Meet the data scientist: Colin Nugteren

When did you find out that you wanted to be a data scientist? What motivated you to become one?
When I was 17, I started looking for something to study at the university level and spent a lot of time at different universities looking for courses on different subjects. My interests are quite large – from IT and technical subjects to economics and marketing. This led me to econometrics – a study that combines math, programming and economics.

Which department do you work in and who do you report to?
I have worked as an analyst for DirectPay for four years and I reported to the IT manager for the systems we are building. At the same time, I reported to the CEO for the analysis of our clients and portfolios. I learned a lot from that combination of IT and business.

I was simply hired to analyze the database of payments and I thought I would be done within a year or two. I learned that this process is running and new possible improvements are emerging daily. In 2015, I was promoted to CAO, and now I am responsible for both the analytics department and the analytical decisions that underlie our operational processes that are actually trying to raise money. Within these processes, the use of analytics was subject to a long time, but we have achieved good results with analytics over the last few years.

Do you work on a team? If so, what is the composition of your team?
In our leadership, I work closely with my colleagues responsible for IT and sales. I work with my team of data scientists and our team works closely with the development team, DBA, R&D and the business team. We realized that there are huge opportunities to analyze more high quality data. I like working with intelligent people who challenge me to think out of the box.

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How’s your job? Is there a typical day, or is each day different? Can you give us a basic idea of ​​what you’re doing and the type of projects you’re working on?
Currently, I am responsible for implementing the SAS Enterprise Decision Management system. So I’m actually paying close attention again to the different SAS systems that I used to work with daily, like SAS Visual Analytics, SAS / STAT® and SAS® Enterprise Miner. We work hard to bring these models and analytics to SAS Decision Manager and SAS Data Integration Studio.

I have always used SAS Visual Analytics because I like to do the analysis of important clients myself. I understand our business and customers best this way. In my current role, every day is different, but I end every day with SAS Visual Analytics and look at the production reports. Our main goal is to implement as much intelligence in our systems and decisions as possible, and I am very busy finding opportunities to increase the use of intelligent systems.

Is your job the way you expected it to be?
I love my job, especially the combination of analytics, business strategy and processes. It is much better than I expected.

What is your biggest challenge?
Spending time effectively is a serious challenge. My work is never finished, but I try to set goals every day and achieve them. But this can be a real challenge some days.

What is your biggest achievement so far?
Building credit rating and debt collection systems that allow our organization.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family. I really enjoy a good book or movie and I like to play golf regularly.

What is your favorite new technology or app?
I like to read The edge regularly because of the combination of technology and science.

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