Digging In is a regular series of blog posts profiling UDig employees. We hope this series helps you to get to know our team and understand why we dig what we do!
UDig: Tell us a little bit about your background and your role at UDig.
MP: I did my undergraduate work at MIT with a major in Mechanical Engineering due to my love for math and physics. After a couple of years of course work and some internships, I realized I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I felt like too small a part of much larger projects, and I wanted to feel more ownership over the end product. I ended up getting a minor in business and economics, which led to my first job as a business analytics consultant in an enterprise organization. There, I learned how to apply my critical thinking skills and uncovered the power of data. I went on to other roles in data analytics, governance and quality before coming to UDig as a data consultant.
UDig: What is it about data that’s so exciting to you?
MP: What’s not to love?!? I think it’s just the way my brain works. I’m naturally analytical, I always want the facts to tackle the problem in front of me. It’s really exciting to see how the power of data can be used to solve problems or uncover new insights. Especially in large organizations, there is often so much data that is untapped.
UDig: Why did you choose UDig?
MP: Being a consultant is perfect for me because I have broad passion for all types of data challenges. This position allows me to work on a wide variety of projects, in a bunch of different industries often with different technologies. I chose UDig because I really enjoy the start-up culture; it’s small but growing fast. Also, the people are friendly and the work/life balance is excellent.
UDig: What’s the best project you ever worked on?
MP: Working for a large retailer, I was asked to determine why a segment of stores was underperforming. Using data analytics, I identified three key operational levers that were impacting operational profitability and worked with a team to develop training and processes to improve in those areas. Ultimately, we saved the company millions per year through those programs. This project was a great example of a broad question where data could help bring about new insights and deliver immediate business impact.
UDig: What emerging technology are you most interested in?
MP: As companies realize data is such a strategic asset, there are more tools emerging to help simplify the process and more readily leverage data. It’s really exciting to see how quickly things are evolving and how the market will be disrupted. I’m anxiously awaiting the launch of Project Maestro from Tableau. Based on the demo I saw at Tableau Conference 2016, I think it has the power to change the entire ETL data prep landscape.
UDig: What is your favorite online procrastination tool?
MP: I am an anti-procrastinator! There is nothing more satisfying then checking things off of my to-do list. Once I’m done with my tasks, I’ll generally turn to reading the news or Mint blog, I’m really interested in personal finance.
Something that has helped me take control of my workload and avoid procrastinating is a great tool called Toggl. It helps me keep track of how much time I’m spending on certain tasks. I guess you could say I’m using it to data-fy my daily activities!
UDig: What is the most played song in your library?
MP: It changes every few months as I discover a new soundtrack to get hooked on. Right now it’s the Moana soundtrack!
UDig: You’ve been told you are not allowed to work tomorrow, how do you spend your day?
MP: I would probably spend a relaxing day at home, reading, snuggling with my animals (2 dogs and 3 cats) and playing the cello.