November 7, 2022

In Conversation With Clare Simpson, Head of Data and Insight

Every company needs someone who can take the ‘what ifs’ out of business decisions. 

At Prevayl, we have Clare Simpson. 

Clare joined us in August 2021 as our Head of Data and Insight. Since then, she’s been leading the Insight team and working closely with the rest of the company to deliver user insights to optimise product development – but there's more to her role than meets the eye. 

Here, we speak to Clare to delve deeper into her role at Prevayl. 


Q: To start, could you please introduce yourself? 

A: I’m Clare, Head of Data and Insight. 

Background-wise, I’ve always been interested in technology; I taught myself to code as a kid and learned how to build and upgrade my own PCs in my late teens. After university, I went into various IT jobs, moving from an IT project manager position to the marketing department in an insight analyst role where I fell in love with data. And I’ve been working in data ever since. 

It was also around this time that I discovered my love for fitness and tracking my own workouts, so combining my passions for technology and fitness, Prevayl just seemed like the perfect fit for me. 


Q: How did you hear about Prevayl and your role? 

A: I met Martin (Chief Innovation Officer) in 2014 when we worked for another startup in Manchester. After we both left that company, Martin made the switch to Prevayl whilst I went back to the corporate world working for a well-known international health insurer, though we stayed friends and would often go cycling together. 

Even though my new job at the time presented lots of opportunity, I really missed the buzz of startups and working directly in the health and fitness industry. But, despite multiple offers from Adam (CEO) and Martin to join Prevayl, I kept retreating to the stability of the big corporate world. 

However, I eventually decided to take the plunge after a miscarriage in April 2021, which made me re-evaluate everything. Although I had incredible support from my ex-line manager throughout the experience, I realised life is too short to be risk-averse and unfulfilled at work. So, when Martin came to me again with a final offer, I accepted it. 

And as soon as I came to Prevayl, I knew this is where I belong. 

Entry image

Q: What did you set out to achieve when you joined Prevayl?

A: I always say, my purpose here is to enable data-driven decisions. That could mean developing a feature that helps our users to decide how to train and recover, but it can also mean getting data together help the business make decisions about where to invest funds or finding out why our products are or aren’t working… so any decision that can be supported by data, be it internal or external, I see that as my responsibility. 


Q: It sounds like you have a very close working relationship with every part of the business, would you say that’s accurate? 

A: Yeah, even though my title is Head of Data, building data infrastructure is not my area of expertise – I’m an analyst – that’s more for the Digital team, because I need them to enable data for me to analyse so that I can get an insight into user behaviour, which comes from the app. 

Other than that, I also work very closely with the Hardware team who build the Sensor, because they also need access to this data. Essentially, we all work hand in hand to make this data available for whoever needs it. 


Q: How has your work impacted the business? 

A: We’re a lot more confident in our decisions than before. Although we were doing a lot of good testing before I joined, the tests weren’t long enough to provide meaningful data and there was no one to analyse this data in detail. 


Q: Of all the things you’ve achieved since you started working at Prevayl, what are you most proud of? 

A: Our small but mighty Insight team. With George (Testing and Gym Manager) and David (Senior Software Engineer) on board, we have made a big contribution to product development and our patent portfolio by improving the volume and quality of our testing as well as building some exciting new features for our customers. 


Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at what you're currently working on? 

A: Two big projects: the first one, which is something I’m personally really passionate about, is a new feature to support the female athlete. 

Your hormones at different stages of the menstrual cycle affect how your body responds to exercise and how it recovers. So, I’ve done a lot of research on that and we’ve specced up a feature which you turn on menstrual cycle tracking and – based on the workouts you’ve done that week, the intensity of your training sessions, your BodyCheck™ result and, of course, what day of the menstrual cycle you’re on – advises what kind of training is best for you that day. 

The second project focuses on the hybrid athlete. This came about because we’ve had a lot of debate about who our customer is – Is it the endurance runner, it is a cyclist, is it somebody who goes to the gym? – because all of them are very different and require different products… What we’ve come up with is this idea of the hybrid athlete, like a CrossFitter, so what they try to do in their training sessions is develop all the components of fitness in parallel without singling out endurance, strength, power or mobility. 

We’re currently working on making sure all the insights on the app are geared towards the hybrid athlete. By doing this, we’ll be able to benchmark users on different components of fitness and show where they’re stronger or weaker, and then give them tailored advice on how to balance their training. 

But there’s so much more that we’re working on for the medical and team sports verticals, so yeah, there’s lots of things going on! 


Q: What’s your favourite thing about working at Prevayl? 

A: The people. Before joining Prevayl, I was working from home full time and I thought it was going to be a challenge coming back into the office every day, but I absolutely love it. Everyone is so passionate about what they do and I really value that and the culture it creates! 


Q: Finally, just for fun, can you share a random fact about yourself? 

A: I used to play bass guitar in a rock band called Hairy Jeremy – I didn’t name it! 

November 7, 2022 - Written by Prevayl

Share this article