Profession Xym is professional
Curriculum Vitæ

The more serious element of my website. Here you'll find my online Curriculum Vitæ, or can download it (plus supporting documentation) on the right.

 
 
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Personal Profile

I am a creative individual who is dedicated, loyal and hardworking. Proven to work efficiently and successfully alongside project teams, or when tasked with sole responsibility for an entire end-to-end process. I take pride in delivering the best possible results with a keen eye for attention to detail, whilst also keeping the Customer fully involved and at the heart of the process. I am quick to take on challenges and pick up new systems & technologies, and frequently become the SME (Subject Matter Expert). I challenge and recommend improvements utilizing existing/alternative tools & resources to fully realise the Customer’s vision.  I also ensure that internal and external Standards and Brand guidelines are upheld. 

Some key achievements
  • Achieving positions where I am entrusted to take basic, minimal requirements, and have free reign to design and build solutions working alongside The Business.

  • Integration of data feeds from various internal/external clients, from analysis and receipt (in various formats), through to validation, reformatting, loading and returning specified outputs in the required format.

  • Received various awards, notably in Initiative and Innovation, Effective Teamwork, and Creative Innovation.

  • Saving several thousand pounds on the first run by simplifying and streamlining a manual process and integrating new data processing elements into the existing system, including the ability to highlight errors in the data for correction.

  • Key Print Technologies Assessment panel member, becoming Lead Dialogue Consultant, leading on:

    • creation of corporate, branded designs, layouts and print standards and specifications

    • build of templates for Quote, New Business, MTA and Renewal packs for Home/Motor/Travel insurance products, and eventually full packs for Aviva and Corporate Partners (eg Barclays, HSBC, RAC, Tesco, etc)

    • training and handover of Print functionality to outsourced, offshore partners

  • Enhanced an internal Document Management System, then eventually rewrote it from scratch (including many new features previously believed impossible), serving over 3,500 users

  • Assisted in developing the new style Brand for Norwich Union Life Renewals

     

 
Technical skills

In last held role​

  • PC

    • MS Office software

    • Outlook

    • VBA

    • MySQL

    • viciDial

In previous roles

  • PC

    • Assyst

    • PMCC (Time recording)

    • Document Composition

    • Document Design 

    • Dialogue

    • CSF

    • Lotus Notes

    • Visual Basic 6

  • Mainframe

    • Alchemist

    • COBOL

    • DB2

    • Endevor

    • IBM Mainframe (TSO)

    • JCL

    • SQL

    • Sapiens eMerge

    • Tivoli Workstation (OPC/TWS)

In older roles (no longer familiar).

  • Mainframe

    • TSO (Including Hiperstation)

    • TSO Paint (for CSF)

    • Life70

    • On-Line CICS (Includes TRAC, DEEN & VERIFY)

    • IMS

    • MEMO/EOSS E-Mail

    • CCA (AKA CMS, DMS)

    • ProInsure

  • PC

    • CSF Paint

    • AmiPro

    • Displaywrite 4

    • Visual Basic 4

    • Mathcad

 
Career path
Last held role

Data Manager at Thirtyone Fundraising, Norwich

Salary

£25,000

From

Jun ‘14 – Sep ‘15

Managing and reporting on the data from various suppliers, as well as monitoring and maintaining call volumes for a fundraising agency . The role involved:

  • Creation and maintenance of bespoke VBA macros and SQL queries for various day-to-day processes

  • Integration of weekly data from differing external sources into a consistent, rationalised and validated format, reporting back with any issued on data that is rejected.

  • The manipulation of data to create bespoke, derived datafields where base data could not be supplied, or to create more efficient reporting elements.

  • The splitting and loading of validated data into specific defined lists for calling and reporting

  • Tracking returned data rates/costs, as well as previously supplied data (either accepted or previously rejected).

  • Ensuring Data Accepted is acceptable and unique, and finding alternate solutions swiftly (but with minimum impact on the live callers) where the existing system has a flaw, or new requirements are identified that restrict data use.

  • Monitoring call lists and adjusting data being called as applicable

  • Determining the best/worst convertible data and suppressing or promoting accordingly

  • Identifying trends in conversion and call responses

  • Monitoring and tracking individual and overall targets throughout the day, and reporting back/adjusting data where necesary

  • Managing the ratios of Data Required against Agents available and Data already called ‘x’ number of times

  • The creation of bespoke in-house and external reports via MySQL and VBA

  • Logging, monitoring and responding to complaints both internal and external

  • Analysis and reporting on data called/received

  • Identifying system issues and getting them resolved, or finding alternative solutions/workarounds

  • The creation and documenting of processes to ensure best practice is followed
 
Prior role

Document Designer at Norwich Union (later Aviva), Norwich, Norfolk

From

Dec ‘09 – Oct ‘13

Development and maintenance of Mainframe applications (Policy Admin, Financial Transactions and MI) using Rapid Application and Agile methodologies taking an iterative approach that encourages both IT change and customer interaction. Maintenance of existing business as usual systems and processes.

The role involved:

  • Development/Maintenance of Mainframe applications to Aviva documented standards both quickly and efficiently.

  • Development/Maintenance of multiple Batch Suites (Daily through to Annual) and the scheduling of Ad-Hoc jobs

  • Development/Maintenance of supporting DB2 TablesCode version control, documentation of specifications and training guides for project owners and end users

  • Working as part of a team to deliver IT Change projects to agreed timelines, or given free-reign to design solutions

  • Applying industry-standard AGILE approach to development. Iterative building, working closely with the business partners and project sponsors at all times to ensure final delivery fully meets their requirements.

  • Full life-cycle involvement, from Requirements Gathering, Development and Build, running System/SIT/UAT Testing, Implementation & commissioning, plus on-going live support

  • Daily monitoring of issue logs. Maintaining at a reasonable volume, either resolving within associated service level agreements or assigning to relevant the teams/resource as required.

  • Improvement and rationalisation of existing JCL and COBOL code modules, streamlining to improve quality/efficiency

  • Key Systems/Projects: Abacus (BACS/Credit/Debit/Transfer payments), Aquadata (MI/reporting), Aquarius (Policy admin), DAVE (Data archiving), Covernote (7 day covernote system for brokers, and reporting on breaches), UN Sanctions tracking, Terrorism Reporting (compiling data and creating reports for the correct payment/clawback of reinsurance monies between Aviva and Pool Re).

 

Feedback

From Mike Konstant, Stakeholder and Business Owner of the Aviva Aquadata system:

"Whilst I had met you briefly earlier this year, I had not had the opportunity to work with you until the Aquarius MI / Aquadata work - when we had our first workshop about 3 months ago - with 2 subsequently.

 

At that first workshop I was immediately impressed by:

  • The quality and appearance of your IT development for us

  • The clarity of thinking and description of build which you showed

  • The excellent supporting documentation

  • Your presentation style - relaxed and confident and very much geared to working with the folks at the workshop

 

All of your excellent "features" continued through the 2 later workshops.

 

I would love to have you working on as much future Aquarius work as possible - if you can put up with us lot!"

 

From Graham J Smith – Underwriting Effectiveness UPP:

"Just wanted to drop you a line with some feedback on Xymon.

 

As you know Xymon has been working on the rebuild of Aquadata on the back of the End to End processing project. Xymon knew nothing about Aquadata at the outset but quickly grasped the purpose of the system and the way it was used in the business. That last bit is particularly important and Xymon has been keen throughout to ensure that the enhancements being built in the system exceed the requirements and expectations of its users.

 

We have held a number of workshops and Xymon has played an increasingly active role in each. In particular the help material he puts together and circulates ahead of meetings has been of great use and probably makes this look like the most organised Aquarius project we've undertaken (only trouble is we'll have to live up to that standard of communication on other builds now).

Overall I've been really impressed with the work Xymon has been doing for us. I'm looking forward to rolling out the new MI stuff as it's always a pleasure to train people on a system that you already know works well and will work for them."

Previous roles
  • Document Designer at Aviva, Norwich, Norfolk

  • Actuarial Clerk at Norwich Union, Norwich, Norfolk

  • Pensions Administrator at Norwich Union, Norwich, Norfolk

  • System Tester at Scottish Provident, Kendal, Cumbria

  • Business Systems Technical Analyst at Norwich Union, Norwich, Norfolk

  • Pensions Administrator at Norwich Union, Norwich, Norfolk

  • Understudy Clerk at Provincial Insurance, Bolton, Lancashire (Work Experience)

From

Oct '97 - Dec '09

Feb ’96 – Oct ‘97

Oct ’95 – Feb ‘98

Mar ’95 – Jul ‘95

Nov ’92 – Mar ‘95

Aug ’88 – Nov ‘92

Jul ’87 & Jul ‘88

 
 
Other achievements
  • Used new technology to help team work quicker and easier.

  • Developed a Benchmark Report Building program

  • Helped design a Work Monitoring System

  • Helped develop 2 new systems( Business Transaction Handler and Quick Hits)

  • Participated in Customer Care Focus Groups

  • Developed handbooks for office use where none were available

  • Developed the computer program that ran and organised the Bolton Youth Pool League between 1986 and 1992.

  • Was a school Prefect

  • Was an Air Cadet at 80(Bolton)SQN Air Training Corps

  • Won the McEwan Younger trophy as Managing Director of a Young Enterprise Scheme

 
Qualifications & Education
  • A-Levels

 

  • O-Levels

 

 

 

 

 

  • CSE's

Grade E

 

Grade C

Grade C

Grade C

Grade C

Grade C

 

Grade 2

Grade 2

Grade 3

General Studies

 

Computer studies

English

German

Maths

Physics

 

Chemistry

German

History

Bolton North Sixth Form College, Bolton, Lancashire

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Smithills Comprehensive School, Bolton, Lancashire

 

 

 

 

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Smithills Comprehensive School, Bolton, Lancashire

 

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Smithills Grammar School, Bolton, Lancashire

St Thomas Of Halliwell Primary School, Bolton, Lancashire

1988

 

1986

 

 

 

 

 

1986

 
Interests
  • 3D Graphics & Design

  • Calligraphy

  • Creative writing, poetry and wordsmithery

  • The Cthulhu Mythos

  • Drama (Actor & Director)

  • Programming

  • Reading

  • Web design