Life as … a Data Scientist– Risa Pavia
The majority of our Tobania world (called “the galaxy” according to our Tobians) is populated by our consultants. Each with their own expertise strapped to their backpacks, they head out to our client’s workplace to deliver targeted projects. Perhaps at yours as well? Well, time to get to know them personally! Featured in this edition: Risa Pavia, Data Scientist.
What makes working as a Data Scientist so unique?
As a Data Scientist, you satisfy your natural curiosity by digging into data. We usually start with an in-depth research to understand the dynamics and limitations of data, and then do our best to turn these insights into advanced analytics. That way, we can help companies make better decisions. For example, data scientists can use data on which customers leave a company to build a model that proactively identifies which customers are likely to leave in the future. This allows companies to act in time to avoid losing these customers.
How would your colleagues describe you?
I would say as hardworking, caring, curious and friendly.
Who inspires you?
My biggest inspiration is Enrica Strettoi, research director of the Institute of Neuroscience in Pisa and my adoptive aunt during my studies in Italy. She has pursued her research passionately and tirelessly throughout her career and has become a leader in a challenging field, whilst also supervising numerous PhD students and raising a wonderful family.
What is your go-to productivity trick?
When I get stuck in my work on a long-term project or get overwhelmed by a lot of small tasks, I often use the Pomodoro technique to get myself back into a good working rhythm.
How can you stand out as a Data Scientist?
As a Data Scientist, it is very essential to be able to translate your work into understandable and actionable insights for the business and to learn to communicate them effectively. If not, you spend a lot of time building complex models that never get actually used.
What did your career path look like?
My data career kicked off during my PhD in Economics, when I first discovered the joys of digging up insights from large and messy data sets. I did a three-month bootcamp to learn the basics of coding and data science, and then started in data and analytics in the insurance sector. Afterwards, I moved on to a consultancy specialising in detecting financial fraud through network analytics, and then joined Tobania in August 2022 after being approached by top recruiter Nassira Riad.
“Keep an open mind and seize opportunities as they arise, because life always throws you unexpected curveballs that can derail the most carefully drawn-up plans.”
If you could go back in time. What would you say to yourself at the start of your career?
I would tell myself to keep an open mind and seize opportunities as they arise, because life always throws you unexpected curveballs that can derail the most carefully drawn-up plans.
What gives you a professional high?
I get great satisfaction from seeing the results of my work applied in organisations. Whether that’s through improving the customer experience, finding new and sustainable ways to grow, gaining a better understanding of future challenges, or other areas that provide me with a concrete sense of the broader importance of my daily tasks.
Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
My parents have always been my biggest mentors during my career, helping me make important choices and encouraging me to learn and grow.
Would you like to be a mentor to others?
Yes, I have mentored others in the past and I look forward to doing the same at Tobania!
What skill did you develop during your career that was worth the effort?
I have developed a lot of flexibility in dealing with the unexpected, as well as a better understanding of my own limits. Both are essential for working in a fast-changing field like data science.
What does your desired future look like?
For now, I am enjoying working on my first customer project and diving into new material and technology. After that, who knows!
“The most important reason to come to work is the colleagues, who are a great source of support and inspiration.”
Why should fellow Data Scientists join you at Tobania?
At Tobania, you are constantly learning and growing in data science, with opportunities to pick up all kinds of new skills. But the most important reason to come to work at Tobania is the colleagues, who are a great source of support and inspiration and make it easy to look forward to coming to work every day.