Meet our people

Amazing Data and Amazing Careers

Posted by Steve Oldham, over 1 year ago

3 min read

We’re on a journey to become a relationship bank for a digital world, with data firmly at the heart of all that we do. We asked our data colleagues to share insights into their role, our culture, and what excites them about working with data here.

Variety and wellbeing

David Carling is a Lead Data Scientist and loves the variety in his work. ‘I might be working on projects involving graph theory or supply chain analytics; product propensity or segmentation and clustering. And it’s all on the biggest, most challenging data sets that you can imagine, as befitting one of the UK’s biggest banks. That's not to mention working with colleagues from across the UK, internationally, and then stakeholders of all shapes and sizes. So really, the role is defined by its variety, there’s no such thing as an average day.

Data Engineer Ewa Niemczyk also enjoys the variety of our data work. ‘I’m never bored! There are plenty of very different projects. For example, I cooperate with IT developers who build the back-office applications, and I work with the customer to gather their business needs and translate them into database language. But most of the time I learn new programming languages and search for new solutions. This is the key work, and where I get the most pleasure.’

Working as Head of Data Science for Fraud, Financial Crime and Services Analytics, Emma Wong relishes the interaction and inspiration of her colleagues and the impact of her work. ‘One day you might be talking to your stakeholders about the results of a difference model that your team has built or looking at a new tool that would drive efficiencies and innovation across the data science community. You also get to speak to a lot of different types of people with different backgrounds and different experiences across the bank, from scientists to engineers to Scrum masters. Every day you're having different types of conversations, and you're all looking for the best way to utilise the value that data science can bring. It's really motivating, and you really feel like you're driving value.’

Exceptional resources, learning, and development

As well as helping our data colleagues with their work-life balance and providing plenty of variety in their work, they have access to a wide variety of tools and resources to help harness the power of data, as Ewa explains. ‘The tools that we use depends on the business need. It might be Teradata, Oracle, AWS, SaaS, or Zeppelin notebook. I can use different programming languages, such as SQL, Scala, Python, and SAS 4GL. I need to learn all the time, and the company gives me access to data camp training sessions. Plus, it allows me to study on Udacity, so I'm now doing a Data Engineering degree.’

Our focus on learning and development is also something that Naveed Rafi appreciates. He’s also a Data Engineer and has been able to develop his skills with the help of a mentor. ‘The bank encourages all employees to bring their best selves to work every day. So, it is very easy to speak to someone who inspires you and ask them to be your mentor. I've been very lucky to have had the opportunity of having a number of good mentors who've helped me with public speaking skills in line with my aspiration to become a leader in the world of Big Data and AI.

‘The bank has a whole pool of training providers. My department specifically has our Data Academy, in which I can sign up for any course such as Big Data, Data Science, Data Engineering, or Python, and I can do that for free! Just recently, my team supported me in getting a Data Science nano-degree from Udacity and also supported me in getting my first Amazon Web Services certification. This has not only helped me gain confidence in my abilities, but it also allows me to work smarter and get more done in less time.’

Addressing the gender imbalance

Data & Analytics Analyst Dan Collins enjoys the diversity of the team around him, and the opportunities for all. ‘We have a team that's mixed right across the UK, India, and Poland. So, there's a really good chance to work with people from a variety of different cultures and different backgrounds. That's something I personally really enjoy about working here. I also think it’s impressive that we are really focusing on having more women working in technology and data; we’re trying to address the gender imbalance that we sometimes see in data roles.

‘There’s some really, really great people here with different specialisms and different skills, and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what data can help the bank achieve. So I think it's just a really great time to be involved and to have a chance to drive that work and potential, and really unlock future benefits for the bank and our customers.’

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