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May 18, 2017
A day in the life of an Ideation Analyst…
By: Catharine Renney

In this blog I wanted to talk a bit about my day-to-day.

First and absolute foremost, I always avoid the tube at rush hour. People are angry, rushing and generally unpleasant and this method of transport is not conducive to starting your day in a positive way. To combat this? As I recently signed up to run the Hackney Half Marathon I have decided to avoid the sweaty, stuffy, struggle of the Northern line by running to work. By doing this, I experience the double benefit of being able to train for the run and avoiding being squished between too many people. I like the idea of cycling but I am a bit nervous of the safety (or lack thereof) for cyclists in London so this might be my next challenge I set for myself. I would advise an active commute in the form of exercise where possible, not to sound like every other person but releasing those endorphins is a great way to begin the day (don’t worry, I’m not going to being listing out the benefits of eating breakfast).

When I get into the office, I do all the normal ‘admin’ tasks that I have, checking emails, ensuring I know and prep for all the meetings I have upcoming, and I always make a to do list of my actions for the day. I like structure and I like to have a clear idea of what I need to do before the day of the deadline to avoid stress and manage my time properly. In the Innovation Programme, I am really fortunate to have an amazing team who are supportive, fun and also very talented in their respective fields, I am given a lot of independence so managing my time and meeting deadlines is pivotal. Our team is quite analyst heavy which is good as you can always ask questions and learn from one another. One of my favourite meetings which occurs bi-weekly is called an ‘Idea Development Meetings’, in this meeting we discuss the various innovative ideas that have come out of ideation sessions and progressed through to analyse their business viability, technical feasibility human desirability, to find the sweet spot, of a successful idea. In the meetings, the ideas are presented back to us, and everyone from analyst to senior manager can give their input. I find this kind of meeting enjoyable because it is interactive and collaborative, allowing you to speak up but also listen to other’s points of view, learning something new from everyone. This is just one of the Innovation Programme meetings, I attend many smaller meetings with the three-person Ideation team, of which I am the analyst, but writing an endless list of which meetings I attend is dull so I won’t drone on too much about that.

A fun ‘side of desk’ activity which I support with, is to do hub tours, for Accenture employees, clients or external groups like university/school technology and start-up communities. The Innovation Hub, located on 7th floor of Accenture HQ in London is where the Innovation Programme showcases all the proof of concepts (POCs) that have been developed by the Hot House team after being run through the ‘filter’ of the various Innovation Programme teams. These POCs are developed in 6-8 weeks using agile sprints. The current ‘theme’ for the hub is the RBS 6 Nations, which means that there are lots of POCs for rugby fans; notably, a mixed reality immersive experience, where users can put on a headset and pretend they are in a game, throwing the ball, having the opposition run at them and experiencing the roar of the crowd. Secondly, there is a visual analytics dashboard which uses tonnes of data from the RBS tournament (past and present) and streamlines it all into an easy-to-understand format. It also predicts the winner of each game, and currently has a 100% success rate, which has legally bound those from working on the project to not participate in gambling on the games. It’s great to have the exposure to the boldest and brightest emerging technology that is incorporated into these POCs, and to be able to play around with it all, is always great fun!

 

These are just two examples of my tasks, next time I will be talking about my main role responsibility, and one of the main reasons I love my job: facilitating workshops internally within Accenture and externally with clients, sharing my personal experiences and how I have honed my skills in this area!

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