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The magic of AI for insights at Yabble with Rachel OShea

Yabble August 1, 2023

Meet Yabble COO & Co-Founder Rachel OShea as she sits down and chats about all things Yabble and AI for insights.



Q: Give us the 101 of who Rachel OShea is and what gets you so excited about the world of insights?

A: Kia ora! I'm Rachel, one of the co-founders at Yabble and delighted to share a little bit about our founding story and a little bit about me!

Three fun facts that most people don't know about me:

  1. I grew up on a sheep farm, which is very quintessential New Zealand
  2. For fun on the weekends, I ride a high-powered sports motorbike. I call it high-octane yoga because no one's talking to me, I'm out in the fresh air, and I feel really relaxed when I get off at the end of a ride
  3. And, I have a Labrador called Mars. He's got an inbuilt five o'clock alarm and at five o'clock every day, he climbs up on my desk, he puts his paws on my shoulder, he licks my ears, and he reminds me that it's time to get away from my desk.

So that's a little bit about me!

Q: How did Yabble come about?

A: Now a little bit about Yabble. So, Yabble started when Kathryn, who I’ve known for a long time, was pitching me this idea one day. We were walking up in North Auckland Beach with her Labrador, Ralph, and she had this idea for bringing in technology to help insights professionals. I would have been the buyer of that technology if I was still sitting in my head of marketing roles back in the day, so I could absolutely see why it was going to be an awesome idea. And so Yabble was born.

That was six years ago, and now we’re a multimillion-dollar, multi-national company trading in many jurisdictions around the world and helping to transform the insights landscape. It's been a pretty exciting ride.

Q: What are you most proud of?

A: It's a tough one to answer what you’re most proud of. I always look at what we've achieved, and in fact, I was talking to a lady today, and she asked “how did you get started?” and "how big are you now?” I was telling her we now have 32 people around the globe, when just five years ago we were only a handful.

I'm really proud of the team we've built. I'm really proud of the fact that we are now getting invited by Fortune 500 companies to speak at their conferences on AI. I'm exceptionally proud of our founder, Kathryn, who's a lifelong friend of mine and who was recently named one of the top 250 insights professionals in the world by ESOMAR. That just makes my heart melt and it's so well deserved for all the hard work that she's done.

So, I'm proud of our people, I'm proud of the company we've built and I'm proud that we're taking a different role in New Zealand for insights and taking that to the world.

Q: Where does the magic in Yabble’s AI solutions lie?

A: It's a great question and it's one I always start with when I'm talking to customers. I think what makes Yabble special and different is the fact that we're built by insights professionals from day one.

Headed by Kathryn who's got more than 25 years experience, and a whole team in behind her alongside myself as well. We know how the output needs to be to make insights professional’s jobs easier, their outputs faster and the quality really high.

When we started working with Generative AI and started building solutions, we always had that end output in mind. We often get complimented by customers on how good our output is, how easy it is to use and how they just love using it across the multiple different products.

Q: Where are you seeing the future of insights heading?

A: If you'd asked me about the future 12 months ago, before ChatGPT launched, I would have said it was a little slower in its trajectory, but I now see AI as the fourth industrial revolution, as lots of people do.  

If I jump to the future and I look at the insights industry – five years from now, maybe even three, I see technology being at the heart of everything that we do: the way that we create data, the way that we analyze data, and the way that we tell stories and build actions coming off the back of all of that information. But at the heart of it across all of those stages, is still the insights creators and professionals.

I see us using our brains to activate, strategize, and to turn insight into action, while I see the technology playing a much bigger role in how our data is created, analyzed and visualized.

Q: What’s next for Yabble?

A: I think we're just at the tipping point of a real change in our industry. Right now, there's a real wave of excitement and adoption around AI, and Generative AI in particular, so Yabble is going to be riding that wave.

We've been doing this for a long time. We're really experts in this space and we're talking to brand new companies every day, so I see us being in more markets.

I see us working with a bigger, brighter range of companies. And I see us being leaders and continuing to be leaders in this industry. It's an exciting time.

Q: If you could have a research superpower what would it be?

A: Oh, superpowers, there's so many good ones to choose from. I would probably do something like time manipulation or stopping time. I feel like we do everything at a hyper pace, and I would love to just slow us down. Get us back to thinking about things, postulating, ideating and taking the time to think a little bit more deeply.

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