As part of our Q&A blog series, Adam Quirke, our Market Development Representative, talks bridging the gap between marketing and sales – and why, in business, data alone is not enough.
What’s your job role at InterSystems and what does it involve?
I’m the Market Development Representative at InterSystems, which involves supporting the marketing team when it comes to increasing InterSystems’ presence across business sectors. I’m also responsible for engaging and nurturing relationships with prospective clients to pinpoint their requirements and feed this back to the wider sales team.
Can you give a brief background of your career prior to InterSystems?
I’ve come to InterSystems from Gartner, where I worked as a research content specialist. My role was to understand the IT questions clients had (anything from “what job spec should we use for a Java developer?” to “where should I site my new datacentre?”) and work out the underlying issue, then identify which research or analyst would be best placed to help with answering the request.
Prior to that I worked for JustIT Apprenticeships, where my role was to engage and initiate an interest in the Government’s apprenticeship scheme. This was across a huge range of companies, from small businesses of 15-20 people right up to global organisations such as Nomura, Mayer Brown and Sainsbury’s.
What attracted you to the role/business?
The opportunity to join a forward-looking organisation which is already a leader in its field – especially at a time when the business is looking to move into new market sectors. Personally, I see this role as the link in the chain between the marketing team and the sales department. I feel there is a lot of scope not just to help the company prosper, but to shape the process and direction that allows it to do so.
Why does data matter?
Data is vital, not just for companies, but for individuals. The knowledge we have and share is what keeps the world turning. However, just having the data is not enough. It needs to be information you can readily access and understand, otherwise it’s just clutter.
We’re also in an age where the amount of data available is massively increasing, and very quickly – meaning we’re often chasing to try and keep up with it. Because of this, I would say the data platform technology is probably just as important as the data itself. Think of a library: if you placed books randomly on any shelf, rather than in order, then it wouldn’t matter if the book you needed was there or not – you wouldn’t be able to find it anyway. It’s the same principle with data management. You’ve got to ensure that the data is stored in a way that makes it easily retrievable, or it can’t be utilised to its full potential.
What’s your view on utilising data for business benefits?
Data is vital in making a business successful. This is not a new idea – even in pre-computer times a shop would need to know which items sell well and which don’t, otherwise they’d go out of business. The difference these days is that there is so much information available, which means businesses are able to build a better picture of their clients, mapping their needs and preferences.
How do you see data and its uses evolving in the future?
The ability to analyse data quicker, especially with inventions like quantum computers, will allow us to solve more and more complex problems such as encryption, cybersecurity and optimisation of supply chain logistics – which will then mean that more and more data will be needed.
With artificial intelligence becoming more and more sophisticated thanks to big data, I also think autonomous vehicles will become the norm within the next 20-30 years. The main block will be people’s willingness to ‘trust’ a machine. In fact, the vast majority of roles should become automated in the near future for similar reasons.
After all, what’s the point of progress if not to improve things for the human race?