Speaker Spotlight: Jeremy Horne’s Insights from a Career in Data-Driven Marketing

Numbers have always guided Jeremy Horne’s career path. From a background in Mathematics, he took a unique turn into the world of Marketing Analytics. This exploration led him to assess cutting-edge technology and ultimately found Datacove, a thriving data-driven business. Join us as we explore Jeremy’s insights on navigating the ever-changing world of tech.

Can you share a bit about your background?

Numbers, Data and Analytics have always been in my blood. My dad was a Mathematician, so numbers were always very important in my house. Maths degree in hand many years later, I was offered a six week summer job whilst on the cricket pitch – assessing a leading City of London think tank’s ground breaking machine learning technology (this was 2005).

There was clearly rather more assessing to do as it was only nine years later I left and went into the world of marketing analytics, working for various agencies to re-purpose their data offerings around predictive analytics, rather than reactive reporting. Then of course came Datacove. Having my own business had always been the long term goal and I’m so glad things managed to align perfectly for me to do that in 2020 (not everyone’s favourite year, I know!)

Did you come up through a “traditional” techie route or has your career taken twists and turns along the way?

I would say I’m a lot more traditional that most I know. Once I had my Maths degree, I always knew I wanted to do something with numbers and have never really looked back since!

Reflecting on your career, is there a specific moment that stands out as pivotal or defining?

For me, the pivotal moment was definitely moving to Brighton. I know that doesn’t sound much like a career move, but it made me quickly realise I wanted to fit my career around my life and not the other way round. I ditched the commute and used the extra thinking time to finally start planning what my business would look like. Over three years into Datacove, I’m proud to say I walk my son to school pretty much every morning – something that wouldn’t have been possible with the crack of sparrows train to London!

What piece of advice would you give your younger self as you embarked on your professional journey?

With tech, I would always say take a step back more often. It’s very easy to get excited about a new piece of kit or some ground breaking data, but rather than getting stuck in, you always need to think about what it means and how you’re going to use it. From a coding perspective, you will also always encounter challenges and it’s easy to get sucked into sitting in front of the screen until they are overcome – whereas the better and more sensible approach is to step away, get some air and go again later.

Looking ahead, what’s your big prediction for the tech landscape in 2024?

With the emergence of OpenAI, a lot of people are fancying themselves as newfound tech geniuses – I think as we get deeper into 2024, many will begin to realise the pitfalls of these tools and how important a general framework around their use will be.

Considering your involvement in Silicon Brighton and community-building, what does the concept of ‘community’ mean to you personally? How important is it in the tech industry?

Community has always been important for me. When I first moved to Brighton, I longed for the similar buzz to some of the tech communities I was part of in London, but it took a few years for it to really kick off (thanks to Silicon Brighton). For me a community is a safe space for you learn, grow and flourish. It’s somewhere for like-minded individuals to come together, share experience and ultimately have fun! In tech, this is vital because we’re all encountering similar challenges daily – and this provides a forum to talk those through with others that may have experienced something similar in the past.

How do you balance staying updated with the latest industry trends while ensuring continuous personal and professional growth? Any specific resources or practices you find particularly valuable?

Two things for me – social media (yes, boring I know). I know there’s a lot of noise there, but if you take the time to have a quick scroll on the morning commute or whilst standing around at the school gates, you can really see the nuggets of innovation starting to happen. Further afield, Slack communities are really helpful at both understanding and contributing to the tech landscape. Away from the screen, I love networking (if you know me, you’ll know I’m always up for a chat – and more so if I have a beer in my hand). I really enjoy talking to like-minded people and finding out what they’re working on and learning from their experiences.

As someone who has contributed significantly to the community, how do you see mentorship playing a role in the development of the next generation of tech professionals?

Mentoring is really important and something I wish I’d had more of early on in my career. Tech professionals tend to take on a bit of a stereotype (I won’t say it, but I’m sure many of you are correctly picturing the “tech guy” in your head now). It’s so much more than that though and there’s a lot to be said for the softer skills which are much harder to teach. I’d love more people to focus on fine tuning these skills, rather than trying to learn every piece of tech under the sun.

Is there any additional wisdom, experience, or anecdotes you’d like to share with our audience?

Probably loads! Rather than trying to put all my wisdom into one box, I’d love people to come up and share their challenges and experiences with me at one of your events – that way I can share more specific and tailored advice to their situation.

Anything else you would like to promote to our community?

We run a lot more than just events in Brighton – did you also know we run the R user groups in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth! If you could pass on our meetups to anyone you know in those communities, I’d really appreciate it – and of course we have the big tech conference (EARL) in Brighton in September, which I’d just love to talk to more of you about.

The more we can showcase our city as the UK centre of excellence, the better it would be for everyone – so if you can play a role, whether it’s attendee, speaker or sponsor, I’d love to hear from you! You can grab your EARL tickets here.