Life at Cleo

What Do You Do? Analytics Lead

Callum joined us back in 2022 and since then has been an essential team member. We caught up with him to learn what an Analytics Lead gets up to at Cleo.

what do you do? analytics lead callum ballard

Tell us a bit about what you do

Like pretty much every other tech company, Cleo is made up of cross-functional squads, and collections of squads that work on thematically similar things (e.g. our chat functionality) are grouped together into ‘Pillars’.

My role as an Analytics Lead sits at the pillar level, so I manage product analysts in the squads, work to ensure that analytics and reporting in the pillar is tight, and contribute my own IC pieces to help other pillar leads to define product strategy.

How did you first get into your field?

My degree is in Math and Economics, so I’ve always been a data nerd at heart. I was in consulting for several years out of university, and often found myself extolling the benefits of ‘big data’ and ‘advanced analytics’ to clients, without really fully grasping what that even meant… 

So I took the plunge, and did a year-long data science course with Flatiron. From there, I ended up in consumer app product analytics at an edutech company, before joining Cleo as an analytics lead almost 2 years ago.

What's your favorite project that you've worked on?

My favorite thing was probably a big project to standardize how our many squads do AB testing and experimentation. If you’re interested, I wrote a blog about it here.

Experimentation is a huge part of Cleo’s product development, so it was nice to take a step back, and think more deeply about how we could help a big chunk of the company work smarter. It was great to see how loads of teams across the company benefited from this project, and they have adopted good practices as a result.

How has AI impacted your work?

I’m not too worried about the threat of obsolescence just yet… Tools like ChatGPT are just that–tools that can help you work more efficiently. I have used it to bash out gruntier bits of Python, improve the performance of gnarly SQL queries, and otherwise generate surreal images to use as headers on Notion pages, but I don’t think it’s coming for my job anytime soon!

I’ve definitely found limitations with AI. For example, we have tried to get ChatGPT to summarize peer feedback in performance review writing season, but the outputs can be very generic and impersonal, which is not at all what you would want as a line report. 

Where can we find you when you're not at work?

In my bedroom, hunched over an unnecessarily elaborate guitar pedalboard.

Any advice for potential Cleo applicants?

One of the top things I look for as an interviewer, besides the bread and butter analytics stuff, is clarity of thought. After being asked a question, feel free to take a moment to think it through so that you’re able to answer in as structured a way as possible. 

Oh, and if your answer contains a metric tree of some description, I’ll probably just pass you, no questions asked 👀

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To celebrate reaching 1,000,000 users we decided to clear someone’s overdraft.
Life at Cleo

1 Million users and counting

To celebrate reaching 1,000,000 users we decided to clear someone’s overdraft. Here’s the moment John got all his debt wiped. Thanks to everyone who participated, everyone who came to meet us, and every single person now talking to Cleo across the UK, USA and Canada.


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