Analytics: The Magnificent Seven #04
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A critical element in every Analytics Leader’s success is their Mindset. My Analytics: The Magnificent Seven series looks beyond the hype at the beliefs and behaviours that engender excellence.
Each episode of Analytics: The Magnificent Seven, will see me interview some of the industry’s top leaders to gain insight into their unique journeys and find out how they got to where they are in Analytics today.
This week, I speak with a close contact of ours and a leader within arguably one of the worlds coolest or even “grooviest” companies, Isabella Pighi – Director of Data Science Analytics at SoundCloud
1) How did you get started in Analytics?
My first role was as system administration in a startup. At the time, no one on the team really wanted to do log analysis, neither HTTP nor SYS logs. Being the most junior person on the team, I took on the least favourite job. This was a formative role for me, and many years later I’m still fluent in any log format. Taking the time to learn the internals, helps a great deal in understanding what’s happening behind the scenes.
2) What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I’m fortunate in my current role to be able to bring together my two biggest passions – music and mathematics. The creators on SoundCloud are shaping culture and defining what’s next in music. It’s exciting and emotional to see this happening on SoundCloud every day and I’m proud to play my part on the data and insights side to support them.
3) What has been your most significant success to date?
In one of my prior positions, I got to take part in creating the first African Top 100s. My role was to test the results and I got to discover and listen to awesome music for months!
4) What has been your biggest challenge to date?
With the evolution of data enterprise, the size and complexity of data sets increase daily with an unforeseeable speed. Increased awareness and standards around ethical practices have created new regulatory frameworks. This constant state-of-change keeps us on our toes.
5) How have you seen the industry change since you started?
It has changed radically. In the past, there was little awareness, understanding or regard for the data science role. Investment in data governance was perceived as optional and aimed to provide only what was necessary. Fortunately, with today’s rapid digital transformation, there is more understanding of the critical value brought by data-driven initiatives. The technology stack is ever-evolving with a plethora of solutions to choose from that take care of the entire data life cycle. Very sophisticated solutions are just a click away, leaving us busy with the intellectual side that makes our jobs so fascinating.
6) What do you see for the future for analytics?
I can see analytics becoming more pervasive and supporting the intellectual work of many different professions. It is not meant to replace the human factor, but provide useful insights that might go overlooked otherwise.
7) What advice would you give anyone pursuing a career in Analytics?
It is a never-ending journey. We need to stay always up-to-date on the state-of-the-art tools and best practices. The theoretical foundation is also continually evolving with vibrant contributions coming from academia and the business sector. If you have a thirst for knowledge, if you are curious and eager to learn more, then analytics is your true calling.