Raquel Seville, DATA QUEENWednesday, March 31, 2021
“When you come from behind, it tends to work out; it adds value to what you are providing and helps to build your track record,” explains Raquel Seville. This is what drives her to succeed in her roles of author, public speaker and the brains behind BI Brainz Caribbean.
The tech-savvy Seville officially became a 'woman in tech' after she graduated from The University of the West Indies, Mona, with a bachelor's degree in computer science and a masters in community-based management information systems. During her second year in university, she interned at Cable & Wireless Jamaica Ltd and worked on building apps. Next, it was a full-time position on the company's business intelligence (BI) team. “I knew, when I did my degree, I wanted to do software engineering; I just didn't know which angle or focus area I wanted to go into in tech. Data sort of found me since being offered that role [on the BI team],” Seville admits.
Her passion for pulling insights from data led to her working with large multinational telecoms, serving customers in the Caribbean and Latin America and chalking up valuable experience for over a decade.
With that background, Seville struck out on her own to launch BI Brainz Caribbean in 2016 in partnership with BI Brainz in the United States. She serves as the chief executive officer, focusing on helping businesses use data to make better decisions. “Some companies have not taken on a digital strategy or using data as a core competence. We need to help companies to get insights to make data-driven decisions and to ensure they are making the best use of the available data,” Seville explains.
She describes herself as a 'forever student' in love with research and having a curious mind befitting her natural appetite for learning. These attributes helped her think outside the box to tackle challenges and problems and become an innovative thought leader in the tech industry.
As a “woman in tech”, she points to being overlooked and underestimated as two of the challenges she faces. She has overcome these hurdles by using them “as her superpowers” to leverage her focus on owning her space.
Men may dominate the tech industry in terms of numbers, but there are many brilliant women in leadership positions like Raquel Seville who are changing the landscape. For individuals looking to get into the tech industry, Seville advises finding a mentor. If you can't find a mentor, she suggests surrounding yourself with like-minded people.
This is the latest in a series of the Jamaica Technology And Digital Alliance's (JTDA's) salute to youth in tech.
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