Life as a Data Scientist

Have you ever wondered what life as a Data Scientist is really like here in Bristol? What does one do? What does it take to become one and what to stay top of the game?

We caught up with James Sciberras, Data Scientist at OnCorps to give you a little more insight – if you are considering a career within the analytics industry or are planning on adding an expert to your team – you can find some first-hand perception right here: James Sciberras Data Scientist

ADLIB: In approx. 30 words what does your role involve?

James Sciberras: Analysing big data sets to determine trends and forecast futures, and then present this findings to the client in easily understandable charts and reports.

ADLIB: What has been your career highlight so far?

James Sciberras: My career highlight thus far has been achieving my PhD in Statisical Epidemiology. Although I am no longer in academia, many of the skills that I learnt have been transferable, and I still think of that as my most impressive piece of work.

ADLIB: In a nutshell, what is a typical day like for you? (…if there is such thing)

James Sciberras: Most days are split into thirds, though rarely in blocks of thirds. About a third of my day is spent in collaborative working sessions or meetings, a third is spent on coding up the solutions and ideas, and another third is spent investigating the data and thinking of possible solutions and algorithms to implement. There are also other requirements on my time, such as client meetings or admin, but in general most days play out in this way.

ADLIB: What do you like most about your job?

James Sciberras: It is challenging and fun, and requires me to stretch my mental muscles. I also enjoy figuring out the puzzle(s) that is presented by the data.

ADLIB: What do you see as the top 3 skills it takes to become a Data Scientist?

James Sciberras: Curiosity, attention to detail, perseverance (and a bonus: caffeine!).

ADLIB: What top tip would you give someone to ensure that their skills and knowledge as a Data Scientist remain top notch?

James Sciberras: Always keep learning new methods and techniques, and continue getting out of your comfort zone. Watch random maths videos on youtube, do puzzles, go to MeetUps, constantly ask yourself “what do I not know?”

Thank you James for sharing!

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Head of Data

Insight & Analytics

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Alex Cosgrove