Life as a Research Analyst

Joseph Phillips, Research Analyst

WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT SKY BETTING & GAMING (sbg) AS A PLACE TO WORK?

Firstly it’s an industry that I am personally interested in so liked the possibility of working on a product I actually use. From speaking to a friend who already worked here I really liked the sound of the culture, and the investment that the business puts into people on their development and wellbeing.

why did you choose to work within business intelligence at sbg?

Having previously worked a number of years in Research, it was a natural fit to join the research team within Business Intelligence (BI). One of the things that appealed most though is having the flexibility to focus my own development on whatever areas I wanted to, allowing me to improve skills in other BI areas.

what do you enjoy most about working in business intelligence at sbg?

The work is always changing and is interesting in BI. We are always needed to research new product developments, new events taking place etc., so we’re always a part of whatever is new and exciting in the business.

The team is great and I always feel like my voice is heard. Absolutely everybody that I work with is friendly and helpful and there are always great things going on within the company to get involved in.

DID YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT WORKING IN THE GAMBLING INDUSTRY?

I think there can sometimes be a stigma around it but this wasn’t a problem for me because of all the incredible work that goes into safer gambling from all across the business.

BI and Research have played a massive part in this, ensuring customers are gambling in the safest way possible. So many people are genuinely driven by this and once you get to talk to some of them you realise that it’s not just a box ticking process.

HOW HAS SBG PROVIDED YOU WITH BETTER FLEXIBILITY?

The flexibility around remote working is great. In our team we decided to all try to come into the office on one day a week but it’s totally up to us whether we work from home or the office. I usually come into the office two or three days a week and being able to decide that myself is fantastic for my work / life balance.

SBG give us the flexibility to make it work for you. I know that I can change what hours I work if I felt I needed to, and being able to work from the office or from home whenever I want ensures I get the right mix.

DO YOU HAVE FLEXIBILITY AND AUTONOMY ON WHAT YOU WORK ON?

Within our team we are able to decide our own roadmaps (within reason of course when urgent work comes in). This means that when a project comes up that I’m really interested to work on, I can take it on and have complete autonomy over it. Being able to shape the way projects work myself is a nice feeling.

HOW IS FLEXIBILITY ENCOURAGED AT SBG?

From the top down it’s within the culture of the company. Everything from having the annual £1,000 Self-Development Fund to learn whatever you want, to having ‘no zoom afternoons’ so you have the freedom to get on with work without being disturbed by meetings.

ARE THERE ANY PROJECTS YOU’VE WORKED ON WHICH YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?

Having the flexibility to run projects however I want to has allowed me to try new things and develop new research skills. For example, I’ve been able to experiment with more advanced statistical methodologies to answer questions that might seem basic at first, such as ‘which of these potential football offers would be most appealing for customers and drive the most revenue?’ Using the knowledge of more senior team members I was able to use statistical techniques that I hadn’t used before to get a more precise answer.

HOW HAVE SBG INVESTED IN YOUR CAREER AND DEVELOPMENT?

The time I get for L&D and the Self-Development Fund are massive for being able to develop in my career. I’ve been able to dedicate an afternoon each week to purely focus on my development. Together with the development fund, I’ve been able to start a Coursera course on data science, which is helping me to learn some brand new skills and build a niche for myself within the team.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN YOUR ROLE?

One of the main challenges is how fast paced it can be due to the nature of the business. Requests will come through that require immediate attention and the challenge is how we navigate this with our workloads. In our team we have regular meetings and have developed a roadmap that allows flexibility to account for those times where we need to adjust. We’re also very collaborative so if one person needs help then there are always people available to do so.

WHICH OF OUR BENEFITS DO YOU LOVE AND WHY?

There are so many benefits that I make use of it’s hard to pick a favourite but I love the free Sky TV and Gympass particularly. It’s such a huge monetary saving not having to pay for a gym membership and being able to use almost any gym in Leeds. Gympass is also great for the access it gives me to apps that help with wellbeing, such as Calm.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AT SBG?

I’m looking ahead at the moment and thinking about the decision of whether I would like to progress towards becoming a People Manager or go more down the route of becoming a subject specialist.

I’m also hoping to complete my data science course in the next few months and will be aiming to use the knowledge I’ve gained from that to get involved in more data science led projects to turn my learnings into practical experience at SBG.

Author: Marion Duncan