Meet the Melbourne-based adventurer who is turning raw data into meaningful insights for Linktree.
Paul Chynoweth moved to Melbourne eight years ago because of its vibrant nightlife, music scene, and sports culture. Hailing from the “bush capital” of Canberra, the move was eye-opening for Paul, an adventurer who jumps at every opportunity to be outdoors. Suddenly he was in a place that had it all—surfing to snowboarding—within reach.
Before Linktree, Paul worked at the leading global charity for men’s health, Movember, as an insights analyst on the data team. This February he joined Linktree, which has its head office located in Melbourne, as a data analyst. Attracted to the remote-first work approach and people, Paul has been an essential part of the Data Platform team from day one.
What surprised him most about Linktree was how invested everyone is in the product and how willing they were to help out. According to Paul, “different teams regularly reach out to help one another, and this was particularly impressive when often it wasn’t directly related to their core work.”
If you’re not familiar with what a data analyst does, you’ll find out. His work is essential for the growth of the company and the value Linktree is able to provide users on a regular basis. Data provides all the clues that let us tap into our audience’s wants and needs. Exciting stuff, right? Read on to learn more about Paul’s role as data analyst, his adventures, and how he’s been handling Australia’s lockdown.
Tell us about your role as Data Analyst
In essence you are the bridge between the technical aspects of data and the strategy of the organization. In many ways your job is to translate the noise of terabytes of data into something that’s tangible and actionable.
I’m pretty lucky at Linktree as I really enjoy both the technical aspects of cleaning, modeling and setting up data visualizations, but also thoroughly enjoy the deeper dive analysis pieces where you can find the real insight gold.
What are some of the qualities in a data analyst?
It really helps to be curious and to enjoy problem solving. In my experience, the nuggets of gold from analysis come from deeper dives into the data and testing various hypotheses. Curiosity is important as it allows you to see problems through different perspectives, and explore different threads that could explain the trends we are seeing in the data.
It does also help to enjoy problem solving, as the role can be quite technical. It’s definitely a skill that can be learned, as when I started the page of red programming errors were quite daunting, but over time you learn to embrace it and enjoy the learning process.
Have you found any interesting data at Linktree?
I’m really interested to explore how users are using Linktree, and how that flows onto the levels of retention and engagement we see. It’s super interesting to dive deep into our data and look into what are some of the key determining factors that are leading our users to be more engaged, and more passionate about using Linktree.
Ultimately, this helps us learn why the user chose Linktree and why they continue to use the product. I’m excited at the prospect of learning more about what separates our PRO and free users, and how we can cater Linktree’s product and marketing efforts to provide the value for customers so that they ultimately choose to be PRO users.
How do you see data playing a role in the evolution of technology?
In my opinion, data will play a huge role in the evolution of products and technologies going forward. Given that data is essentially information that can provide insight into trends and the current state of the market, it’s natural that products and technologies will be based on the insights gathered.
In fact, there have been many innovative technologies that have been built purely to help move, transform and analyze data, let alone based on the insights that data can provide.
Ultimately data is there to shed light on what users love about your product, and how they are likely to value additional aspects, so I think it will have a pretty pivotal role in the future in dictating where technology goes.
“Data is there to shed light on what users love about your product”
What data do you wish you had access to, but don’t?
I wish I had long-form weather forecasts that were incredibly accurate. I would plan many ski trips, and many surf trips if I knew in advance when the fresh snow was coming or when the swell was looking great. I’m a pretty simple guy so that would make me very happy.
What’s helped get you through the pandemic?
I’m someone that craves adventures, so I have been reading books and stories of people’s journeys around the world—it’s been surprisingly enjoyable and doesn’t evoke any FOMO thankfully!
In my day to day, any opportunity to get outside and go for a stroll does wonders for my mental health. I highly recommend “walk meetings” on chats where you don’t need to be at the computer. Playing basketball has also been amazing, as it’s something you can do by yourself or “with 1 other person that is outside of your household.”
What’s the weirdest job you have ever had?
I’ve had some odd jobs. At age 14 some muppet decided it was a good idea to hire me to make pizzas for their restaurant. Needless to say it did not go well and I was quickly relegated to just focusing on garlic bread for the first two weeks.
I almost got conned into being a door-to-door salesman once at uni[versity]. I realized when we were on the train out to the neighborhoods and I promptly faked a mild stomach ache. Other than that it’s been fairly vanilla. Although I was a photographer in a ski resort in Canada for a season!
Like Paul, so many of us at Linktree love the people we work with. Besides the product itself, Linktree as a company is continuously evolving, and looking for the right people to be a part of the journey.