice Warrior’. I read a lot of books, both fiction and non-fiction, play video games (though I turn the difficulty too easy because I am dyspraxic and often get controls mixed up – if you need someone who might inadvertently jump off a cliff instead of sneaking behind a tree, let me know!), and listen to a lot of music; I love going to gigs. I am part of a non-profit team who publishes a card game called Android: Netrunner – I’m the board member for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. I’m quite competitive and have travelled to America twice to play in card game world championships, and have a vast quantity of board games. I’ve got two cats, and opinion on the Oxford comma (always) and I talk too much.

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