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Admiral Tech

A Day in the Life of a Senior Business Analyst at Admiral

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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29/12/2020

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We spoke to Kirsty Williams-Henry a Senior Business Analysis at Admiral who has worked for the company for over eight years. Here she tells us about her role and what it’s like for a woman in tech. Tell us about your career so far and what led you to a career in Technology? I would say I fell into my career in technology due to my love of all things tech from a young age: I was the first of my friends to have a PC and I used it for almost everything! I pursued my love of technology at college by doing an A-Level in computing where I was the only girl in a class of eight. I found that I had a natural flare for technology as it aligned with my love for problem solving and the logical way my brain works. I soon realised that technology was the future and I wanted to be a part of it! I went on to achieve a first-class degree in Computer Forensics at the University of Glamorgan. After graduating I became a coder and developer for a company that had forty-three men working there and me, alongside one other woman who was not in a tech-related role. After this I joined the IT Graduate Programme at Admiral where I have found a home for the past eight years. On the Graduate Programme I got to dip into lots of different roles and ended up as an IT Business Analyst, something I would never have imagined myself doing prior to the programme. What does a typical day in your role at Admiral look like?  No day at Admiral is typical! During a day at work lots of things could crop up, such as live bugs that might pull me away from other projects and diversify my day. Admiral is very good at allowing employees to try new things. Each day allows you to put a different hat on, you have a lot of freedom to explore. My day often involves meetings and discussions with Product Owners and Project Managers.  I need to be able to understand systems from their point of view and how they would be using them. This means I can explain things to them and put guides together to aid their understanding. Most of my time is spent with the Developers and Testers within my team. I translate the requirements from those on the business side of the company to those on the IT side, enabling problems to be solved. Attention to detail is key as a Business Analyst - the smallest of details must be correct for systems to function correctly. Admiral have also been great at flexible working: they have been very accommodating to me and my changing needs and have also been great at enabling us to work from home effectively during the pandemic. If you could begin your career path over, would you change anything? I would never change my job role; I love it and feel like it is a great fit for my skillset. If I had to change one thing it might be to investigate different areas of IT and more specifically IT Security as I find it an extremely interesting area. How does your work impact Admiral and its customers? My role as a Business Analysist means that I am involved in the business end-to-end. I meet those in business Operations to see the reality of how the technology that I work on is being used throughout the business, as well as any problems that might occur. From there, it is about them collectively working out what they may want from IT and the system and then it is translated into something that the IT team can take forward and work on. Being able to see how the changes really impact those working within the business services and the call centres of Admiral really inspires me to work harder and is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Do you have any advice for women that want to start a career in Technology?  It can be difficult for those in Technology to put themselves into other people’s shoes whether it be the customers, those in call centres or those in business support areas, and I have found that the women in tech that I have worked with have been excellent at doing this. The language of development and IT can also be intimidating but I encourage people to spend a day with my team so that they can see that they would easily pick it up. No one should be afraid of Technology; anyone can do it if they give it a chance! I would advise women to find the part that interests them within Technology and run with it. For example, if you have a creative mindset, there are many creative elements to IT.  You need to be an artist to write code!

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Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

A Day in the Life of a Data Warehouse Developer at Admiral

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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20/11/2020

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Meet Cara who has worked at Admiral for just under five years. Here she tells us about her role as a Data Warehouse Developer. What led you into a career in Technology and what has your journey been like so far?  I decided to do a degree in Mathematics at Swansea University because I had enjoyed maths throughout my education. This progressed to a master’s degree in Mathematics which further allowed me to pursue my love for maths. Alongside my studies I did a number of placements and internships with Swansea Hospital where I learnt about nanotechnology and the data that goes into it, and also with Morriston Hospital where I worked in laboratories and analysed the data behind them. This was the first time I had really looked into data and it helped me realise that I wanted to find a graduate scheme that involved data and also allowed for career progression in a good job that I would enjoy. I decided to apply for the Admiral Graduate Program. I went into the Data Warehouse function and have been there ever since. Although I felt as if I fell into Technology, my mother worked in IT and was a massive inspiration to me, meaning a career within Technology never felt out of reach. I am grateful for the flexible working options available at Admiral and I think that the company has coped with the COVID-19 pandemic well. Most employees are now working from home, but even before then I was part of a working from home pilot that meant I got to work from home three days a week. Core hours, that used to mean that you had to be present in the office 10am-4pm, have now been removed in IT, allowing a flexible way of working. What would a typical day in your role at Admiral look like?  Although life is very different right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, like many employees at Admiral, I do not feel as if there is a real typical day working for Admiral. When we were in the office, the first thing we would do as a team is have a morning coffee together. I really value my teammates and a big part of the love I have for my job comes from the people that I work with. After this, I have a stand-up meeting with my team which is a run through of what each of us will be working on. I can then get on with my own tasks and normally, I will code all day. I enjoy the flexibility and freedom that my role provides. How does the work you do impact Admiral as a business and its customers? I work in Data Warehouse which is of critical importance at Admiral. Recently, I have been working on a report that shows how many cars, vans and houses we have on cover each day. This report is given to Senior Management each morning to give a clear picture of the company’s standing. Although most of our Technology roles are not directly customer-facing, our teams are central to facilitating our excellent customer service experience.  Do you have any advice for women that want to get into Technology but feel intimidated?  I have personally never felt intimidated being a woman working within Technology. When doing a maths degree, which was predominantly male, I never felt as if I didn’t belong or that I didn’t deserve to be there. The advice I have for any women that want to get into Technology is that they should not be scared or intimidated. Just under a year ago I attended and gave a speech at a conference in London where around nine-thousand people attended. After I had finished my speech, I was informed that only sixteen percent of the speakers were women. This incredibly low representation of female speakers shocked me. Unfortunately however, this does reflect the representation of women working within the Technology industry. After learning more about it, I realised how great it was to be one of the few representing women in T`1echnology and showing women that if I can do it, so can they! It is great to be part of a company that aligns with my morals and advocates for equal opportunities in Technology. 

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Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

The people that make our digital vision possible: Meet our Head of Change, Matt

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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24/06/2020

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Technology is getting smarter by the second, which makes this a hugely important department but one which is also fun, friendly and relaxed. We believe that an informal, team-spirited environment where people pull together, especially in times of pressure, increases productivity. Matt, Head of Change, started at Admiral 13 years ago and has had various roles throughout his career here; from Technical Project Manager to CIO, and now he’s Head of Change. Matt’s also more recently completed his MBA at Cardiff University (not to mention also completed an Ironman outside of work!). What do you do in Admiral Tech as Head of Change?I look after all change for the UK Insurance Business with a focus on technology.What do you enjoy most about working for Admiral Tech?I’ve always liked the fact that if you’re willing to try something and get stuck in, there are lots of opportunities, your destiny is in your own hands. It’s also a healthy environment to work in.What do you think really sets Admiral Tech apart from the competition?There are a few things here; the fact that we’re the biggest tech employer in South Wales, given the size of the department. Also, we talk about becoming a tech company that sells insurance, but really this has always been the case. We were the very first direct-to-phone insurer, there’s Confused tech – the very first comparison website and Elephant - one of the first direct to consumer web only insurance providers. Tech has always been at the heart of the business and continues to be.We understand the importance of digital to the future and we’re investing a lot into it.Do you think there are lots of opportunities to grow and develop here?We have a sizeable budget for learning and development – we’re investing in certification courses, through to an all-encompassing online learning tool, PluralSight. Staff also have the ability to learn as part of their day-to-day job.  What’s the culture like at Admiral Tech and how is it changing?We’ve moved from having a structured waterfall approach to an agile environment and culture. We are seeking to give our Delivery team as much autonomy as possible to deliver and prioritise their work.What’s the most exciting project or upcoming change happening within Admiral Tech?There are a few ongoing.. We are embracing digital to ultimately delight customers.  We also have our move to cloud – using new cloud technology for scalability and flexibility, amongst other exciting projects and changes.Where is Admiral Tech heading?I think that tech is moving to an eco system based model generally over the world and if you’re not capable of playing in that field, you’ll be left behind.We’re embracing the power of tech more and more with rapid progression in tech as a key investment of the business. How will the department look in the future?The business will drive prioritisation, and tech will increase and improve to deliver what is needed. I think we’ll see fewer conversations about tech and the business being two distinct things and everything will be a change project.It’s an exciting opportunity for people given the point in the journey we’re at and the level of change that’s around the corner.

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Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

International Women’s Day: Tabatha’s Story

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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06/03/2020

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Let’s celebrate the women in our business! As the UK’s third Best Workplace for women in 2019 we’re keen to raise awareness against the bias and take action towards equality.We spoke with Tabatha, a Product Owner within our Online Department to hear about her career experience in Admiral and celebrate her success. ‘’I joined Admiral in 2015 as a Claims Handler. After I passed my probation, I went on to join a specialist team within the department. I was lucky enough to be asked to complete a full review of our claims journey which resulted in me heading into the Project Manager world. As a Project Manager I was responsible for several. Recently, I have moved to our Online Department where I am now the Product Owner for our online journey.’’                                            ‘’A lot of the projects I have been involved with have required a good understanding of processes. One of my strengths is that I can quickly pick up a new process and understand where improvements can be made and how these can be implemented. With so much interaction working with different business areas, I am constantly learning and developing my understanding of the business and its processes, this gives me the confidence to ask questions and challenge why we do what we do.’’ Talent can be found in so many different places not just work.  Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and taking risks in work and your personal life. I believe that talent shines when you are happy doing something, so spend time in understanding what makes you happy and what you enjoy!  ‘’Admiral has great management; they took a chance by giving me exposure to projects that potentially could have been better off with someone more experienced. This trust and support has allowed me to grow in confidence and go onto bigger projects, without being nervous of failure.’’

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Tech and Employability - Kimberley's Story

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Admiral Tech

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Blog

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27/02/2020

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Kimberley, currently a Delivery Manager within Admiral Tech recently sat on a panel at Cardiff University’s Careers and Employability event. Alongside Doctors and a range of business professionals, Kimberly shared her honest experience of her career.‘’Coming from a small village in Cornwall, like many others, I didn’t know where to take my career. I knew I enjoyed Maths, so I thought I would start by giving university a whirl! I applied for a maths teaching course and was accepted to university, but after completing some work experience, I knew teaching wasn’t for me. Even at that early stage of my career, I thought I had already made a mistake. I went through clearing and found a regular maths course and begun at Portsmouth University. Not every choice I made, even in the early stages was a clear decision, how could it be when I didn’t know then what I wanted.’’‘’In my final year, I was still not at the point where I knew exactly what I wanted to do, so I felt a graduate scheme could offer me some good experience, and a chance to explore my options. I then began my career enjoying my time as a Developer, but I knew I wanted to progress. I then moved into management which offered further challenges and variations.’’‘’My goal was always to be a Development Manager, however, that was a big step at that point in my career, so instead, I was offered a steppingstone to prove myself in setting up an entire Testing department. This gave me great exposure and  provided me with an opportunity to become the first female, and youngest Development Manager in another company. Of course, this was quite intimidating, joining largely male dominated committees, plus moving to London but when things seem scary at first, they simply become the norm very quickly.’’ It’s very rare for anyone to plan out each step in their career, but I see that as a good thing. I’ve learned what I want during my journey, and even though each step has been scary, I’ve settled into it, then you then look out for your next scary step. ‘’As a mum of twins balancing the world of work and life, Admiral have made this achievable and given me the flexibility to be successful. I work a 34-hour week which allows me time with my family and allows me to run a full area, being party to all relevant discussions. Our IT team all have laptops, allowing us all the facility to work from home. We measure productivity rather than hours with all our activities being able to take place remotely or on premise. Looking back to finding a last-minute university course in clearing, though all the opportunities and experiences to now, I do believe anyone can carve out a really successful career, even if you are not sure of your end goal when you begin.’’Thank you to Cardiff University for inviting us to be part of a key event in supporting the STEM women of the future. 

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

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