Meet the Team: Jaclyn Harwood from Analytics

Lounge area at PowerReviews office featured photo

Meet the Team is a recurring series on the PowerReviews blog, allowing you to get to know the people behind our success.

We recently sat down with Jaclyn Harwood, a member of our Analytics Team, to chat about what a Data Scientist does at PowerReviews, what she loves about our office and where you can find her on the weekends.


How long have you worked with PowerReviews?
I joined the team in June of 2015, so almost two years! I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by and how much the company has grown since then.

Not everyone knows what a Data Scientist is. Can you explain it in a couple sentences?
I definitely get this question a lot which is not unwarranted since this job title didn’t technically exist before 2008. Data Scientists are expected to take large, messy datasets and organize them through math and programming in order to extract meaning from the data. As a Data Scientist, I try to think of questions surrounding our data and then solve for the answers to bring insights to both our internal teams and our clients. One of my major projects here has been developing our client-facing reporting tool to ensure our clients understand the value that reviews bring to their customers.

What do you love most about being a Data Scientist?
I am privileged to be in a very cross-functional role where I get to work with other departments to help them obtain the data and insights they need. I really enjoy working with our other teams and it helps me to understand how our company works as a whole. I also love to learn and feel so lucky to be in a field where the landscape is constantly changing and the community is extremely active.

What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the PowerReviews team?
My favorite thing is how passionate all of our team members are and how everyone is always willing to help each other. You can go up to anyone in the entire company and if you say you have a question or need help looking into something, they will go above and beyond to make sure you get what you need. In the end, we are all part of the same team and everyone’s actions reflect that mentality. People here are proud of their work and passionate about our company and it makes coming to work everyday an absolute pleasure.

Can you explain PowerWomen, and why you think the group is important?
PowerWomen is a new group I recently helped to start with our Manager of Content Operations, Shannon Johnson. Our vision for this group is to promote diversity, inclusion, and equality through attracting, developing, and retaining talented women. This organization is open to all PowerReviews employees and we plan to host different workshops/speakers, attend events in the community, and start a mentorship program. Our first event is a show at the Public House Theater called Cannonball, which has an all female cast including one of our very own Client Success Directors, Virginia Muller!

Women still only hold 14% of executive positions in this country and that needs to change. I personally think this group is important because it will raise awareness within our company and the larger Chicago community.

What’s your favorite part of the new PowerReviews office?
My favorite part of the new office is definitely the kitchen. The kitchen is where we hold our monthly company-wide meetings, have our weekly Tuesday catered lunches, and it has the best view of Lake Michigan. It just makes the office feel truly like a second home and everyone loves to hang out in there.

You taught a class at General Assembly not too long ago. What was that like?
It was great! To be honest, I have never taught before and when they asked me to do it, I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would enjoy. I was slightly nervous before my first class but as soon as I got up there I felt great and I really enjoyed talking to other people who were interested in starting a career in Data Analytics/Science. Many of the attendees were looking for a career switch and were trying to understand how to break into the field.

What’s your favorite weekend activity?
My favorite thing to do on the weekends is to just get lost in Chicago. I am completely obsessed with this city even though my true allegiance is with the great state of New Jersey. I live in the Logan Square neighborhood with my boyfriend and sometimes we will spend the day just walking all the way down Milwaukee Ave, stopping at new restaurants and little shops along the way. I also love to travel and play tennis.