Johnian magazine issue 46, autumn 2020
Abi Adebayo: since St John’s
Abi is a Business Intelligence Developer for the mobile games company Coda as well as running her own company Abi’s Analytics. Read about both endeavours in this article, alongside how she manages her time and builds relaxation into her busy schedule.
Available, high-quality and consumable data is undeniably important for increasing companies’ efficiency. In my role as a data engineer at Coda, I ensure that data is stored optimally and updated on time, and I work on processes that transform raw data into easily digestible formats.
My role makes life easier for other members of the company, such as the marketing team, who are able to focus on key information during their analysis of campaign performances. I also streamline business operations and make my colleagues’ work less repetitive by identifying and automating frequently run pieces of analysis they request or create.
Coda is a very young company. It was established in 2019 to provide a platform that allows independent game developers and studios to test, launch and grow their games as quickly as possible. The best part about this process is that the game does not need to be fully built prior to working with us.
We test the marketability of the game to understand whether it can be grown and later on monetised, and we then support the game on an ongoing basis by ensuring that it is monetised in the best way and that it provides a good user experience to gamers. I support this process by ensuring that the weekly reports for the external developers are available on time and can be quickly updated.
The company atmosphere is very fast-paced, and the general ethos is experimental. We implement new ideas on a regular basis, the logic being that we can ‘fail quickly’ in order to figure out what works best.
Like most smaller companies, Coda has had to adapt to the way COVID-19 has changed the start-up vibe and work environment. However, we were already familiar with working remotely since we have teams in Istanbul, Ankara and London, so not much has changed other than the drive to further improve our online communication.
It is incredibly difficult to have a satisfying work life without a healthy wellbeing.
Research has shown that there are a few industries that have benefited from COVID-19, including the gaming industry, online fashion retailing and health apps. Coda has certainly experienced a change in the way people interact with our platform over the last year, but it is unclear whether the increase we see is due to COVID-19 or the efforts the company has put into increasing the number of games we test and the number of developers and studios we work with.
In September 2018 I founded Abi’s Analytics, which is a data consultancy start up that supports companies by setting up their data infrastructure in the best way possible. We focus on ensuring that early stage companies get it right the first time, and we also help larger companies pivot to a more modern solution.
Early on in my career, I realised that companies found it far easier to make their business data-driven as it grew if they employed someone who was data-savvy and knowledgeable about the industry from the start. Abi’s Analytics was created to offer this decision-making support to companies that do not yet have the resources to hire an entire data team.
Transitioning from being a permanent employee to building a brand is a challenge – and an invaluable experience. It quickly became apparent that I needed to know who I was and what I was bringing to the table in order to grow the business.
I would love to expand Abi’s Analytics and for it to become autonomous and less dependent on me as an individual, and I am constantly thinking about the best way to approach this.
My take on entrepreneurship is that if you have an idea, there is no harm in trying it. Many of us struggle with perfectionism, which hinders the development of ideas – but an idea is not meant to be bulletproof, especially before being trialled. Concepts should evolve based on feedback and experience.
Fear of failure is one of the largest obstacles when it comes to starting a business, and it’s important to redefine our notion of success. Once we accept that (in most cases) failure is inevitable, we allow ourselves much more room to play.
As you can tell, I can be a bit of a workaholic. I had to recognise early on that work is not life. It is incredibly difficult to have a satisfying work life without a healthy wellbeing and vice versa.
The job that pays the most won’t necessarily be the job that gives you the healthiest balance. Similarly, the job that comes easiest may not be the job that provides the environment you need to grow. If you have the privilege, I suggest spending time to find a career that you truly enjoy.
It’s also important to have hobbies outside of work and to find ways to clear your mind to avoid burn-out. Currently I model, boulder, study Korean and create music in my spare time, and I get out of London and travel whenever I can.
I have this ethos of using my free time to try anything I find vaguely interesting. If it sticks, I run with it for a while. In September I had my first brand shoot for a sustainable fashion brand, which was exciting. I also had my first single launch on Spotify.
When I was studying at St John’s, my personal tutor encouraged mindfulness as a way for me to stay in touch with my state at any moment, and since then I have practiced it weekly alongside meditation and therapy. My hobbies can be quite taxing, so I’m grateful to have these go-to methods of recharging.
Abi is a Business Intelligence Developer who is interested in helping start-ups and scale-ups. She works for the mobile games publishing platform Coda and has founded her own company Abi’s Analytics to promote a data-driven mindset in businesses.