University of Utah School of Medicine Clinical Data Analysis and Implementation, Sr Business Data Analyst
University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business Masters of Science, Information Systems
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
So my name is Spencer Hinckley. I worked for the University of Utah in, uh, Utah USA, Salt Lake City, Utah USA. And I got to where I am through a number of, uh, mentors and through some strong, um, work encounters that I've had and threw my schooling. So Thio kind of line that up and to bring that all together, Um, I have an undergraduate degree in operations management from the University of Utah. I have a master's degree in information systems from the University of Utah, and I have worked at a number of, um, small companies to one Fortune 500 company that has given me the opportunity to rub shoulders with people who have recognized my strengths and been able to have some real conversations with me to say, Hey, I think this is an area that you should pay attention to your skill set into and the continue sharpen those. And, um, if there's one thing that I would say, I feel that those touchpoints, um, did my career more service than anything else that I've done be that schooling or, um yeah, any prep work that I've done aside from those touch points I can say hands down, listening to a mentor, getting that time and hearing, um, where they see their X where their expertise sees the future of my of the is going, um, and preparing based on that has been so helpful.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? What are the top three priorities? What are weekly work hours like?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
um, in my position, I handle things from taking on new projects, meaning that we have never seen this type of work before. Um, example. A use case example of that would be throughout Cove it onda pandemic that we've been seeing Now we did not have the ability to ramp up our telehealth services to be able to grant people telehealth appointments or two for their appointment reminders to transition to a Hey, this is a telehealth appointment. So they'd get an appointment reminder telling them to come to clinic when it was really a telehealth appointment that they could take from their phone on DSO using data in our data warehouse and available through the Elektronik health record, Um, I wrote an algorithm that would go through and could assigned with relatively high accuracy around 97 to 98% accuracy. Um, which appointments should be considered telehealth. And then we supply that data to a third party vendor who then manipulates that text message to say that this is a telehealth message and this is how you get those get onto those appointments so it reduces, um, patient confusion. We get a higher, um, success rate reducing are no shows. So we get. It's better for our revenue. It's better for our operations. It's better for patient care. Um, so we handle we have a problem. Projects like that as well as things like, Hey, we have this new drug. We wanna see if we could do a study based on patients with these conditions. Can you help us to see how many patients we have that might qualify? So a very big range of operations. Um, but all in all we use we use data available from the EMR or from different healthcare operations to answer health related questions. Operations related questions down to even how many rooms should we rent in a month?my top three priorities of the areas that I really focus into our How can we keep our operations informed so that they their best decisions? Ah, how are we staying ahead of the curve? And what relationships do we need to be making? Um, as in in our, uh, data aspect, the data points that we really see as data people. We are all familiar with what the concept of metadata is or the data about the data. And we tend to take data as law. But in reality, it is the metadata of what his ah process that has already happened. And we need help putting that into context. And those relationships are the only way that you're going to be able to do that. Um, and furthermore, if you're trying to drive change with data without those relationships in place, uh, showing up to a meeting with data can be very intimidating to people. But if you've already bridged that gap, if you've already made that relationship and it's more about the story you're trying to tell, you'll be so much more successful in your career.I work, I would say I'm regularly a 40 hour week individual. Um, I do have the occasional 50 or 60 hour work week, but the majority, I would say my averages right around 40. Um, part of that is that I even employees, um, demands that they are, uh, when they're at work there at work and when they're not at work. I don't want them to be at work, So, um, it's, I think work life balance is a very important thing. And I've tried Thio keep that in my own life, and I also keep it for my employees.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
eso I would say our biggest to Softwares on all time. The languages with it are. And I probably put three in here. Eso we use SQL through, uh, Toad Micro. Sorry. Quests toed, which is the Dale product. Um, and that's it's been a great, um, relation database query tool that we have used across the board for my sequel, Oracle Access databases. Basically, to manage all of them and to manage our connections. All of them we love using. Yeah. Thank you. Toad is the name of the software eso we use toad. For data analysts, the second one would be tableau. Ah, lot of our data work data, prep work, automation zones will all be done in code. And then all of our visualizations will be done in tableau. And we do have a tableau server that we push everything to we maintain, and then we show basically our operations dashboards are all built there. The nice thing about it is we get to see who's using them, how often they're hitting them on gives us nice user feedback so that we can see what features people have liked. What features people aren't using. Onda helps us to know where we can go out and re educate or where to go out and hit that people are using. And it's been successful. Aan den. The last one would be Microsoft Excel. Um, this one kind of just are quick and dirty If we're just proving, um that hey, we can make something useful out of this before we'll invest the time to push it into tableau will probably build a draft version of it in itself. And we'll use vb eight. Oughta me? Um and our automation scheme is, uh it's dated, I would say on DWI use anything from command prompt dos to vb a andan, the toad automation scripts. So, really, those three languages are the most common we use.

What are major challenges and pain points in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in overcoming them? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
um the major pain points and challenges are, um I think as data people, we are very married to the data and what the data tells us and how it points us. Um, And in working with clinicians, um, they're very married to the idea that they were taught in a certain way. Um, and that that way has precedent that way Has history on DSO. It can be very challenging at times to come into a clinician and say the data is suggesting that we might should consider another direction. Um, that is something simple. Like what your no show policy should be or yeah, yeah, it could be. It could be a very wide range of aspects. I'm not suggesting that physicians are pushing against things that would improve patient care, but we're working with highly educated people. Um, and when you're bringing in data, it is easy for them to nitpick into the data and to get caught in tiny, tiny details that don't change the overall performance of the algorithm. Um and so trying to keep people on task is probably one of the biggest areas. That is a challenge. And number two trying to keep people from using data as a weapon. Um, and rather to keep it as something that is informative. Something that keeps your career or your business moving in a great direction. Um, that that's when area where data care me, uh, it can augment any businesses performance. Uh, but it can also harm any business if it starts to be used for, ah, weapon against its employees. Um, and that is the number two issue that we run into is will get asked toe provide data that shows that this employee isn't performing as well as another employee. And to justify reason for, um, release or termination of employment. And that's not something that we want to be seen in the business of doing because, uh, it is detrimental Thio. Anytime we walk into a room, people didn't want to know. Are we there to prove why they should be fired? Andi, that's not what we do. So we we fight basically those two, um, requests a zoo often as they come up pretty

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
um, the most frequent title role that I work with are gonna be director. So Director of operations is appear that I work with a director of operations outside of my entity because we work with the area that I work in is Primary Children's Hospital, which is actually University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare. It's a joint, uh, it's a joint entity where both those entities come together and they're normally competitors. Eso Intermountain owns the building and all of the mid level staff. So usually nurses, uh, all of your M A staff. All of those people report up to Intermountain. All of the providers nurse practitioners, Um, all of basically the people providing care that air above what you see in the room, um, those were going to be University of Utah owned employees if we talk about ownership that way. And so I have to bridge frequently between the two entities, be able to support people asking questions from both sides. And then, um, I would say the biggest thing to working with either directors or executive directors or CEOs of the hospital, um, is going to be, uh, knowing when to stand your ground on what is right based on the data and when to say that's an area that I don't know and then committing to come come back and answer the question. Andi, if you make a mistake, quickly, correct it. Um, I'm not a perfect person. I've had to write several emails out either taking the time to correct a mistake that I've made, um, or a misspelling that I made Or um, you know, something, Something along that line in my analysis, correct and adjust that those expectations. But taking that time to do that builds the trust so that when you stand your ground, people are more willing to hear what you have to say, Um and know that it's important because you're you're not choosing to stand your ground on every aspect along the way and that you know that they know they will also know that you're willing to, um, give ground when you recognize that you've made a mistake

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
s o k p. Eyes of a job like mine. Um, it's This is something that I think my boss would would love to nail down, right? Um and I the biggest thing that is very difficult. You could count the number of queries and the number of lines of code that I've written. Um, but that's going to change quarter to quarter month a month. Based on what kind of projects I'm working on. How complex those are S O. The established KP that I have for myself and for my analysts is customer satisfaction on DWI link up to our stakeholders. We look at which stakeholders you've worked with in the last quarter and then we customer satisfaction survey, which has couple of very basic questions like, did they perform? Um, did they respond in an adequate amount of time where their instructions or reports clear and understandable? Um, did they deliver satisfactory work to you, and would you work with him again? And those combination of questions to say, you know, are you meeting your customer's needs that that's really how I am judged and how my employees are judged

What things do you like about your job? Were there any pleasant surprises?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
Yeah, eso the things I really like about my job. I, um, have really enjoyed being a manager. Um, most of the analysts that we hire right now, I have a have a junior analyst, maybe two junior analysts at times Andi, then a senior analyst. That is underneath me, um, and being able to hire and coach, um, and we bring them in from varying backgrounds. Some have no analysts experience when they come in. And some have, uh, during extensive background. The senior analyst that we have right now came to us with 10 years of analytics experience. Most of the junior analysts that come to us will have changed career paths by the time they come to us. Um and so the majority of them we train in everything from this is what SQL is, too. This is how you write bba, and we go through that whole training experience with them and seeing them change from someone who's interested in data to someone who knows how to read data and how to identify operational issues within an operation very quickly, um is a rewarding experience to be able to work with those people and kind of see them change their views in data and how they approach people with that data. Um, and then I would say the other part that's really rewarding is we are a Children's health care organization. And so, knowing that what we do every day impacts Children, um, whether it's the direct health care that they receive or getting them better access to health care or improving their experience while they're in the health care system, Um, that's really rewarding its We also participate in Press Ganey, which is a patient experience data collection module. Um, and so we get to see those direct impacts, um, to how people perceive our health care performance and how they perceive their wait times and clinics or their access to patient health care. So being able to see and uh, see that were directly impacting a patient's perspective of how they received that health care is extremely rewarding. This wealth

What skills and qualities does your team look for while hiring? What kind of questions does your team typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
So, um, I have I don't even read anybody's resume or look at their cover letters. Um, until they've taken a test. The test has a basic covering of problem solving skills. Andan example of a question that might be on that test would be you're given three leader and a five leader, uh, container that don't have a uniform shape. How? Describe a process by which you could give me four liters of water. Andi, the responsibility of the candidate, then, is to write out a process by which they could give you not an estimated four liters of water, but an exact four leader container of water. Um, and so there will be that That's probably two thirds of the value of the test. Is answering somewhere between three and six questions on problem solving Because we want to know, Do you have the mindset where you can see a problem that you've never experienced before? Break it down and come up with a reasonable response? Um, and so we we look at that, then we look at their exposure to SQL and their exposure to excel. Um, to get an interview you passed with 70%. Um with our current grouping of candidates. It's usually about 10% who pass it. That 70% mark aan den. We invite them in, we'll interview them on bond. After that, it's a fit test. Do you fit with our current employees? Do you fit with the stakeholders? We wanna carry you with Ondas long as all of those air good, fit and well, invest the time to train the candidate no matter where they are. So if they have zero experience and excels zero experience in, um analytics will invest that time if they can prove that they can problem solve and if they feel like a good fit with the rest of the organization.

What helped you to stand out in your hiring process? How should someone prepare for an interview for a job like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
I, uh What stands out in our interview, our processes that we don't, um we don't rule you out or rule you in based on your resume where you went to school, what degree you have. Um it will be solely based on performance of what you can do. And then, um, on the questions that you ask when you come to the interview, show that you're engaged. Um, And then I would say, uh, if any of your candidates or students do interview with me the feedback that I am most frequently given eyes that I don't have tells on whether you're doing good or bad during the interview.Yeah, I I frequently have been told that it was the most intimidating interview that they've ever had because they couldn't tell whether they were doing good or bad, so

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
Yeah s Oh, I have a couple different things that I would say. I feel like our career accomplishments. Um, the first is, um when I when I joined the pediatric team, they didn't have a solid use of data. Um, they had access to all of the data. They didn't know how to create reports, um that were meaningful. To drive their change on dso, I joined as an experiment. And then they expanded my team because I showed value. And the first project that really showed value was evaluating how much of a provider to time that they said that they are available to see patients verses. How much of their time do they actually get scheduled to see patients Onda? That gap would call that We call that that the gap unfilled time. Whereas if they're seeing patients, it's filled time. And we took that gap from an average of being around 40% down to an average of 20%. Um, we found that if we if we got, we did get it up to 10% for a while. You are down to 10% for a while. But we found that as we filled it 90%. Uh, the schedules became very inflexible, and it was very hard to move patients around. So we did drop our target down to about 80. Between 80 and 85% is what we target to fill, too. Um, but now we have the reporting to be able to identify who's not at that that target range. What areas we can fill from their template. We can. Then go and look and see. Um, what orders they have available, Uh, to put this in terms of impact, you're talking about an increase of about, I would say, 15 to 20% on revenue. And so it's a major impact that way when it comes to when you come to looking at your clinical enterprise. So and the bottom line is, your incremental increase in cost is going to be changed minimally, because your big cost in health care is going to be your salaries, and you're already paying your provider to be there. You're already paying your staffing to be there. Um, so there there is very little incremental increase in your expenses against that time that you already have built. Um, so that that was a big win for us on Ben. Uh, last year or sorry. Two years ago, we launched another project where we looked at. If you've to a provider's office recently, you probably know that they say, Okay, come see us again in six months or come see us again in a year. We took that, um, follow up order. Andi basically put in action around it that said, Okay, when that year is about up, let's look and see how long it takes a patient on average to get scheduled. And if that Let's just take an example of saying it takes you 30 days to get scheduled. You'll get a text messages. You'll get a text message 30 days out from when you should be scheduled. And it will say, Hey, you should call and schedule your follow up appointment with Dr Hinckley. Um, he requested to see you again. Onda. We took that follow up rate from being roughly around 20% to being about 50% of patients who have a follow border now complete their follow up. Eso that's again a huge when in that we're keeping patients. Um, we're keeping them with our practice and that We're continuing their care, and it's not just a revenue thing. It is also better practice because we're talking about kids who have, um, heart defects. They have long defects. They really should be followed up with every year Thio to make sure that their medication is staying the same so they don't lapse on the ability to get get their medication if they're on medication that they get renewed every year s. So there's a There's a lot of different aspects that can keep a kid out of the hospital because they got their, um, their medication updated correctly, and they didn't end up in the ER having to get a new script from the ER, so it za better patient care. It's also better for the patient because your out of pocket expense going to a clinic is much less than your out of pocket expense going to the ER or the emergency room

What is a future career path for professionals in your role? How long does it typically take to advance through various roles? How easy are such promotions to come by?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
um So I, um I would say that the ability to get to progress through that career path depends on what experience you come in with. So you're coming in with no experience fresh from college or fresh from a differing background? Um, you should probably expect to spend between I would say, two and four years in an analyst role. A junior analyst role. Um, learning how to use the data, where to access the data and basically becoming a master of I how to manipulate that data to get in the get it in the four minutes that you need for visualization than storytelling. Um, Thio basically be able to tell the story that the data is trying to tell you. Um, and within any organization, even if you come in with experience, you should probably expect to spend about a year in that junior analyst role toe learn their data architectures, because that's going to defer every single place that you go. Um, And then you have the opportunity to move to a senior senior role or to be hired into a senior role if your analytics experience is really justifies. And usually we say you have about five years of experience, and we hire you straight into a senior role. Um, that senior role has the ability to, um they're usually gonna have an advanced degree. Um, if not, they're going toe. Have two years of expertise for every year of advanced degree that they should have. Um and then so you're looking at there is a starting spot of about four years is what they would expect of background. Um, and then on top of that, they're going toe have experienced showing that they can do that. They that they can have big projects that they have pushed through. So they're going to demonstrate something like what I talked about with some of our career success is on my team or my own career. Success is on what we drove. Um, Because we're looking for how can you work together with so many groups and bring it together? Thio Impact three Greater good or the great greater good for the business that we're running on DSO they're They're gonna have some demonstrated experience that they could do that and that they can communicate consistently across the board. Um and then when it comes to my level. Um, I'll say that I'm the first in my role here. Um, What I would hope that they would hire after me. Um, when I eventually do change from my role, I would hope that they hire someone who, um who enjoys keeping information, Not not as a weapon on bond. I've really had to campaign that. That information should be open and free across the organization, Um, and to keep it open that way. Um, and to kind of be an advocate, that hey, way work, um, to better provider's ability to give care to patients on DSO. Those providers need to have access to their data. They need to be able to know it is intimately is they want to know it. But if not, then we have administrative managers along the way who can help and kind of given career nudges to those providers who need them. Whether that's in patient care, whether that's in, um, there's a number of places where those career not just can happen. And we just need to arm the people who are going to be that providers mentor, um, to to be able to make that change or even if that provider is, uh, process driven for them to be able to evaluate the changes that they're making to see if they're effective or not to give them that information so that they don't have Thio spend seven years chart reviewing to see. You know, if I made this little change, how has it affected me? Um, and then they spent a tremendous amount of time chart review.

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle? What were the top three priorities and pain points? What strategies were effective in dealing with challenges?

Based on experience at: Operations Subject Matter Expert, JCPenny Co
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
s o. I dealt with the inventory team, um, at JC Penney's and, um, part of my responsibility. This was during their time of transition when they went through three CEOs in the period that I worked there. Um, So, um, during the mid to late part of my employment there, um, I was strictly focused on where do we have inventory? That's not selling. And where could we send it to get sold? Eso I and I also worked on their r F I D project or their radio frequency ID ID project that they had for a while where they were trying to take inventories based on just scanning the whole store and having r f I D tags ping back to the sensors and say, This is how much inventory you have. Eso We had to work through a lot of headaches with that system on doing accurate inventory counts. And then we would say this is what the R F I D scan gave us. Can you go manually, count this section and tell us if we match and then we had to identify what kinds of products Where is this effective for what kind of project products. Did this not work for? Um, but those were the big areas that I worked with. An r f i D. Scanning and in, um, inventory prediction of what products? We should move stores because that size of Gene was on selling. That size and style of Jean wasn't selling at this store, but it was in this other city. So, um, kind of making suggestions on how to move inventory around to get it sold.um, I would say the top challenges with J. C. Penney's was It was This is an area where I would contrast my current position with this position. Um, it operated very much like, uh, very long established company and that there was fire walls and barriers between people who had ideas, leadership, onda, how to get things changed. And, uh, sometimes those barriers were there long in their employment, and their use of data was very minimal on debt was feel instinctual. Change driven, uh, kind of environment compared to making decisions based on data on din. My current employment. I'm very much encouraged to go straight to the highest level of leadership. If I have an idea and I have the data to show that it will work or even if I don't have the data that will show it will work. And I have an idea of what we need to get it toe work. Um, they'll they'll sit down and we can have a discussion and then open it up across the board for debate of is a scenario that we should pursue or not on bats. That's kind of how the texting for after care came in tow came into place. So that was one of our biggest challenges. Was it just didn't, uh there was not a great forum for passing up ideas, and oftentimes the ideas were top down driven. And we're going to tell you how you should be doing your job, even though we've never spent a day working with you to see how your job has been done. So I would say that the biggest differences and challenges between my current position in that positionI would say your best option in those situations, um, is to instead of trying to take an idea to that manager, or that that next level that you have access to is to approach that manager or that next level that you have access to and asking them What are your pain points? Um, and then looking to see what data you have that might help them address those pain points. Um, because oftentimes that might cascade you up a tear and to be able to work with the next year of management and somewhere down the line, you might be able to share your idea. Um, but as long as you're addressing the problems that people are seeing as their pain points, um, it Z going to spread goodwill for what you do and give you access to a deeper level of the company that you're working with

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
s o. I didn't undergraduate and operations management from the University of Utah. Uh, I think the best part of that was the statistics background. Um, it prepared me to, um basically come in and and evaluate. Is this a situation where we should use, um mean or median? Is this a situation of where people are misinterpreting statistics and we need to really get back Thio looking at this. And then it also really prepared me toe Recognize when people were using KP eyes that weren't how consistent sorry, calculated consistently, um, and that believe it or not, in J. C. Penney's was just a big of a problem, as it is at the University of Utah. You will run into this it almost any entity, that just because someone says this is revenue or this is our oi doesn't mean that it's just the same r o I that you think that it's being calculated. And so I would say, getting to know your calculations and what they should be getting to know your statistics and how you can use them and then going into, uh, going into a meeting and not being afraid. Toe push, pause on something and saying, Okay, please explain. Um, where the three areas where my undergrad explain helped me prepare. Um, when it comes to my master's degree, um, I would say the biggest thing that that helped me to illustrate in my mind I felt like I I came into my master's degree, probably had an experience level much higher than they, um, anticipated for that degree program. It was in its early years when I started there, um, and eso while I didn't feel that my skills in specific technologies were pushed very far, One thing it did help me to see is that the value of a project showing your expertise in an area was much, uh, deeper when you don't use, um when when you partner with a company and say, Hey, I've done this for a company and this is my portfolio of experience. Um, it means a lot more to an employer and to a potential interviewer than to say I did this with baseball data. Andi, I understand that there's going to be classes where you have to use the baseball data, but, um, a soft in a zoo, you can. The thing that I learned the most from that Masters degree was take the time to go out and find a company to partner with. Maybe it's your own company that you work for. Now maybe you're unemployed, and you just need to find a company to work with. Um, go out and find a company that has a project pain point that you can target with that class and then use that company to prove that you have the knowledge and expertise taught in that class. Um, it will be much more valuable to yourself and on your resume, then saying I have experienced with Toad or I haven't experienced with Sequel. But being able to say that I used sequel to identify inventory that was in the wrong store location and need to be transferred to a correct store location. And by the way, we tracked, uh, the revenue and it increased revenue by three or 4%. Um is a massive game changer to an employer, compared to I have experience with sequel based on schooling, So I would take a look for the big things that were important to me from my career program or from my degree programs

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? If any, please also discuss your experiences facing adversity, or trying something unusual.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
Oh, that's a good one. I would say my three career life lessons that I've learned, uh, number one is the importance of a mentor. Um, every stage of your career, you should pursue someone who you see is a mentor. They don't need to be your boss. They don't need thio have any authority over you whatsoever. It could be a professor. Could be someone who is a higher position than you in, uh, in an unrelated field. Uh, but their their purpose there is for you to bounce ideas off and then to say, Okay, I'm interested in this. How do you see me getting to that level? Um or what feedback do you have for me? Or if you're having a problem in your current career to sit down and say I'm having this issue, I'd like to talk through and bounce off the wall. Some ideas with you, Um, and they're they're there to help. You kind of look at that and calm you down and maybe take that that moment where you've got so much anxiety over and bring it down to a handle herbal level, Um, and in a way, that there's almost no risk of punishment from your current employer. Um and so and what I mean by that is, uh, you know, if your if you're sitting there and you're like, Hey, my boss is just a pain in the butt and I don't know how to handle them. Um, if you tell that to your current boss, you're probably gonna get in trouble. But if you sit with your mentor and you say, Hey, my boss is a pain in the butt and he says, Well, are you listening to their to their suggestions? And you're like, Well, I would, But I'm so frustrated that I just all they might be able to say, All right, well, you should take a breath and then why don't you try one and see? Does that open the door? Does it de escalating between you and your boss and so mentor first and foremost, get one and make sure that you stay connected and you know it's it's appropriate to change them throughout your career. As you change. Your mentors may also change. So I would say every year kind of sit down and have an evaluation. Who's my mentor? Are they still relevant to what I want to dio. Should I look for somebody else And it also it gives you a good excuse to network out and to say, Hey, I've been following your career. Can I ask you some questions about it? Um and either take that person out for a cup of coffee or, you know, do lunch with them, sit down and get to know them because you'd be surprised Just how much hearing somebody else's life experience, um, can can change your own projection. Um, after that, I would say, being open to being wrong. Um, And I think this is saved me a number of times in my career where, uh, I've sat down and somebody has come into my, uh to, ah summary that I'm presenting Andi as they've said, you know, you're wrong, Uh, and just figuring out how to handle that in a way that you both address the person's concerns and the people who are now concerned that you may be wrong, um is something that is difficult to handle in many situations. But I would say that the most successful defense that I've found is, um Well, help me understand why you think I'm wrong and, uh, taking the time to hear out their concern. And then, if it's valid, address it if it's not valid. Um, this is where it can get touchy to make sure that you're not tossing it aside as if it's not important. But to address why you wouldn't consider it in your current analysis, but to kind of push through as, ah, you know, we've all had professors where come hell or high water, they're going to get through their lecture on Gwen. Someone asked the question. They just say it will be You'll understand it later. Um, that that kind of presentation doesn't work in the business world. Andi, it will burn bridges in the long run. So, uh, take risk, uh, meaning that except that there's a possibility that you could be wrong. And as the data scientist take the time to understand and make sure that it's not unknown unknown that you're working with. Make sure that you understand it, and that there was a reason that you didn't address whatever concern that they're bringing up. So I think those were probably the two biggest ones. Have a mentor and be willing to be wrong.Yeah. So, um, one of my projects that I think that is on my resume is a mentor ship. We're not a mentorship and internship with the Salt Lake Swimming Tennis Club. And one thing that was a very difficult thing, like us and health care there most expensive things that they pay for as a business is their salaries. Um, their training salaries, onda we got in. They were insolvent at the time that I joined them, and they said, We're not sure why it is. We think it's because we're not collecting well on our, um, monthly accruals, and we need someone to come into focus on our collections. And so I started focusing on their collections, but quickly found out that even if I collected every time they had collect on that, there was no way that they would still be solvent. Um And so I asked them if I could have data access as an intern. Onda, their accountant, gave me data access, started drilling in and found quickly that the way that they had built their business pricing around their tennis lessons, um, put them at a disadvantage that they could never be, No matter how many tennis lessons that they taught. They would never be Solomon because they had the pricing and their pay structure, Um, in dissonance with each other. They didn't agree. Um, in other words, they were paying their their coaches more than, um, by the time that they paid their coaches and paid all their utilities and all of the other, uh, functions of a tennis lesson, they had paid more than they had collected on that tennis lesson. And that was a very difficult thing to look at because, um, when they you look at what they could negotiate on there, they could charge the customer more was option number one, and they quickly decided that that was not in their best interest. Um, they could, uh, or number two, they could really talk the coaches and say, Hey, we've messed up your pay scale. We've got to re negotiate this. Um, and that was a very uncomfortable and, um, not well received piece. Option number two eso They didn't like either of those options. And this kind of comes in tow where I tied that first one in of being willing to be wrong. Um, so in this presentation where I was presenting these two options. Because the rest of stuff that you're looking at, you're looking at the price of rented space, which they had alone. You can't really negotiate different terms on that. At the point that they were at, um, they have utilities again. You can't really negotiate too much with your utilities on price differences. So there there are other pieces off expense. We're really inflexible. And those were the two letters that they really have control over Change what? You're, uh, tennis coaches are getting paid per lesson or change how much you're charging for lesson. And we sat down and I presented these findings to their board of directors, and one of the board of directors got up and said, I have 35 years of accounting experience and I'm telling you, you're wrong, and I just simply said, Okay, I'm a new student. Um, why don't you educate me with your 35 years of experience? And so he walked me through what his calculations would be because I had a suggested price point of what it should have been. Um, And when we got down to and this was based on the pay of what the coaches should have been when we when we got down to it. And when he finished walking me through his his thought process, I had kept track of it and talented up. And I said, Okay, um, I see that we're about nine cents difference on what we should have cost. What? What the tennis coaches should have been, uh, paid. I'm happy to implement your change to mine. Um, Thio kind of address his concern, But then it also gave him value and saying that Hey, look, uh, we weren't that different. And so someone has taken that time to kind of come through. Um and I'm like that. I could say that was probably one of the most valuable learning experiences that I've had. Um, just to be able to say, hey, why don't Why don't you take me through your thought process and then actively take notes on it? Um, and, uh, be willing to suffer their wrath for a minute to see. Am I right? Am I going in the right direction or do I need to make a course adjustment? Um, because those conversations can get very uncomfortable and a lot of times when we're talking about data, um, it it is big decisions we're talking about. There's a There's a saying that has stuck with me and it's kind of funny because it is kind of true. People make mistakes, but to really screw stuff up, it takes computer on. But it's kind of the same thing with data like people make mistakes. But when you really talk about making a large, uh, miss take it can they could be really easily with incorrect data. And so be willing to question invalidate your own analysis that every step of the way, especially when someone comes to you and says, I think you're wrong.

What starting job and internships would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Tue Oct 13 2020
starting positions. I would say, um, like, you know, a junior analyst role at almost any company will give you a similar experience. Um, and and depending on where you want to end up, if you want to end up in relation non relational databases or some of the newer databases, you want to target companies that are working in those so target the technologies that you're interested in working in on Be aware of that. But I would say more than anything, take the time in your interviews to get to know the people who are hiring you. Um, don't just be excited about getting a job with a big name company, because if you get in and you find that your boss is not interested in your career growth, um, that can make you stagnate more than anything. Um, it becomes very difficult. Um, if you get into an environment that's not really that this interested it is and using you as a grindstone rather than using you toe to promote talent from within on DSo take that time in your interviews toe, find out. Number one is this Is this a direction that I want to go with my career meaning and I'm working with the technologies that I want. Thio and number two Are these people truly interested in me or they just interested in throwing me into the cog that Are this the machine that turns out some widget or surface on Ben? Let's see. So you want to know, Uh, so those are the profession that that's what I would say professionally pick, pick what you want there and then a Zara's technologies on go wherever those opportunities are. And to, um, definitely interview the people who are you're gonna be working with. A smudge is they're interviewing you. I I heard another saying that employments, like a community on communities, keep people who are contributing, and people who feel like their community contributes to them, want to stay in their community. So it does work both ways. Make sure that you want to stay there because you like the community, but also be willing to contribute and be a part of that community.