I’m a data scientist based in Cork with a passion for data, football and sports. Mid week you’re likely to find me eating or walking our dog Bob when I’m not at work and at weekends, well it’s more of the same!
I studied Economics and History at University College Dublin because I was uncertain about what I wanted to do in life but knew I wanted to study something that I enjoyed. Unsurprisingly, Economic History was my favorite module where I got to write about the history of banking in Florence during the middle ages.
Still unsure about what career path I wanted to take I decided to apply for a graduate programme offered by Monaghan Mushrooms. I was hoping for a role in their marketing department and while I was successful in my application, I was offered a role as a Trainee Farm Manager on their Langford site just outside Bristol. With no experience in agriculture and unsure about what I was letting myself in for, I went with it and spent the next 9 months learning the trade of growing mushrooms on Europe’s largest mushroom farm.
Despite learning the trade quickly it was obvious to those around me that I wasn’t quite cut out for life on the farm. Mushroom houses are very humid and I didn’t enjoy the transitioning from the wet and cold Langford winter weather to the humidity of the houses, regularly picking up coughs and colds! Fortunately an opportunity came up in a newly formed Growing Technical Department back in Ireland. The aim of this department was to establish a central hub to support the growers across the Monaghan Mushrooms Group (roughly 14 between Ireland, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada).
The department grew organically in ambition and reach, as did my love of analytics. It was in this role I started to feel like data analytics was the path for me. Over the 4 years in this position I was able to work on a variety of niche projects like automating growing technical checks and using statistical analysis to identify anomalies on the farms.
During my time at Monaghan Mushrooms I graduated from National College of Ireland with a Higher Diploma in Data Analytics. It was a crash course in analytics, covering a range of modules such as data mining, data visualization and data management. Shortly after that I began a role with the Analytics Innovation Team in the Customer Analytics Department at AIB where I was introduced to the world of analytics in banking. Again, I was able to work on a variety of projects such as KYC projects and calculating the amount of cash in the Irish economy to predict future cash demand (FYI, with the increased use of mobile apps during the COVID lockdowns, this analysis is now…pointless!).
My next position in AIB was on the Predictive Modelling Team, tasked with building and validating customer propensity models for targeted marketing campaigns. On this team I was able to develop my predictive modelling skills before moving onto Bank of Ireland as an Analytics Manager in their Group Internal Audit Department. The aim of this team was to develop the analytical capability of the Department by making the audit process smarter while bringing auditors up to a standard level of analytics allowing them to self-serve in the future. From there I moved over to the Strategic Analytics team in Bank of Ireland, working on projects such as customer de-duplication and creating a single view of the customer for Business Banking and Corporate customers.
I currently work for GRID finance. We’re on a journey to serving 10,000 customers by providing them with short term loans and an analytics platform that educates them on the health of their business. As Lead Data Scientist, I’m responsible for developing and maintaining the analytics behind the platform.
The reason why I wanted to share my analytics journey is that I believe data and the power of analytics is essential to all decisions – and we’re all on our own journey. I hope this site allows me to share my passion for data while educating others at the same time.