For this weeks Meet the Team, we are talking to effini’s CEO and founder, Dr Jo Watts. We chat about her background looking to the stars, to finding the value in data.
What is your role at effini?
I am the CEO and the founder of effini. Alongside Sam, my work covers the finances and business strategy of the company, as well as developing effini. I also do a lot of strategy work with our clients.
How did you get into a career in data?
I did a PhD in Astrophysics in Edinburgh at the Royal Observatory. Part of my work was taking the data we collected from telescopes and making sense of it. This really developed my interest in data and from there, I’ve worked in a variety of roles including creating models for how ships bend when at sea. Other things I have done include working as a software developer for a company that made gearbox design software and building risk models in financial services. These roles were very different but all really valuable experience for me. The thread that joined them all together was data.
What made you want to found effini?
I noticed there was a gap in the market for supporting smaller businesses with data. As they generally don’t have the expertise to make the best use of it, I felt that there needed to be someone who could help provide the knowledge and skills. This led to me founding effini and to where we are now.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
Being able to help companies see the value in their data is great. The difference it makes can be huge at times, especially for start-ups and small businesses.
What do you enjoy doing with your time away from work?
I’m part of the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra as the principal oboe and part of the Waverley Ladies squash team. During lockdown I also started knitting again, which really helps me switch off. Since then, I’ve made a few jumpers and socks, and as part of the recent craft competition we had, a crocheted elephant!