Meet the FarrPoint Team: Connectivity Lab - FarrPoint
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Meet the FarrPoint Team: Connectivity Lab

CONNECTIVITY LAB

Meet the FarrPoint Team: Connectivity Lab

Our people are what make us different. They are the lifeblood of the organisation. Some of our staff have volunteered to answer a few questions to share a little bit about themselves and what working at FarrPoint is all about.

First up, is our talented team in the Connectivity Lab to give some insight into life at FarrPoint. Our Connectivity Lab is where connectivity meets creativity. The team excel in gathering, mapping and analysing data to inform and provide sound advice to our Consultants and clients. Let’s meet the team…

1. What’s your role and how long have you been with FarrPoint?

Jordi: I’m a Geographical Information Science (GIS) Consultant and I’ve been with FarrPoint since January 2017. Like most of the FarrPoint team, I started based in the UK but now actually live in Barcelona and work mostly remotely.

Chris: I'm a Senior Consultant with a background in electronic engineering and communications. I've worked in consultancy for ten years and been with FarrPoint for just over four of them.

Nikki: I joined FarrPoint three months ago as a Graduate GIS Analyst after graduating with an MSc in Geographical Information Science (GIS) from the University of Edinburgh.

Alan: I’m a Telecom Consultant at FarrPoint, working on various radio and wireless related projects. I’ve been with FarrPoint for about two and a half years now.

2. What does a typical day look like for you?

Jordi: It would involve a variety of different tasks, normally related to data processing and project management. No two days are the same. In general, I spend the majority of my time using geospatial software, since most of the connectivity projects have a spatial element.

I’m also often found gathering data from different sources and combining them to obtain useful insights, followed by some cartographic production – maps are great way to summarise information in our reports or presentations. Some of my daily tasks include producing and managing interactive maps, customising them to show the right information and making layers and elements available to the client in a way that will add value to the project.

Chris: I'm one of the team members who regularly works from home as I'm based in Glasgow, so I'm well setup for the current protracted time working at home!

At the moment a typical day might involve catching up with various team members via the phone and online collaboration tools, along with conference calls with clients across a range of projects that I'm working on. In between those I'm focussed on project work.

I also lead the Connectivity Lab part of the business and oversee our GIS and Data analysis capabilities, which sees us putting our heads together to solve new client problems and continually develop the business into new areas.

Nikki: Generally, my days are made up of using our GIS software to plot data for projects and create maps which are interesting and insightful for FarrPoint staff as well as external clients. I also do a lot of collaboration with Chris and Jordi who always have great ideas of new ways to display data.

Alan: I’ve been spending a lot of time working on connectivity related projects for public bodies. So, for example I’ve been helping local authorities make best use of their assets to help provide connectivity to the public and businesses in their region. That might involve looking at the extent of coverage of mobile technology for example, then carrying out some planning work to propose how the situation might be improved, whether that be encouraging mobile operators to utilise public assets to host 4G or 5G infrastructure, providing a plan for IoT coverage or looking at city centre WiFi. So my day is split between gathering data, visualising it on maps and reporting on my findings to inform future infrastructure decisions.

3. Have you got a favourite project you’ve worked on to date?

Jordi: It is hard to highlight one in particular, in general I really enjoy the feeling of being involved in the planning stages of a connectivity project that eventually will have an impact on improving people’s quality of life. For example, the Scottish Futures Trust 4G Infill site project was one of them: we had to perform spatial analysis to identify the areas where an infill site could bridge the mobile coverage gap in rural areas, and we then had to analyse the most suitable locations for the sites to be built. It was rewarding to know that recently some of them had already started being built and providing a service to the area.

Chris: One recent project from the Connectivity Lab is our Mobile Coverage Mapper, where we have developed an autonomous network monitoring tool to provide clients with real-life performance measurements of mobile networks. I was responsible for automating the data processing and developing the mapping portal so once the equipment is deployed there is no interaction required for clients to view the results.

The value of this data is now recognised by our clients and enabling us to better advise them across a range of strategic goals.

Nikki: I am really enjoying the projects I am working on at the moment, as they are the first projects I have been fully involved in from the beginning. They are challenging me (in a good way), and I am learning a lot about different softwares and processes we use to create maps and conduct analysis. One of these is our project using our innovative mobile coverage mapping solution. It is very interesting to look at the results and transfer information to an online map for clients to keep up to date with our progress.

Alan: One of the areas I am involved with is developing a system to measure the quality of mobile networks. This has been a major area of focus for me over the last year and we have now deployed this Mobile Coverage Mapper system across a number of areas in the UK. This comprises a box that fits into a vehicle and collects data on all of the UK mobile networks. The data is sent back to us automatically and mapped onto an online portal that can then be accessed by the customer. We have been deploying this in bin lorries in various regions. These are ideal survey vehicles as they travel all the back-streets and provide us with a good picture of coverage around premises and businesses.

4. What’s the best thing about working at FarrPoint?

Jordi: The working conditions are great and it is a very experienced and skilled team who are more than happy to let you a hand when you require any assistance.

Chris: There is a great team culture at FarrPoint that really runs through the business. I also enjoy the ability to work across multiple projects, clients, and the opportunity to be involved in bidding and delivering work in new areas.

Nikki: Everyone at FarrPoint is so encouraging and willing to help. Being relatively new to the company and the digital industry, I have had a lot to learn but the support that I have received from everyone has been amazing. I have really felt welcome at FarrPoint and look forward to becoming more integrated in projects and in the team as a whole.

Alan: People and atmosphere. Everyone gets along well and there is a good social scene, mainly involving pubs!

5. Tell us a bit about what you enjoy getting up to outside of work?

Jordi: I’m an avid reader and I also do enjoy binging on a good series when I can. I also enjoy playing tennis and going for long walks with our dog. As a curiosity, I like to collect old interesting maps whenever I come across one - my latest acquisition is a copy of an old Soviet map of Edinburgh made during the Cold War, the detail in those is remarkable and it makes you wonder what they were intended to be for, perhaps in the event of an expansion of the Iron Curtain?

Chris: After a week indoors at work it's hard to beat getting out to the hills for a walk or a cycle. I also sing with Glasgow Chamber Choir where I've developed a great group of friends and been very lucky to have had the opportunity to be part of some pretty unique concerts, travel abroad and perform on radio with the BBC.

Nikki: I enjoy keeping busy and active in my free time with my main activities being rock climbing and playing ice hockey. There’s rarely a day goes by when I am not up to something exciting.

Fun fact: my ice hockey team were the first Scottish team to win the Women’s National Championship in Sheffield last year, and we are hoping to retain the title this year!

Alan: I do a bit of cycling, mainly at the weekends. That’s restricted to an indoor trainer at the moment as the weather isn’t great, but hope to get back out later this month. I enjoy doing a bit of cooking for friends and I am currently attempting to learn Irish. It remains to be seen how far I’ll get with that!

What a team! Thank you to all our participants for giving us an insight into life at our special company. We hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what we're all about.

If you like what you've read and are interested in joining our talented team, get in touch today.

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Connectivity is important. It drives business and society, bringing communities and commerce together. That's why we use our insight and experience to connect people and business.