In our “5 Questions With …” blog series, we’ve been spotlighting the great talent we have at TVSquared. Next up is Regina Berengolts, Head of Data Science.
Regina joined TVSquared in 2017 and is based in Edinburgh. In her role, she leads a team of data scientists to deliver internal product research, develop new products (and enhance existing ones) and deliver external data consultancy projects for clients.
What is your favorite part of working at TVSquared?
Without a doubt, the best part (out of many great parts!) is the people. Everyone is incredibly smart, friendly, hardworking and willing to help each other out. With a growing team and busy workloads, people will always make the time to help you solve a problem or answer a question.
Is there an aspect of your role you’re particularly excited about right now?
Absolutely! One of the most difficult elements of running successful data science projects is transitioning them from a one-time prototypical model to a scalable, automated and fully developed product. We’re currently in the process of making that happen with a new, soon-to-be announced product. It’s been really exciting to see the collaboration between teams to get it ready, and I’m looking forward to repeating the process with each new product we’re working on.
What is your biggest achievement in your role here?
While I can’t take full credit for this particular achievement – as these things take a village. I’m particularly proud of the development of our data science team. When I first started at TVSquared, there was no defined data science function. Since then, the team has grown and developed into a valued function across the business, supporting tasks ranging from internal process improvements, new product design, research, development and product enhancements.
Given the hurdles that data science teams often face, it can be difficult to demonstrate the value to invest in this kind of team. As a team, we’ve been working hard to showcase the value data science can bring and have been rewarded with trust and greater investment.
What’s your favorite TV ad campaign?
Finding ways to detect Adstock and brand awareness have been common topics among my team. The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the Energizer Bunny campaign.
“You mean the Duracell Bunny,” Hew Bruce-Gardyne (esteemed TVSquared co-founder) exclaims over my shoulder.
“No, sir,” I state triumphantly, “the Energizer Bunny. And thank you for giving me a platform to explain my point.”
Both Duracell and Energizer have mascots that are anthropomorphic pink rabbits powered by batteries. While the Duracell Bunny predates the Energizer Bunny, Duracell failed to renew its U.S. trademark. This allowed Energizer to trademark its own bunny in North America. As a result, North Americans know the pink bunny as the Energizer Bunny. While Europeans recognize their battery-powered pink bunny from Duracell.
I believe the Energizer Bunny campaign really demonstrates the power of TV to promote a brand effectively. Not just for immediate response, but also for long-term recall-ability and brand awareness. It’s been a wonderful (and mildly terrifying) sight to see the level of passion, brotherhood and brand loyalty among my North American and European co-workers in defense of their respective bunnies. I’m not convinced that any other medium, aside from TV, could instill that kind of wide-spread passion and knowledge. All in reference to a pink bunny mascot.
You came from a much smaller tech startup before joining TVSquared. Can you talk about the data science experience at both companies?
My previous company was much smaller. Between eight and 12 people. Data science was its core selling point. Essentially, the strategy was that the insight would come first and the product would follow.
At TVSquared, there is a greater balance between the insight and the product itself. Including how it’s used, the features, the functionality, etc. The insight is a core component. But I’ve learned how important it is to focus on a product that is functional rather than just what the data is saying. I’ve also found that this shifts the priority of support and resources (which is important due to the inherent finite supply).
At TVSquared, I’ve developed a very different skillset compared to the one I employed at my previous company. Learning to juggle projects, prioritize workloads and make a clear business case has offered a steep learning curve. This has meant I’ve been able to support the needs of data science on a much larger scale and at a quicker pace than anything I experienced before. As part of a fast-growing company, there are also opportunities to learn and improve, both for myself and the wider team. I’m really excited to see what challenges we have to tackle next!