Where did your passion for digital come from?
I think I’ve always had an interest in technology. When I was young, we had a PC in the home, which was quite rare for the early 90s. Learning how to load up games in DOS was where it all started. I would spend hours messing around, seeing what things did.
What’s your favourite thing about the industry?
The variety and depth of problems we face on a daily basis! I’m curious by nature and get interested and excited about anything technical. The technology industry allows me to explore lots of technically challenging domains and learn a lot about other people’s worlds. I find that a lot of people just aren’t aware of what’s possible with the tech available these days, introducing them to the right tools and solutions is great fun.
Where do you see yourself/your company in five years?
I’d hope to progress technically, but also from a business perspective. It’s easy for tech guys to be a stereotype and get locked into their computer and have little interaction or involvement with the end users of their work. I’ve always been keen to see the final product of my work and to build relationships with the people I’m working with/for. Ultimately, I believe, this allows me to better understand their wants/needs and develop my skills.
What’s your role and what does a typical day involve?
My role as a Data Scientist at Incremental Group is quite varied. I often say that the “Data Scientist” role still isn’t quite well defined, if you google the term you will find many different definitions. On a typical day you would find me developing a solution for a customer project. If that’s the case I’ll be getting stuck into lots of reading/research and coding. I like to talk things out a lot, so I’m often bouncing ideas off my fellow Incrementalists in brainstorming meetings or pestering them at their desks!
Looking to the future, what do you see as being the next big thing in tech?
Maybe not necessarily the next big thing but I think the migration to the cloud will continue and more people will adopt that as a natural state for things. Deployment of machine learning solutions is still somewhat limited in the mass market, or often hidden behind other services. I think we’ll start to see more of this in the next few years and people will really start to see the value it can bring.
Any new products, services, events coming up for your business?
I am presenting at Incremental’s two Dynamics Forums which take place 28th and 29th August (one in Aberdeen and the other at Microsoft in Edinburgh). I’m running a session called “Data Science 101” which is basically a crash course in data science – what it is and the benefits it can bring to organisations!
If you could give one piece of advice to an emerging business/startup, what would it be?
Keep your data in check! Every project I’ve ever worked on has involved a massive amount of collecting, fixing and tidying up data. All the clever/fun stuff like building ML models can’t be done without well formatted data, it’s often a huge job to take the sparse and disparate data sources that are available and turn them into something usable.
It has got to be the fact I get to face very challenging problems and build solutions that only a few years ago would have sounded like magic! The capabilities afforded to us through recent advances in ML and AI make so much more possible. Helping the businesses I work with realise the best approach to using these tools is really rewarding.
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