Employee Spotlight: Aroan Kebede
May 28, 2021
Aroan joined our Sourcepoint family as a Data Analyst after we acquired Redbud in October 2020. He joined Redbud in March 2020 as a recent graduate of University of Nottingham with a Bachelor of Engineering. Aroan has been an integral part of the Diagnose customer success team, bringing a strong skill set of data analysis and visualization.
What does your day-to-day look like?
The “day-to-day” varies a lot – it’s not fixed in any sense and dependent on what is needed at a given moment. We’ve been signing on a lot of new clients, so recently a lot of my day is onboarding them and helping them get the most of our product. I’ve also been helping train other team members to use Diagnose, our vendor insights and analytics product.
What do you do at Sourcepoint?
As part of the Diagnose customer success team, I really enjoy the range of work that we do in particular analysing and presenting bespoke projects back to our clients. For example, I created scorecards that provided a summary of the performance of our client’s sites against different performance metrics, which helped them identify specific areas that they weren’t performing well in and could focus on improving. And on the compliance side, I’ve worked on ranking IAB vendors based on certain criteria which describe the strength of their privacy policies. This helps our clients evaluate which vendors they want to work with and informs how they curate their list.
What made you choose a startup for your first job?
At university, I studied chemical engineering, which is not related to the privacy space. But when I started applying for jobs, I was looking for roles that would let me work with big data and allow me to develop my data analysis skills. Redbud presented itself as a great opportunity to do that, which was confirmed when I met with Rhys and Chloe and experienced the culture they built there. Later, Redbud was acquired by Sourcepoint so I got to join the bigger team here while remaining in the startup space.
I have really enjoyed working with a startup especially because I haven’t been fixed in my role. I can look at different aspects of the business and if I see something interesting, I can get involved. I also wasn’t always working with clients, but I was able to push for that and now it’s a big part of my job. And that’s the most satisfying part: taking raw data and interpreting it into something that’s meaningful for a client and seeing my work benefit our business and theirs.
What has changed since Redbud was acquired?
My day-to-day hasn’t really changed but we can now provide support for Diagnose in different countries and work with a bigger set of clients in those different regions. As we scale, we’re also establishing operational processes, which has been very beneficial. The acquisition happened during the pandemic, so I am really looking forward to going back to the office here in the UK as well as meeting the other teams in the US and Europe in person.
What has been your perception of the privacy sphere?
I didn’t have any real understanding of the space when I first joined. That was an important part of the learning process, especially as this was my first job after graduating. I had to learn what working full-time meant, while learning about the industry around compliance and the advertising ecosystem. Even now, it’s been interesting to see how the industry and regulations evolves. Last year we helped our EU clients through the transition from TCF v1 to v2 in a way that would minimize revenue loss. Recently we’ve been providing solutions to address changes to iOS, or figuring out how Diagnose can be used to improve Core Web Vitals. Things are always changing!
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to tech as their first job?
For more product-related roles, I’d say try and understand the technical requirements you’ll need to know or will need to learn. When I applied for this job, I was asked to create a dashboard in Tableau and present it. I had never used Tableau before but I had to learn how to use it on the spot. If you don’t have a skill that you’ll need, be prepared to learn it.
And really, for anyone in their first job, my advice would be to always be hungry to learn. Lean on people with more experience than you. Don’t assume you know everything or that you’re an expert, but don’t be afraid to take initiative and reflect what you learn.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Rhys and Chloe would always push me to ask questions, and write the answers down. When I started at Redbud, everybody would have these notebooks. When we had meetings, my tendency was to not write anything down and just listen – try and store it in my head! Chloe and Rhys would say “Aroan you’re not writing this down!” and later on, I would have questions that would have been answered by those notebooks. The process of documentation can help your memory and your understanding of a new task immensely.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
Attention to detail is very important. You can’t be making simple mistakes when writing queries or setting up scans as they just won’t work. Things are always changing in this industry, so being keen to learn and innovate has been crucial, as well as the ability to be flexible. I have had to be adaptable, working on different projects at the same time, and managing priorities as they shift.
What are your career goals for the next few years?
I want to pick up more technical skills, maybe learn some coding languages. In terms of career path, the main thing for me is to keep working with data. I want to learn more about the advertising ecosystem and the privacy space. At the moment, I understand Diagnose and the challenges we’re solving for publishers very well, but I have not had the years in the industry yet that would help me build a broader skill set and the kind of perspective that only comes with experience. I want to always be broadening my scope.
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