Lucy Wanyee is an Operations Manager at GeoPoll, overseeing a cross-functional team that handles survey operations from end-to-end and ensures internal and client data needs are delivered at the survey stage. In this interview, she speaks to Frankline Kibuacha about her career, day-to-day work, and experience at GeoPoll.
Frankline: What were you doing before joining GeoPoll, and what drew you to join the team?
Lucy Wanyee: My educational background is in mathematical and statistical risk management. Before joining GeoPoll, I worked for an NGO and my main tasks revolved around desk and field research to help finalize the organization’s end products. Before joining the NGO, I was in the banking industry. For people who know me, I am very good with money management. 😊
I had previously worked at a research company where we sent teams to the field with paper questionnaires. You know how research is conducted traditionally. Then I heard about GeoPoll and how the company was remotely conducting research. I was interested in being part of a company that could collect the data needed in a shorter time at the comfort of one’s desk!
How long have you been at GeoPoll? How has the company grown since you joined?
I do not think about this a lot, but in just the blink of an eye, six years have gone by! GeoPoll is an ever-evolving company, and with the dynamism, so many new things happen as we cater to the different needs of diverse types of clients.
Overall, there have been significant, incremental changes and innovations that the company has made in data collection methodologies that assure quality, especially in hard-to-reach areas. I am happy to be part of the team at GeoPoll that designs and implements these changes – we seem to find solutions for any challenge! Also, I was among the first few employees in Kenya, and I have seen the team grow tremendously over time.
Can you briefly describe your role at GeoPoll and your primary responsibilities?
As an Operations Manager, I oversee the daily operations of the in-house GeoPoll Audience Measurement (GAM) product and some of the other On-Demand projects (custom research projects for clients). My main tasks involve ensuring the client objectives are met by overseeing that proper quality checks of surveys are done before they are run.
Due to COVID-19 and the ensuing market changes, I have also been playing a hybrid role that involves project implementation of CATI and CAPI projects in various markets. This role involves training the local teams that implement the projects in the different markets and coordinating with internal and external teams to ensure that things are flowing seamlessly for the end goal to be met.
As Operations Manager, what excites you most about your work at GeoPoll?
Every single day has a lesson attached to it. From the various projects we run to the systems we use. The most exciting thing for me is to see the actual representation of “no one cloth fits all.” People all over the world are interested in different things. One client’s needs are incredibly different from the other, and just watching that unfold in implementation wows me every single time.
It is an adventure for me, the number of gears that move together to achieve diverse needs, and I get elated every time we deliver the client’s data.
What do the various sections you manage do?
I work directly with different teams that do different things. We ensure that surveys are quality checked before moving into the field, release surveys into the field, and monitor their performance. We also play a big part in monitoring the costs we spend on running surveys and helping test the performance of any new markets we launch in.
Most recently, we have also played a big part in local team training and project implementation for various multi-national projects.
What are you excited about in terms of where GeoPoll will go in the future?
Apart from the enthusiasm of seeing data collection modes and technologies evolve, I am excited about the type of clients and projects coming our way that keep the job exciting. Sometimes I think a particular feature we release is perfect until I see it develop and morph into a very different capability that I would not have imagined at the start. I am eager to see what the next years bring.
Another thing is how the team is growing. As needs keep evolving, the company keeps growing, and I get to work with many different types of professionals. I am keen on seeing how the team will grow in various roles within the company.
What is a fact about yourself that people may not know right away?
Not many people know that I am very shy. But I have learned that you do not have to be bold to play the part, just jump into the deep end from time to time.
No way! What do you like to do outside of work?
You may have seen me mobilize people in the company to give for community causes. I enjoy visiting and spending time with the less fortunate in society and giving back to the community. Other times, I am either cooking or traveling.