Anthony (Tony) joined Dataplan in 2015 on Star Wars day, May the 4th. Having previously run a Design Studio for over a decade, Tony brings a vast amount of knowledge in user experience design to Dataplan’s software development team, along with a little cheek and wit.
How has Dataplan changed since you joined?
The software development team has grown in numbers and has trebled in size since I joined. We work in an agile manner, meaning we adhere to an approach which allows for evolution and collaboration and our work happens in two week sprints.
What’s the best thing about working in payroll?
The payroll sector is in constant flux and the rate of change keeps you on your toes, there’s also great opportunity while this sector goes through its digital transformation.
And the worst?
We ensure people get paid, a big part of their personal lives, and we want the customer experience in our apps to be the best in the sector. This comes with some pressure to deliver features quickly, which needs balancing with quality assurance.
If you could have anyone on your payroll, whom would it be?
The Walt Disney Company would be interesting. If we built a relationship we could get a glimpse inside Marvels Endgame filming – I want to know how the Avengers will defeat Thanos and if they can bring anyone back.
What do you think payroll will be like in 50 years’ time?
Technology will play a major role in evolving this sector. The software used will be smarter and all employee and organisational information will converge further to create truly insightful systems, particularly useful for HR and performance reporting.
The current buzzword in technology is AI (Artificial Intelligence) where computers learn patterns and make decisions, maybe even processing pay could be fully automated with just moderation steps for payroll processors? Talking of AI, Chatbots seem to be becoming an organisation’s first line for customer support, the payroll sector may follow suit.
I also think our currency will change, fewer coins and notes seems obvious. We already use our smartphones to make micro interactions, I am sure this will expand and become the go-to payment type which in the long run will surely make all currency digital. I recall lots of Sci-fi movies calling this future currency “credits”. Star Wars uses the Galactic Credit Standard, which they abbreviate as a “Credit”.
What is your least favourite food?
Fried onions and the problem with not liking fried onions is that everyone else loves them, and they seem to be the base for so many dishes.
What do you think of HMRC?
I was self-employed for over a decade before I joined Dataplan so HMRC and that dreaded tax bill gave me a yearly panic attack.
Who or what makes you laugh?
The last thing that made me laugh out loud was Deadpool 2. All the Marvel movies, until recently, were quite serious but with the canon of Marvel movies now in place, there’s loads of material to work with. I think the writers had fun with this script, lots of puns and Marvel insider jokes.
Your most used phrase?
“Let’s ask the data.” I actually never say it so eloquently, but typically when we are reviewing the usage of our software and my ‘go to’ approach is to “ask the data”. I then dig into the analytics and take note of where users are visiting and their behaviour so we can make decisions based on real user behaviour.
What is your biggest work challenge?
As Dataplan’s UX Designer, it’s my responsibility to ensure our apps work great, it also doesn’t hurt if they look better too! Creating usable design systems that are productive for development and designs that look great for stakeholders’ approval is a balancing act.