How much of an honour is it to win this award?It is nice to feel recognised and appreciated not only by my company and colleagues but also by the wider data science community.
Were there any particular projects that contributed towards the award win / or that you are proud of?I think what might have helped is my passion about data science and my excitement to help others learn and transition into this career. Having moved from academia to data science, I can empathise with the doubts and anxieties of students and professionals who want to switch into this field.
After being approached by many people from different backgrounds through social platforms and at meetings, I decided to make use of my teaching experience to empower the data science community and help individuals learn about what we do. To this end, I created a website that gathers resources that students can go to, to get a better understanding of specific skills.
In addition, I identified gaps in the available online resources to learn very specific aspects of data science and machine learning, for example how to engineer the variables that are going to be used by a machine learning model or how to select from a huge number of variables only those that have the highest predictive value. To fill this gap, I designed two online courses which are now live in a well-known massive open online course platform, and between them they have enrolled 1000+ students from across the globe.
What first attracted you to a role at LV=?One of the key factors that makes LV= an excellent place for data scientists is that we work as a consultancy within the company and as such, we build end-to-end machine learning solutions across all areas of the business. This allows me and my colleague data scientists to work on different projects, utilise different techniques and at the same time we learn how different parts of the business work. As such, we are in constant growth and constant challenge. There is always an opportunity to apply a new technique, a new algorithm or to design a new creative innovative solution. This makes the job extremely exciting at the time that allows us to grow as data scientists, as leaders in the company and in the field.
How has LV= enabled you to excel in this field? (Any particular influences?)LV= has contributed enormously to my growth as a data scientist. This has been mostly through giving me the opportunity to work across various parts of the business and implement different machine learning techniques or solutions. I think in particular the support, trust and recognition by the Head of Data, and also the wider business has been key to motivate me and the team to go the extra mile, and thrive to be better.
About LV=LV= employs over 6,000 people and serves over 5.8 million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.
When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.
We are currently the UK's number one brand for Insurance and Investments, according to the 2015 YouGov Brand Index Buzz Rankings.
We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trade unions.
Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.