Meet the Boss: Victoria Pooley, managing director of The Data Partnership

Victoria Pooley, co-founder of The Data Partnership

Victoria Pooley, co-founder of The Data Partnership - Credit: Archant

A Q&A profile of Victoria Pooley, managing director and co-founder of The Data Partnership, based at Holton St Mary.

: : Name: Victoria Pooley.

: : Age: 32.

: : Job description: Managing director and co-founder of a data provision company. I’m mostly responsible for the Financial and HR areas of the company, but I am very hands-on and so get involved in all aspects of the operation.

: : Who do you work for? The Data Partnership, which was set up in 2001 by myself and my husband, John, to provide good quality data for businesses in a wide range of sectors across the UK including finance, insurance and charity to use for direct and telephone marketing purposes.

Businesses can commission bespoke surveys, buy questions on to surveys or purchase the contact details of people fitting very specific criteria based on demographics, lifestyle, purchasing and behavioural criteria.

: : Where are you based? We recently relocated to Holton St Mary on the Suffolk/Essex border in order to accommodate our expanding sales team and our new 20-seat call centre. Our office building is a really lovely barn conversion with lots of light and views on to a little courtyard. We operate between 10am and 8pm, seven days a week and have capacity to generate and receive thousands of calls every hour.

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: : What gets you out of bed in the morning? My young and energetic children! We also keep chickens and pigs!

: : What was your first ever job? I was an actress in a ghost train.

: : What was the most unusual task you have been asked to carry out at work? Buying a football table for the office!

: : Do you remember your first day at work and, if so, what was it like and what did you do? My first day setting up the new business was dedicated to thinking of an appropriate company name. There were certainly a few random suggestions!

: : How did you get where you are now? Team work with John, sheer elbow grease and blind belief that it would, could and should work.

: : What was your best day at work and why? The day we were nominated for “Data Provider of the Year” – cheesy I know but, in an industry rife with cowboys, it’s rewarding to be recognised and acknowledged as one of the good guys.

: : What was your worst day at work and why? It was more of a week. Back in 2008 the onset of the recession caused a bit of a domino effect with companies going out of business and as a result we lost over a third of our clients in quick succession. This, teamed with the fact I was just a month away from giving birth to my first baby, was a real test for the business, but one we thankfully overcame.

: : What impresses you most on your own CV? I think starting your own company is a fantastic achievement, but I think the fact I set up this business at just 21 and invested 12 years to its success says a lot about me.

: : What impresses you most on someone else’s? Someone who has risked it all, lost it and got it back again. If you haven’t failed at least once, you haven’t tried hard enough!

: : What do you hate to see in a CV? Obviously, there are exceptions and it could just be poor luck, but serial redundancies on a CV don’t really sit well with me because generally you don’t get rid of really good people, especially in sales.

: : Do you think you make a good employee and if so, why/why not? I think if someone has a real enjoyment for their role and cares about the company they work for then they will always perform. I’ve been nurturing this business from the beginning so I have a real passion to do it right and I think this shows in my role as an employee.

: : Do you think you are a good employer, and if so, why/why not? We hope we’re a good employer! We try to go above and beyond for our staff to show them we care; for example, we deliver fruit boxes, we’ve had an osteopath give one-to-one work place assessments and coming up we have a commandos “Team Building Day”.

We also hold regular think-tank meetings so staff can air any concerns and share ideas, with regular newsletter updates to keep everyone in the loop.

Being a married couple running the show makes it feel like a real family community!

: : What do you think are your best attributes at work? I’m good at being organised, efficient and in control, which comes from juggling a company and a family. I have a great understanding of industry politics and the ability to communicate this throughout the company.

: : What are your worst failings? I don’t delegate enough. I often take on too much because I know how I like things done!

: : If you weren’t doing the above, what would you be doing? I have no idea, because I’ve been doing this since I was 21!

: : What are the attributes in work colleagues in general that you admire the most? It’s always great to see someone using their initiative and making a go of something without the constant need for approval.

: : What are the failings in work colleagues in general that you hate the most? Office politics – gossiping and cattiness amongst colleagues. We made it our new year’s resolution to breakdown internal barriers, so helpfully this won’t be a problem!

: : What’s your biggest work worry? Predictable growth…

: : What’s your best stress-buster? Gin.

: : Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing? Spending time with my crazy family.

: : If you had the power to do any job in the world, what would it be and why? I would always have to be in charge of something because I’m so bossy!

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