Staff Spotlight: Jon Gill

Regular visitors to these pages will be pleased to learn that our enlightening Staff Spotlight feature is back for 2024! This latest edition sees us catch up with recent addition to the team, Jon Gill, who’s come onboard as our new head of data & insights. Read on for a fascinating glimpse into what makes him tick, how his past experience will add value to our data operations, and a sneak peek into what his team will be working on in the future…

How did you come to work at Mobysoft?

I heard great things about the business from a former executive, with the head of data & insights role meeting my two principal career criteria of (1) working on interesting data led problems, and (2) helping make a positive difference to society.

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Curious, modest (although is it modest to say you are modest?), supportive.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your past experience within data and insights?

I began my career working for a start-up credit reference agency (CRA) which ultimately became part of TransUnion a global organisation. During this time my role grew and evolved from hands-on analyst working mainly in SAS and SQL Server to head of product and data analytics, with a team of data scientists using R, Python, and related technologies on both Azure and AWS clouds, across the credit lifecycle. Developing a keen interest in Open Banking, I went on to lead a similar product data science function at MasterCard, building out a lending proposition across Europe.

What does your role at Mobysoft entail?

My role is to lead a talented team tasked with discovering and developing value from data, whether that is realised as predictive models, dashboards, or insightful reports. To do this our team blends several key skill sets – data engineering, data analytics, data science and business intelligence. Data value creation is a function of the input data (e.g. quality and breadth), the technology, the talented people to develop it and the context within which we operate. As such the team and I are working to further refine our data strategy, our use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and our understanding of the social housing sector.

What is the most interesting part of your job?

Learning about a new sector and the data it creates/works with, especially how it has parallels with my previous consumer credit experiences (which included work on affordability, financial vulnerability, fuel poverty, tenancy/rent modelling and arrears management).

What are your biggest challenges at the moment?

Personally, it’s getting up-to-speed quickly with the key sector needs, learning the associated new vocabulary/acronyms and the detail of Mobysoft’s existing data-driven product set. For the area I would say it’s keeping on top of the constant wave of new approaches and technologies, whilst staying focused on key outcomes and delivery.

What’s most meaningful part of your job?

Working with some great people, both in the data team, the wider business and our clients, helping to support them as we continue to deliver and innovate on class leading, data driven products for the sector.

How do you measure the success of the outcomes directly influenced via your role?

We’re starting to regularly assess lead measures tied to objectives and key results (OKRs) helping us keep on track and ensuring good lag metric outcomes. A key component here relates to our team health check, looking at a basket of lead and lag measures, including the team members day to day work experience ratings, data quality scores, the number of experiments we are running and the completeness of our documentation. As I’m still relatively new here, it’s early days so we’ll continue to iterate as we go.

What would you say are the biggest challenges faced by social landlords in the current climate?

What I have witnessed so far is a need for social landlords to do ever more with ever less. Getting data into shape and building a solid data foundation looks to be a challenge for many, whilst others are grappling with how to sensibly and safely bring AI into the organisation. Both aspects, when got right, will provide key components to meet the ‘more with less’ ask.

Working on anything interesting at the moment?

Two key areas of interest. Firstly, our business intelligence team has produced excellent work to demonstrate refreshed return on investment outputs across our main product set, which provides a compelling story. Secondly our data science team has produced an early warning of potential rent arrears (Automated Arrears Prevention) which is tied into a predictive text automation solution (a friendly text message to tenants to help them stay on top of their finances). This pattern of data-driven discovery tied to next best actions is one we are keen to apply in multiple areas.

How would you describe Mobysoft and what it does to the uninitiated?

A cool place to work. In short, Mobysoft provides unrivalled data insight to social housing providers that allows them to make the best decisions for the benefit of their tenants. This company provides teams with so much sector and product knowledge who in turn openly share so many great ideas that the mind boggles with potential. As a way through this, clusters of ideas will begin to emerge from your copious notes, which can be linked to pressing sector needs, resulting in a prioritised schedule of experiments to run.

What has been your proudest achievement in your career to date?

Back in the mid noughties I helped develop a product set which ultimately transformed the UK consumer credit landscape from one centred on an individual’s previous lending performance to a system, that as a matter of routine, includes an affordability dimension. Affordability being based on the innovative collection, calculation and use of income data. As such I like to think I have played a small role in supporting responsible UK lending decisions.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mobysoft?

Too early to say.

What are your other passions outside housing?

Many and varied, taking a big one – I’ve recently picked up the sticks again, after many years out, to play drums in a band.

How do you unwind after work?

Doing something with my sons (usually football in the back garden – good job we have forgiving neighbours), watching films with my wife, and playing the guitar.

What is your ideal holiday?

Any time away with my two sons and my wife is my ideal holiday, whether at home or abroad, whether staying in a tent or a hotel.

That’s another Staff Spotlight done and dusted (and a very insightful one it was too!). If you enjoyed it, then why not check out some of the previous editions? Just head over to the Blogs section of our website and you’ll find them all nestling in there.

Dean Quinn
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