Computing and Management BSc Hons 2:1
While at Loughborough University I read Computing and Management BSc. The goal of this course was to give students a well-balanced education of hybrid skills; covering Computer Science courses with additional modules from the Business school for management, psychology and marketing. I took the four-year variant with an Industrial Placement. I was employed as a Web Developer by Andalucia.com and relocated to the south of Spain.
Technical Product Lead
- Present •
Acorn-i is an agency that specialises in supporting brands and merchants selling their products on Amazon. Our managed service covers the listing of products, activating advertising campaigns and managing stock levels. As their Lead Product Manager, I have worked closely with the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founders to deliver our shared vision for our product, Ignite by Acorn-i. Ignite not only underpins our Managed Service business but is used by SaaS customers who wish to retain the software after In-Housing or have licensed it directly.
Ignite is an omnichannel analytics platform that consolidates eCommerce data from Amazon, Shopify and WooCommerce along with advertising data from Amazon, Facebook and Google. The goal of the product is to provide operational improvements for our customers by consolidating performance data into a suite of unified dashboards with actionable insights to drive further success. To do so we utilise AWS Lambda, S3, Athena, SQS and SageMaker, the Snowflake cloud data warehouse and Angular web framework.
Over the last two years I’ve mapped out our Product Vision, identify key product Personas for our customer groups, contributed to the tiering of functionality for our pricing strategy and defined our product management processes. I meet regularly with our Co-Founders and CTO to discuss our Theme-base-Roadmap to ensure alignment around desired outcomes and report progress during our fortnightly Product Council meetings. To realise our vision, I work closely with our technology partner Tech Magic to implement our product narratives and user stories. I work closely with our product team comprised of Engineers, QA Engineers and UI/UX Designers to deliver our vision.
The Exchange Lab was a small programmatic advertising agency that specialised in a platform-agnostic approach to buying display advertising. While at TEL, I contributed to various product areas as I rotated across squads delivering our proprietary technology, Proteus. TEL was acquired by WPP, on behalf of GroupM in December 2015.
Senior Product Manager
Within the Product and Engineering department, I was the Lead Product Manager for the Vendor Integrations team. Together we developed software to retrieve and process data from our AdTech partners. The team and I were responsible for a portfolio of three products:
- Vendor Integration Engine, a highly scaled data collection engine.
- Data Lake, for conforming event-level advertising data required by our data warehouse.
- Entity Store, for normalising campaign setup metadata used by dashboards.
The system typically processed seven to ten terabytes of new data daily. To do so we utilised AWS EC2, S3, EMR and Elasticsearch. There was a small React web app to administer the application and Grafana dashboards for monitoring.
I produced stories and technical documentation to enact our roadmap. This information was derived from external API documentation or by collaborating with partners to access custom data feeds. I presented these new requirements to the team during Feature Kick-off meetings and solicit feedback to realise the full solution based on their expertise. When requirements were certain, the new item would be added to our Kanban board.
While working as a Product Manager at The Exchange Lab my role had two distinct phases, before and after our acquisition.
Post-acquisition, our product vision was refined as Proteus was to become the single point of data collection and reporting for programmatic advertising. This vision required us to reinvent our data collection and reporting capabilities to meet these needs. I became the Product Owner for the newly formed Vendor Integration Engine team. The team and I built out the functionality necessary to meet the data collection requirements and scale to support a worldwide media agency group. I collaborated with external providers to create custom data feeds or utilised public APIs to retrieve the desired datasets. Once the requirements became clearer, we’d discuss the detail as “the three-amigos” before formally kicking off the development. We built a scaled platform that collected data from thousands of data sources to support hundreds of customers globally.
Pre-acquisition, I worked in the same capacity but regularly move between initiatives to enhance our data management and industrialise manual error-prone activities. I collaborated with development teams on greenfield projects covering the following topics:
- Creative Management. To bulk upload advertisements into multiple AdTech systems simultaneously.
- Campaign Management. Was a media planning and automation tool to create advertising campaigns across multiple AdTech platforms to speed up common setup tasks.
- Inventory Management R&D. Was a prototype for blocking websites with non-brand-safe content.
After completing my degree I joined Ask Jeeves took an internship working as a Research Assistant. After six months I was formally hired as a Junior Product Manager. I then worked across multiple initiatives to improve the relevance of search results and creating curated answers to common questions.
After being promoted, my responsibilities in the SEO Group and focused on product growth for seniors stakeholders at Ask.com and About.com. Due to algorithm changes by Google Panda to penalise large content sites – it was necessary to be more scientific to identify potential problem areas ahead of time and protect advertisement yields.
To that end, much of my time was spent on investigative work to identified poorer content. This was largely achieved by using Data Science tools for Natural Language Processing and reviewing website traffic. The goal was to detect and modify over-optimised content pages or unsatisfactory content. The results of this ongoing analysis highlighted poorly structured pages requiring revision by Content Managers and poorer user experiences. We tackled these pragmatically and reinvented the product over several design sprints.
Junior Product Manager
Ask Jeeves’ mission was to answer the questions of their users. To provide great answers to common questions, original content was created and hosted on several Q&A answer microsites. These websites formed part of the wider product and marketing strategy to create unique content which was Search Engine Optimised and discoverable by other platforms. This was achieved by reviewing popular searches classified as questions and outsourcing the creation of appropriate answers to publish new Q&A content. These sites were monetised by Google Ads. I reported on the current ad revenue, page views, popular topics and other visitor measurements to stakeholders.
I joined the European Operations Teams at Ask.com, based in London, working on data collection and research projects. This work included a competitor analysis for Q&A websites and auditing search results quality for the European Director of Operations.