Paula Atherill
Director - Commercial & System Design
When Will You Meet Paula?

I will be your first port of call when you make an enquiry. I lead the early meetings where we discuss your requirements, get the background of your business and look at the big picture. I co-lead the design sessions where we discuss and agree deliverables and design your Zoho system to meet those requirements. At all points in the design I have my eye on the big picture to make sure your system can scale, as you grow or your requirements expand. I will discuss all the pricing with you and provide the quote.

I co-lead project management across all clients to ensure the original deliverables and time-scales are met. I also get involved in elements of the development, especially if it includes marketing and online collaboration.

What do you love the most about Creative Analysis?

First and foremost, I love the Teal model. It meets my personal values of fairness, equality, openness and responsibility. I want my working time to match who I am as a person and to reflect the core principles that I believe in. I love the flexibility of the Teal working model and the open, transparent relationships between the team.

Designing new systems and looking at the big picture really excites me. I love being able to make an impact on a business by evaluating their current processes and designing new, more efficient ways of working. I love what technology can enable and the efficiencies it can provide. I especially love the way it allows teams to collaborate and saves businesses time, repetitiveness and protects data.

Paula's Background

I’ve always had a creative and logical brain, with a keen interest in analysing the big picture and finding a better way. From a young age I was solving problems and building things, in the garden and in the home. I went on to study computing and statistics as well as art. I completed a BSc (Hons) in Computing and Statistics and a Masters in Statistics. I was a researcher in Optimisation and Simulation at Salford University for 4 years.

I moved on to work for GE Capital for 8 years. This provided me with a really strong applied analytical foundation. My roles in GE involved analysing large customer databases to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing, and later being a Risk Scorecard Manager, where I built the complex statistical models that accept or reject you for credit cards. I gained a lot of experience in teamwork in these roles. The marketing team was 50+ people and very collaborative, supportive and encouraging. I attended several leadership and management courses as part of my roles within GE.

I studied coaching in 2009 and hold a Coaching Diploma and NLP Diploma. I also hold an ILM Award in Mentoring. These skills come into my work every day and enhance communication, internally and externally. It is one of the most valuable things I ever did.

I founded Creative Analysis in 2009. I wanted to bring data analysis and the insights this provides to small businesses. After networking for a number of months, it was clear that companies weren’t ready for that. They didn’t have the systems in place. This led me to a realisation that there was a huge gap in the small business world for CRM systems. I researched the different providers for a number of months and taught myself everything about CRM.

Through my research it was clear that Zoho was the one that offered the most features and flexibility as well as future potential for small businesses. Since then, Zoho has gone from strength to strength and now have an application for every function of a business. A business can run entirely on Zoho. I genuinely believe Zoho’s breadth of products are the best in the market for their price point.

As Zoho has grown, so have we. We have expanded to provide services around marketing, finance, customer service, API integrations, communication and collaboration tools, document sharing, analytics dashboards, hosted email to name a few!

Lastly, I am a qualified youth worker and only recently stopped working in the evenings, to focus on developing the business. I worked in several youth clubs over 12 years. I founded a youth organisation called Youth Routes. We hosted several youth music events where we brought together local communities and young people. The young people participated in the Music Youth Group that I founded and managed in Calderdale Youth Service, where they learned how to play an instrument. The programme culminated in a day event where they showcased their new found skills to family, friends and the local community. I thoroughly enjoy working with young people because of their energy and enthusiasm and I like to find the thing that makes them shine. I will return to youth work one day.

Click each question to read Paula's answer

What's your favourite food?

I love Thai food because being vegan means I can eat lots of their dishes as standard. I love the freshness of how they cook things. Penang curry is high on the list.

What's your most annoying habit?

I am keen to meet our project deadlines, which means I can be a little over keen checking on the deliverables!

What's your greatest strength?

Vision, foresight and sensing things. I have the ability to take the vision, come up with a plan and make that vision a reality – my technical skills are very strong.

What do you love to do in your spare time?

I love to create and build things. This includes smaller projects like building bird houses and planters with wood. The larger projects I am currently enjoying are house renovations and converting a campervan from scratch. This involves internal changes and woodwork, working out how to lay the campervan out from a blank shell, designing the electric requirements and overall utilisation of the space and making everything by hand to create a unique home from home! It might well be an office location from time to time. I love to ride motorbikes but don’t have one at the moment. I make do with my mountain bike instead! I enjoy going to the gym, being outside in nature and exploring RSPB, woodland and heritage sites.

Outdoors or indoors?


What did you want to be when you 'grew up'?

A police woman.

What’s fun about Sue?

She’s light-hearted and brings freshness to everything. She always brings in something to make us laugh and she has a very friendly, smiley face.

What’s fun about Jack?

He’s so personable and highly intelligent at the same time. We have amazing conversations. His easy-going nature makes working with him a pleasure. He is always so keen to teach you things too.