“To set but a low value upon toast is to expose one's deficiencies in right appreciation.”

E.V. Lucas

Aspiring artist, chef and Dinner Date delegate, Toby, is a lover of ale, embellishment and alliteration. In fact, the fine folks at ITV’s Dinner Date were left deeply deceived, and date Dulcy desperately disappointed, upon the disastrous discovery that he is neither an artist nor a chef, and that his chocolate mousse is more like a soup.

You may not consider that much of a claim to fame. Well, young Toby also had the pleasure of attending school with child star Daniel Radcliffe. Notable tales include the morning school-run one day when Mr Radcliffe wanted to practice his spells… Casting Tergeo, he forced Toby to lick the sole of his shoe. We should point out that Toby was 7 while Daniel was 11, maybe 12. Toby claims it's the role of 11-12 years to bully 7-year olds but we think Daniel should have auditioned elsewhere.

Detailing a dread for dentists and a hatred of hairdressers, Toby has an interesting relationship with the service industries. The seeds of his distrust were sewn early by a bullying dentist who repeatedly reinforced that his teeth weren’t worth their time. Naturally, Toby developed something of an aversion to the dental chair, which inevitably came back to bite him.

With stories like this, it’s only natural that Toby found his passion for data by hitting things. Studying in Bristol for his degree in Civil Engineering, Toby found himself with a hammer and a metal beam. Now, Toby’s a smart one, he knows what to do with hammers, but what happened next made waves. Literally, he was measuring vibrations through the beam as he hit it. What he wasn’t expecting was the wealth of data hitting that beam generated. That’s just hitting things, are there other things you can measure?! It turns out there were.

Nowadays Toby crunches more data than most hairdressers or dentists would know what to do with. Using tools like BigQuery to build bridges between platforms and departments, and rigorous statistical analysis in R to really show those bullies who’s boss! Who’s laughing now, Radcliffe?!