Career profile: Understanding the marketplace

Career profile: Understanding the marketplace

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Totally Gaming
SIS insights manager Simon Free outlines his goals

New SIS insights manager Simon Free discusses the importance of his role in the betting industry services provider’s understanding of its customers and the wider marketplace


Simon Free, Insights Manager, SIS

Career: Microsoft, Ladbrokes, BSkyB, Sainsburys

Education: University of Manchester (BA, Business Management, Sports Studies & IT) Could you tell us about your career so far?

Simon Free: "I’ve spent over 17 years in a mix of research, analytical, insight and marketing roles and have been lucky enough to work for some great companies including Sainsburys, Sky, Ladbrokes, Microsoft and now SIS. My area of interest and passion has always been using insight to provide understanding and solutions to business problems, as well as supporting senior stakeholders’ decision-making that delivers strategic objectives."

TG: You have worked for a number of big companies before taking up this position, what is the appeal of SIS?

Simon Free: "SIS is in the midst of an exciting period of diversification and the future of the company looks very bright indeed. It’s a nimble company where I’m looking forward to making a positive mark. I’m relishing being back in the betting and gaming sector and the new B2B-focused role will be challenging and exciting in equal measure."

TG: Could you tell us more about the Insights Manager role?

Simon Free: "The role of an insight manager is to provide new, relevant, and timely information, as well as the research or analysis that offers internal stakeholders greater understanding of their customers and, from a B2B perspective, their customer’s customer. My role will support strategic decision-making and drive SIS’s objectives.

"The role of insights manager is a new one at SIS, which presents both an opportunity and a challenge. I firmly believe this is a key position for SIS in that it will give the company an opportunity to develop deeper understanding of the marketplace and the needs of current and prospective customers, and their customers."

TG: What will be your focus in your first few months in the role?

Simon Free: "My initial focus is to work closely with key stakeholders from across the business to understand what key insights their areas can benefit from in the short and medium term. I will also be working on projects that will help prioritise international focus and product development, as well as monitoring competitor activity."

TG: Do you believe it is important in a role such as yours to have experience across the market?

Simon Free: "The betting and gaming sector is unique in many ways and previous experience is vitally important for an insight role. The breadth of understanding required spans across consumers, customers, competitors and suppliers and is difficult to replicate in other industries.

"The products offered by operators can often be underpinned by complicated maths, technological solutions and supplier operating arrangements meaning that it is essential that someone in an insight role has a wealth of knowledge to enable them to operate effectively with colleagues, industry peers and suppliers.

"SIS has been at the centre of the betting industry for nearly 30 years and will continue to be for a long time to come. I’m excited to help shape the future of the company through insights gained both internally and externally and I can’t wait to get started."

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