Berenice Pila-Diez

Data Scientist, Experian Data Labs

What does being a Data Scientist mean?

My job involves working with data, usually large and complex data sets, and building models on top of them to hopefully learn about complex relationships that are hidden in the data.

What do you like best about your job?

What I love about working in data is that occasionally we are the first people to discover something, maybe because of the nature of the data, or maybe no one has looked at it before or not in the same way. Also I like that we can challenge assumptions and see what the data really tells us about our initial hypothesis.

How did you get to where you are?

As a child I was very curious about many different things – history, music, literature and science. However before starting secondary school I realised I was very curious to understand how nature works and through high school I really enjoyed Mathematics and Science, so I decided to study Physics for my undergrad degree. I think that had a lot to do eventually with becoming a data scientist; there are many similarities like trying to understand the way things work through maths and analytics.

What’s been the best life lesson you’ve learned?

Very often I used to assume that something was not possible because of project pressures or the environment, but often if you ask for things – additional preparation, a course to strengthen your skills, a holiday or promotion, you may get things that you didn’t expect.

Often if you ask for things, you may get things that you didn’t expect.
What significant object have you chosen?

The object I’ve chosen is this small notebook. I started it when I was 15 or 16 years old and ever since I’ve been filling it with quotes, things that I find inspiring or wise, or that align with how I feel about how to treat other people or relate to the world. One of the quotes I like is: “Life is like clay, it’s just waiting for us to give it shape”. Another quote is: “Every person is born as an original but most of them die as a copy”. There are things about politics, about friendship, about love, happiness, anything that I find wise. It’s very special to me.