Staff Spotlight: Head of Analytics, Amy Barker
By Jessie Twersky on June 22nd 2016Read this article on our full site
From ballet, to math, to data science. We chat to Head of Analytics at Brandwatch, Amy Barker, to find out what makes her tick.
You would be hard pressed to find an employee who didn’t list company culture as one of their favorite things about working for Brandwatch.
We have a unique culture that mixes the technical with the creative. We work extremely hard at what we do, but we also know the value of having fun, whether through an end-of-day table tennis tournament or one of our monthly sushi days.
Our unique mix of employees is most evident when looking at the individuals who make up our different teams, from our designers to our data analysts.
In this instalment of our Staff Spotlight series, we meet Amy Barker, Head of Analytics.
- Favorite place you’ve traveled: Belize
- Top item on your bucket list: Become certified as a yoga teacher. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long and I’m finally doing it! I’m in a teacher training course now, and loving it.
- iOS or Android: iOS
- Coffee or tea: Long time coffee drinker, trying to make the switch to tea
- Superhero power: Quantum manipulation – the ability to manipulate quantum physics so that you can explore alternate realities/timelines!
Past, present, future
Hey, Amy! What is your job title at Brandwatch, and what do you do?
I’m Head of Analytics on the Professional Services team. I lead an awesome team of really smart people, and we all work together to help clients get the most out of the Brandwatch platform.
Can you talk about your background before Brandwatch?
I have a very mixed background.
I went to school for math and computer science, but before that I was actually a professional ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet.
I love mixing my artistic and technical skillsets in order to come up with creative solutions to analytical problems.
How did you get involved in the tech industry?
I really enjoyed studying computer science in college, and after I graduated I knew that I wanted to start applying what I had learned to some real world problems.
What are some upcoming projects you’re most excited about?
With Network Analysis, users are able to visualize an entire conversation at once and understand the contextual influence of every member of the discussion.
It’s an exciting project because it transcends the singular focus on one mention or one person, and gives you an idea of the shape of the entire conversation.
I’ve been working on this project with one of our Data Scientists, Paul Siegel, and we’re both really passionate about it and the new opportunities it could open up for social analytics.
What’s is the most challenging part of your job?
There are new challenges every day in my job, and I love that because it means that I’m constantly being pushed to learn and grow.
What developments in tech are you most excited about right now?
Rather than a specific product or idea, I’m excited about the ever growing popularity and accessibility of technology.
It’s becoming ‘cool’ to learn to code and programming courses are becoming more popular in highschool or even earlier.
What do you see for the future of social media marketing?
I am a bit biased, but I think it’s moving in a data-driven direction.
It’s a young field, but it’s developing so quickly.
Both the users and the product providers are becoming more sophisticated, and together we’re making steps to enable increasingly intelligent and informed marketing decisions.
If you could invite three people to a dinner party who would they be?
John Conway – A brilliant mathematician with a famously playful approach to problem solving.
Elena Ferrante – My favorite author, whose real name and identity is shrouded in mystery.
A friend so that I could have someone to relive the experience with later.
What soft-skills have you found to be most important in developing professionally?
As silly as it sounds, it’s so important to just be able to hold a conversation.
Every professional situation can be made more valuable and enjoyable with good communication.
And finally, it wouldn’t be a Staff Spotlight without asking what your favorite Brandwatch tradition is?
I love Masterclass!
I get to see existing clients, meet new clients, collaborate with my coworkers and soak up the knowledge sharing.
A big thanks to Amy for speaking with us! You’ll be able to learn more about Brandwatch staff soon in upcoming articles.