Industry Profile: Datalicious GM, Elly Gillis

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 11 June 2015
Elly Gillis

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry. This week we head to Sydney to meet Elly Gillis, general manager at Datalicious

Duration in current role/time at the company: Three years

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does? 
A data and analytics agency offering strategy, consulting and best of breed products to help advertisers create smart data driven marketing.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?  
Setting ourselves up in UK, US and SE Asia, delivering a multi-touch attribution study for Facebook, expanding the business by over 40% in 12 months. 

Best thing about the industry you work in: 

Funny answer:

Working ridiculous hours, having people try to best you with their superior data and tech knowledge in meetings, regularly beating your head against a brick wall trying to explain what your company does … invariably ending up wondering why you didn’t become a school teacher, what would I do with all those holidays? 

Serious answer:

The pace. It never ever stops and it is always changing and because of this, the industry attracts incredibly intelligent and inquisitive people. I love working with these kinds of people every day.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at: 
M&C Saatchi, Holler

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time? 
I’ll still be with Datalicious leading the charge on global accounts and the company will be ginormous.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you? 
I genuinely feel bad when I have to cancel the work coffee account because team members haven’t done their timesheets. It hurts me as well as my sizeable caffeine addiction!

Top networking tip:
Always make friends at the bar! As a side note, I’ve been to a few women focused networking events lately and I’ve got to say they have genuinely been a great opportunity to network and it was lovely to meet so many thoughtful and determined professionals from the younger generation.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

I really don’t do many lunches but I am partial to Sake in the Rocks. The guys are usually disappointed as they would prefer the steak place next door.

My favourite advert is:
“So where the bloody hell are you?” circa 2006. For personal reasons entirely unrelated to Lara Bingle.

My must-have gadget is:
Totally non-digital: the Allen key for my bike!

My favourite media is:

I would say digital media but Datalicious has taught me that consumers have no such concept. They use each and every type of media in their own weird and wonderful way. Our job at Datalicious is to try and make sense of all that data and find the insights so we can take action on it. That is actually the fascinating part of my job that I genuinely love.

My favourite TV show is...  
I’ll admit to loving Vikings. Ragnar beats Jon Snow hands down, no contest, don’t even bother arguing the point with me.

The last book I read:
Was trash I bought for $2.97 on my kindle. The last serious business book was “Get Tribal” by Michael Henderson. 

My mantra / philosophy is:
Don’t avoid conflict or face-to-face communication when it is required. When things start to go south, pick up the phone and communicate directly.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

Fresh out of uni, jobless, and I thought being an account manager making CD-ROMs sounded pretty cool!   

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

Living in a Bali villa on Nusa Lembongan surfing every day.

In five years' time I'll be:

Sailing around the world  (this will be after I get tired of Bali) but am terrified of pirates and abandoned shipping containers and waves like the ones in Interstellar.

Define your job in one word:

Crazy (the good kind of crazy).

What's your poison:

Café Patron on ice but it’s a slippery slope.

Want to take part in Industry Insights or have some one to nominate? Email

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