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Personal Information

    Name:                Corrin Lakeland

    Address:            15 Otitori Bay Road, Titirangi, Auckland

    Email:                lakeland@acm.org

    Web:                  http://www.corrinlakeland.com/ 

    Date of Birth:    19th March 1976

    Telephone:       (+64) 021 467 784

PROFILE

I am comfortable and experienced in delivering analytics solutions. I have both a strong technical background and practical experience from hundreds of projects. I know how to approach new projects and have seen what works and what doesn’t.  My passion is in understanding how the analysis is going to be used so that the work and presentation can be tailored to match objectives, rather than leaving it to stand on its own.

EXPERIENCE

Technical manager, Affinity ID — July 2011 - Present

Affinity is a highly data driven agency, specialising in one-to-one communication.  As such the analytics team forms a core business unit which helps guide everything from copy writing to the user journeys.   In my role as technical manager I am responsible for designing and quoting solutions, leading the more complex projects, explaining the projects to business stakeholders, taking ownership of technical solutions and managing the analyst team.

The analytics team had been running for twelve years and so had been building sophisticated solutions including segmentation models for years.    Over the last few years this had not been a priority and all institutional knowledge had been lost through the turnover of staff.  As such a major focus of my role was redeveloping this capability and refreshing the many established models which had been quietly ticking away.

Another major shift was a significant reinvestment by the business in the team and growing it from four people to fifteen.  This required the development of many processes including workflow management, coding standards, peer-review, technical documentation and archiving.    

Data manager, Snapper — January 2010 - July 2011

Snapper’s data is interesting with richer transactional data than most retailers and much more complex operational reporting needs. The distributed nature of Snapper has been a particular challenge, where the data warehouse has to try to piece together what has happened when transactions arriving out of order or not at all.  This role involves looking after that data and making it available to the business so they can make better decisions.

There was no Data Warehouse at Snapper before this position and with the main operational system outsourced, internal knowledge was minimal.  One of the larger projects has been the design and development of a data warehouse - integrating transactional and dimensional data from multiple systems, merging them to form a coherent picture and providing data back to support various services.

Data is only as valuable as the uses it can be put to.  Demands for insights at Snapper ranged from tactical sales work, strategic business development to operational management.  A recent focus has been setting up a reporting capability which could address these demands while placing few technical requirements on users.  While not strictly part of the role, I have also lead the more complex data insight requests such as where more retailers are needed and inferring revenue trends.

Snapper makes use of agile development (Scrum) and ITIL.  This role involves working with the product owner and scrum master to advocate and prioritise the development of stories, and working with the transition manager to deploy into operations.

This role also involves championing data, acting as the data expert for the leadership team and support of and management of a number of smaller systems

Senior data miner, Loyalty NZ — March 2008 - December 2010

This role is managing advanced analytics at Loyalty (Fly Buys).  This entails a wide range of tasks: 

  • Monitoring each project to ensure successful delivery and signing them off on completion
  • Continuing to improve and standardise processes, particularly around job tracking
  • The key business contact for the analytics data warehouse 
  • The key technical contact for analytic suppliers (especially SAS)
  • Meeting with clients both for pre-sales and to deliver major projects
  • Training the analytics team on advanced tools and techniques
  • Assisting the sales team with how to sell advanced analytics.  

This is an operational management role.  It involves working with many other teams, clients and suppliers to both ensure that Loyalty delivers a large number of quality analytic results, and also to continually improve the speed and robustness of delivery.  Direct reports are qualitative and quantitative data miners. 

Intelligence specialist, Loyalty NZ  — September 2007 - March 2008

The purpose of this new role was to expand Loyalty from a reporting capability to advanced analytics with tasks such as segmentation, profiling, propensity modelling, forecasting and fraud detection.   The role involved extensive liaison between the data warehouse team and the analytics team.  Direct reports included a programmer, a data warehouse developer and an analyst.  

The creation of this role represented a major shift in focus for Loyalty - it started reporting to the CIO and finished with the creation of a new Customer Insights team reporting to the head of Fly Buys. As a major part of this transition, I was expected to: 

  • Demonstrating the business case for advanced analytics with a proof of concept
  • Designing and specifying an analytics data mart
  • improving processes around project management so that Loyalty had sufficiently robust processes to handle larger projects
  • Improving the business relevance of generated outputs through the use of mapping and presentations
  • Acting as an advanced analyst until new hires and training of existing staff could bridge the gap between the capacity Loyalty wanted to offer and its ability to deliver

Senior Analyst, Datamine— March 2006 - September 2007

Datamine provides advanced analytics consultancy to a wide variety of blue chip and government clients.  This role was in the technical team and involved taking ownership of three areas of operations: personally delivering analytics work, acting as technical project owner for other projects and leading the development of improved tools.  The three tasks were split approximately equally although the last also had a direct report of a programmer.

As technical project owner, the role required me to sit in on most other projects and step in as necessary.   This was most commonly at the start or end of the project: selecting the best technical approach and ensuring that the analysis matched the client’s business objectives.

Datamine had traditionally completed each project in isolation, with only basic analytics reuse.  The third aspect of this role was to substantially improve on the analytic tools available so that projects could be completed faster, better, at lower cost and more easily.  

Assistant Research Fellow, University of Otago — May 2005 - March 2006

Working on an English to Māori translation system, this role involved taking theoretical concepts and programming them into a teaching system (Te Kaitito).  In order to successfully achieve this, I was required to coordinate with the Māori department,  working with other specialists and managing the day to day work of a research assistant.

Various short term projects, University of Otago — 2001 - 2005

During these four years I stopped working full time to concentrated principally on completing my doctorate.  However I also contributed to a wide range of projects as a technical advisor.  Projects included a real-time system, speech recognition and synthesis, simulated language development and system security among others.  In all cases my role was to assist with a particular task involving one or more of statistics, programming, advanced computer use or linguistics. 

Tutor in Artificial Intelligence, Victoria University — 2000

Acting as assistant to the lecturer in Artificial Intelligence, this role involved planning and running all tutorials, writing most and marking all assignments.  The material was relatively advanced as it was only offered to third year computer science students and covered structured and semi-structured learning as well as unstructured pattern discovery.  Students were expected to develop both a strong grasp of the theory and how to implement the theory.

Tutor in data communications, Eastern Institute of Technology — 1999

Teaching the data communications aspect of a first year computing degree at EIT, this role covered everything from translating the syllabus to a teaching plan, planning and running all tutorials and technical workshops, through to assessing student performance.  The material taught was designed to give students a foundation across data communications:  from an application through its network protocol to the structure of TCP/IP packets, compression, efficiently representing digital data as waves.  To assist with illustrating concepts I also developed a GUI that simulated  the OSI model.  I also covered the internals of an HTTP server and the basics of public key encryption as advanced topics for more senior classes.

Prior roles

Other roles have included contract programming, UNIX system administration, website development and teaching programming.  These roles have all been part time or short term, fitted around my studies. 

EDUCATION

University of Otago — PhD in Computer Science/Statistics (2005)

My doctorate was investigating the importance of meaning in automated processing of English.      Key results included proving that computers can better process text if they understand more and that the meaning of words can be derived autonomously.  Several algorithms for the efficient processing of large amounts of text were also developed.

University of Otago and Victoria University - BSc with honours (1997)

My undergraduate covered most areas of computer science and mathematics, from systems architecture (e.g. FPGA) to graph theory (e.g. Hamiltonian paths).  

SKILLS

I am comfortable with project management: especially with juggling a large number of smaller projects but I also have some recent experience managing large multi-team projects.  The two areas I am most experienced in are in understanding business objectives and matching them into project objectives, and in accurately estimating the time different components will take.

I have a relaxed leadership style and am used to managing senior technical staff.  Where possible I leave staff to solve problems in their own way, concentrating instead on resolving priorities, organising work, providing suggestions around approach and training through explaining how I would resolve complexities.  I have found this approach works particularly well with bright or highly experienced staff.

My analytic skills are extremely strong: academic experience on techniques; practical experience in best practice, and how to obtain meaningful results; technical skills such as how to use analytic tools (SAS, SQL); and business experience interpreting results to see their implications. I also have a very broad and deep grasp of technology.  Over the years I have been involved in almost all aspects of IT, from advanced programming to optimising data structures for a particular machine architecture.

I have always been a fast learner.  Some of the subject areas I have previously picked up simply by starting a project that required them are game theory, music theory, language theory, marketing and teaching. I enjoy the challenge of learning anything new, and this means I have had a lot of experience at learning new things.  

INTERESTS

I enjoy playing Go, which is an Asian tactical board game. I  recently represent New Zealand in Go during the World Mind Games (2008) and will represent NZ again at the World Amateur Go Championship (2011)

I also enjoy cooking for friends, tinkering with computers, helping with Linux projects, and playing other games like chess and othello.

REFERENCES

(available on request)