A day in the life in the rapid projects team, with Matt Bridge

We chat with Matt Bridge, a Business Intelligence Consultant at VISFO. He tells us his favourite parts of the job and what he loves doing when he isn't at work!
Reading time: 4 minutes
Matt Bridge
Matt Bridge

By Matt Bridge and Dr Claire Tkacz

Matt joined us as a Business Intelligence Consultant in February 2022. Now that he’s been with us for a few months, we had a chat with Matt about how he’s been settling in and how he’s managed to turn a passion for numbers into career focused on helping people.

1. What does a typical day as a Business Intelligence Consultant look like?

First things first, every day starts with walking the dog. Fresh air is exactly what I need to get going… Well, that and caffeine! In my role, I tend to have a lot of projects on the go at once, so prioritisation is important. I usually start by assessing where I am with each project, checking whether anything new has come in and then setting out my priorities for the day based on delivery timelines. Most days involve some project management, often meeting with internal colleagues to discuss progress, and the odd client meeting. And then at the core of my job is business intelligence – gathering data, performing statistical analysis and then visualising the results with tools such as Tableau. The focus of my work is providing a robust evidence base for our clients, and our senior team here at VISFO, to make those crucial business and strategic decisions.

2. Why did you decide to work in Business Intelligence? Any inspiration?

I love numbers, always have done, but I didn’t want to be a mathematician. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good proof, but my mind doesn’t work that way. For me it’s always about application – what do these numbers mean, what do they tell me, what’s the story here? Business intelligence provides me with the forum to work with numbers, statistics and spreadsheets, but in the context of real-world applications, and ultimately allows me to contribute to decisions that can really help people. 

3. What was your journey to becoming a Business Intelligence Consultant at VISFO? Previous experience?

When I started my career, I hadn’t even heard of the term ‘business intelligence’. I studied Economics at Cambridge University, and my first job was analysing Census data for the Office for National Statistics. After that, I worked almost exclusively in the public sector, across Civil Service and the NHS. I found myself gravitating towards roles with more real-world applications, culminating in managing business intelligence for NHS 111 at Yorkshire Ambulance Service. After a while there, I felt the need for a new challenge and a new environment. I was approached by VISFO earlier this year, and the rest is history.

4. What top 3 personal qualities are good fits for your team?

  • Ask questions, and listen – to deliver the right solutions, I need to fully understand customer needs and requirements, which means asking LOTS of questions, but also paying attention to the answers
  • Be flexible – in this job there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to be able to adapt to the problem at hand and learn quickly
  • Enjoy solving problems – intelligence work stems from people asking questions. So the job is all about finding solutions

5. What’s the best part of your work at VISFO? 

The people. It’s a cliché, but the people really do make it here. I often say (maybe not as much publicly as I’d like) that I really feel I’ve found a home at VISFO. It’s all about lots of like-minded people striving for a common goal and having fun while they’re at it! And with such a diversity of experience on hand, I’ve already learned so much in the relatively short time I’ve been here.

6. Tell us what you enjoy about working within the healthcare / pharmaceutical space and how different it is from what you have done before?

I had some experience of working in healthcare before I joined VISFO having supported the NHS for a number of years, but that wasn’t in the pharmaceutical space. I enjoy working in this field because I like trying to help people, and what better way to help than to improve health and wellbeing. What I have particularly enjoyed since coming to VISFO is the opportunity to do this on a much broader scale, with international clients, and across a wide variety of disease areas and products.

7. Sum up VISFO in 3 words.

Innovative, rapid and fun.

8. What do you work on in your VISFO L&D time, any exciting projects in the pipeline?

For me, it’s all L&D. Maybe that sounds like a cop out, but I do genuinely see all of my time as learning in some form or other. The pace of work here at VISFO is such that every day I discover something new. However, I would say the biggest area of learning for me has been the pharma space as a whole, to which end I am very lucky to be able to learn from the amazing experts we have in the business.

9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working – any hobbies, favourite TV shows, music?

My dog takes up a big portion of my social life. In fact, it is all about his social life really – sometimes it feels he has more friends than I do! We enjoy lots of walks at weekends, both close to home and further afar. Since COVID we have really enjoyed (and preferred) holidays in the UK, from the Lake District all the way down to Cornwall. When I’m not outside, just give me a good true crime documentary on Netflix any day!

10. Biggest personal success to date – what are you most proud of accomplishing that’s not work related?

Getting married – arranging the wedding day itself, but mainly getting my wife to agree to marry me in the first place.