Contemporary Analysis

Data Science

Tadd Wood

Why I became a Data Scientist at Contemporary Analysis

My name is Branden Collingsworth. I interned at Contemporary Analysis this summer, and joined the team full-time January 2nd, 2012 as a data scientist.  As a data scientist I use tools from econometrics, statistics, operations research, and data mining to solve our client’s business problems.

Why did I decide to work at Contemporary Analysis?
While working on my undergraduate degree in economics and my MBA, I really enjoyed learning about the tools available for the kind of analysis we do here at CAN.  While data science is a growing field, there are relatively few data science companies.  More importantly, many of CAN's competitors don’t have the same emphasis on business that we have.  CAN approaches clients to help improve their business, not just to show off fancy statistical techniques. That business-centered approach is really refreshing in an industry that is easily bogged down in esoteric discussions of complex methodology. I’m passionate about the focus on practical result that can be easily implemented to make a big impact.

What do I like most about working at CAN?
Because our clients represent a wide range industries and sizes, every project is unique. I am really excited by the opportunity to learn something new about our clients. When we can look at a data set and can discover new knowledge like which customers are most loyal, what causes employee turnover, how economic forces outside the business influence revenue, or where is the best physical location for a business, we are learning something new about our clients' businesses, something that is valuable and has real business consequences. We can have big impact on our client’s business which makes for very satisfying work.

What do I like most about being a data scientist?
Data science a really interesting and challenging field. It’s such a new field, there is a lot to learn and the methods are changing and evolving. New techniques are becoming more and more relevant all of the time. Working in this field requires knowledge and passion about such a wide range of topics: psychology and human behavior, economics, computer science, marketing, statistics, operations research, decision science, and even linguistics. I love the challenges that come with working on these kinds problems. There is never a dull day.

What are you most excited about for your future at CAN?
I think as more businesses begin to understand what we can do for them, we’ll get more and more interesting projects. I like to see people make informed and well thought out decisions, and that is what CAN is all about. I think we are on the vanguard of a big change in the way people think about making business decisions. Now that the data is increasingly available people can either use it or ignore it. Those who put information to its best use will have a significant advantage over everyone else. It’s inevitable, and I want to be a part of it.

I am excited to join the Contemporary Analysis team, and helping CAN's clients work smart.  You might also enjoy Predictive Analytics and the Evolution of Business Intelligence and the Future Belongs to Data Scientists.

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