short bio

Karen is a data science leader who loves building great teams and using data to uncover insights, drive decision making and inform product innovation. As Senior Manager of Product Analytics at Intercom, Karen leads a team of analysts, data engineers and data scientists who help Intercom design, develop and measure the success of its products.  Prior to Intercom, she spent almost 8 years in industrial research labs, conducting a range of qualitative and quantitative research aimed at understanding mobile user behavior. Most recently, Karen worked at Yahoo Research where she led a team of scientists focused on native & mobile ad analytics. She was also a Research Scientist in the scientific team in Telefonica Research.

Karen holds a PhD in Computer Science from University College Dublin and a BSc in Computer Science from ITB.  She has published almost 50 peer-reviewed research papers in top tier conferences in human computer interaction, mobile computing, information retrieval and recommender systems. To date her research has been cited over 1,400 times. Karen is a huge advocate for women in technology and believes in the power of strong female role models.  She recently founded XX+Data, a community for women who work with & love data to support each other, share experiences, establish meaningful connections & talk data!  She has lived in San Francisco, Barcelona, London, and Dublin. She loves wine, chocolate, cooking and crafts but most of all spending time with her beautiful baby girl.

the nitty gritty!

I am Senior Manager of Product Analytics at Intercom in San Francisco where I’ve been based since January 2016. Intercom is a rapidly growing company who’s mission is to make Internet business personal by changing the way businesses interact with and communicate with their customers. I lead a growing team of talented analysts, data scientists and data engineers who generate insights to help in the design, development and measurement of Intercom products.

Prior to Intercom, I was a Senior Research Scientist & Research Manager at Yahoo Research where I led a team of Scientists in a group focused on Native & Mobile Ad Analytics. My team explored large-scale, user-centric analytics in the native ad space. Specifically focused on mobile user behavior modeling and improving ad conversion using mobile-specific signals like device and app use.  I joined Yahoo in 2013 starting as a Research Scientist in the Mobile Sensing and User Behavior Research team.

Before Yahoo, I spent almost 5 years working as a Research Scientist in the User and Media Intelligence group in Telefonica Research in Barcelona where I explored future mobile information access behaviors and trends. I also worked on mobile app recommendations.

I’m fascinated by people and I’m really interested in understanding how people behave and interact with technology using a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Up until 2016 my research focused on all things mobile and included characterizing, understanding and enriching mobile search behaviors, mobile information access trends and mobile app usage patterns. Details on my previous research projects can be found here.

I’m a huge advocate for women in technology and I believe in the power of strong female role models. I have coached women studying computer science during my undergrad, I’ve mentored female PhD students during industrial research internships at Telefonica & Yahoo and I have even crowdsourced lists of women in tech programs and events for others to benefit from. Most recently I founded XX+Data, a community for women who work with & love data to support each other, share experiences, establish meaningful connections & talk data

I’m from Dublin, Ireland and grew up in a town called Leixlip in Co. Kildare (home of Guinness!). I hold a BSc. in Computer Science from the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and a PhD in Computer Science from University College Dublin. The focus of my PhD research was understanding how people search and browse the Web from their mobile devices

In my spare time, in fact anytime I can, I love to cook — mainly sweet things!. I’ve taken cooking classes and cookery workshops everywhere I’ve lived including a “Dessert for Chocoholics” course in London and a french macaroon class in San Francisco. From time to time, I dabble with a little arts, crafts and sewing. I’ve created an eclectic mix of things over the past few years including a beautiful vintage brooch bouquet, 50s inspired christmas aprons, plush soft toys as well as the odd dress for myself. But the absolute love of my life is my beautiful baby girl, and I currently spend most of my time figuring out motherhood!