Working Life Blog
Passion and Career Development.
Andrew Fox-McKay – Customer Success Lead
When I began work at Aridhia it was the first time in my life that I felt my job made a real difference in the world. I get to work with the likes of Great Ormond Street, Alzheimer’s and COVID-19 study consortiums, cancer research institutions, universities, and more. Take as an example one aspect of my role: using feedback to further improve our training services. Under other circumstances or in a different job, I would think of this as a straightforward exercise: but at Aridhia, I know that the eventual result of my efforts will be better outcomes for patients all over the world. That thought is what keeps me motivated to do my very best each day.
I came to the company initially as a Sales and Marketing Support Executive, working closely with the Enablement and Marketing teams, as well as the CEO. I was quickly introduced to our main offering, AnalytiXagility (the precursor to what we now call Workspaces) and was struck by the potential applications it could have had during my own university degree. The DRE is presented as a multidisciplinary environment, so that all stakeholders can get something out of it, regardless of technical expertise. I am not a data scientist or a clinical researcher like many of our users and staff, but I am still capable of utilising many of the analytical tools available in the platform. All levels are catered to, and it didn’t take long before I was giving product demonstrations myself.
Aridhia has always been a collaborative and supportive space for me to grow in. From my induction in the first two weeks onwards, there was an ethos of openness that made it very easy to seek help and learn more. The leadership is always keen to keep the wider company informed on the direction the business is heading, and employees are frequently asked about their views and suggestions on company matters. I really feel comfortable weighing in on company matters, and that my opinions and questions are appreciated (even on the occasions I realised the answers were obvious).
As company priorities shifted, it opened opportunities for me to shift my career in a new direction, taking up a new role that tied more into my strengths and interests. As the Customer Success Lead, one aspect of my job involves building and maintaining Aridhia’s online training courses for users. I take new features of our product suite and create coaching videos and other content for users to refer to. I also work closely with other members of our wider Enablement team to produce marketing and product demonstration materials, and I assist in pre-sales support with a team at Microsoft (as the DRE is Azure-based). Like other SMEs of similar size, there are times when other teams may require support, so I have been known to occasionally stretch my skillset and engage in project work or service desk support when needed.
One of the projects that was of greatest interest to me involved the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia Consortium (EPAD). I worked with them to help model and shape a system that researchers used to make access requests for EPAD data releases. I then ensured that approved applications received their data in our workspaces. Research teams who were used to waiting months for clinical data were now receiving it within 24 hours. Much of this work has since been supplanted by FAIR Data Services, which now provides an integrated and much more advanced version of this system for (among others) the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative (ADDI) which is led by Gates Ventures. This includes customisable data access and approval workflows, options for de-identification, and synthetic data generation. We’re making a huge difference in clinical research, cutting out huge blocks of time that used to be wasted on discovering and accessing the right data, leaving research teams to focus on what’s important: research.