What degree did you study at university, Sarah?
Can you tell us why you chose this career?
It came as an opportunity just after I finished university. I want to help organizations and institutions to resolve People problems, by utilising data driven solutions that are inclusive and create a positive impact for all population segments.
What’s a typical day like in your job?
I kick off my day using the 80/20 rule. I focus 80% of my day on my main role (i.e data analysis on a specific business area in order to identify problems and patterns pertaining to customer behaviour). The other 20% is spent on resolving ad hoc business requests.
What are the some of the highlights and challenges of your role?
Some of the main challenges include: being a Data Scientist is a new role in our organisation and as a result this role evolves as we discover new ways to gather customer insights. Also, there is a slow adoption by the business of the proposed solutions, as they require to be taken through the proposals in detail for them to understand how to execute on them. High engagements are required, which also takes up time. A highlight for my work at Standard Bank is that I have a passion to work with data and I derive fulfillment when we are able resolve customer problems using data analytics.
How do you keep up to date with all the changes in your profession?
Through constant learning, especially in the technology field, as well as keeping up with new ways of doing programming and developing new algorithms in Data Science. These emerge every day, so every day is a learning day for me. So I ensure that I keep up with the latest trends. Also, I always adapt to the changes in business requirements and make recommendations on what the new focus areas should be, based on what the data is telling me.
What do you enjoy doing for fun outside of the office?
I love doing interior decorating and organizing a broad spectrum of events (i.e dinner parties and bridal showers, etc). I am also a participant of the Supporting Young Dreamers (SYD) initiative, which provides stationery to primary schools in rural areas.
Thanks for sharing with us, Sarah!