We are Angela Josifovska and Sylvia Endres – our paths as Data Scientists have crossed at Siemens in the IT Analytics Lab a year ago. In this article you will find out what our daily work is all about and how the job of a Data Scientist matches with our childhood dreams!
We consider our daily work as a mixture of that of a software engineer, data analyst, data scientist and consultant. With a university background in mathematics and computer science, we both decided for a career in Data Science at Siemens IT. Not only because the Harvard Business Review called it the sexiest job of the 21st century, but above all because the job is incredibly demanding, versatile and matching our childhood dreams.
When I grow up, I want to be…
For me, working as a Data Scientist, is realizing my childhood dream of becoming a detective, just in a different context
Do you know the American crime series about Columbo, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department? The man with cigar, rumpled beige trench coat? When I was a kid, I loved watching this series with my mum and collecting evidence about each episode’s suspects in front of the TV screen. This was also when my childhood dream of becoming a detective started to grow.
Today, I am a Data Scientist, and yes, this is my way of becoming a detective.
How do these two topics relate?
Well, in my job at Siemens I am investigating data every day – understanding the patterns and anomalies, understanding the business and building something with data that helps the customer. You need to be curious and excited by asking ‘why?`, to be able to join the dots and finding the ‘golden nuggets’ within large amounts of data.
Here are some of my favorite projects:
- In the area of customer service, we have used machine learning to better forecast the demand for spare parts. Instead of facing long down times for machines, broken parts can be replaced more quickly hence increasing customer satisfaction and opening new business models.
- In the manufacturing area, building a fully cloud-based Mendix app including improved part search functionality in internal and external data bases, automation and AI components, the current workflow was significantly accelerated allowing to reduce our time-to-market.
- Leveraging innovative Siemens technologies like edge devices and the digital twin, we are working on enabling the deployment of AI-based solutions directly on the shopfloor using live data.
This year, I had the pleasure to join a program called SITEX (Siemens Innovation & Technology Exchange), where I am working with a team of motivated colleagues on an Industrial Edge app. It energizes and excites me to collaborate with other tech-passionate colleagues on a cutting-edge technology.
My childhood dream was to become an astronaut, but then I discovered my passion for Data Science
As a child I was very curious and always eager to learn and try out new things. I remember being fascinated by reading science encyclopaedias and dreaming about becoming an astronaut. No doubt I was super excited when I got my first telescope as a present from my parents. However, the present contained a microscope as well, so I suddenly had a new “dream job” and imagined myself in a white coat. Over the years I got interested in many other areas including mathematics and computer engineering, so my list of possible career options got even longer.
Few years forward, I finished my studies in computer science and was very happy with my career choice, but I was still wondering how to further pursue my many other interests. That’s when I realized that Data Science would be the perfect fit for me, as it is an interdisciplinary field that will allow me to combine all those interests into my daily work. Today as a Data Scientist this proved to be true – I have the chance to work on projects from different domains and learn something new every day! Of course, what makes it special is not only the work itself, but also the great collaboration and fun activities within the team.
So far, I have had the chance to work on several interesting projects in various areas and experiment with different methods and technologies. One of my favorite projects included leveraging techniques and algorithms from Natural Language Processing to provide automatic categorization of help-desk tickets and proposal of the most suitable answers. This helps to speed up the process of ticket resolution.
One of the aspects that I like the most about my role as a Data Scientist in Siemens, is that the work is very diverse and dynamic, and it offers many possibilities for professional and personal development.
Whether it’s through classical trainings like our Grow@IT program, applying the latest technologies in the daily work or exchange sessions with the team about the latest trends in AI – the opportunities for gaining new skills and knowledge are endless! For example, I was very happy to learn and use the latest cloud technologies in practice for one of my projects, and I am excited about continuing the learning journey. A cherry on top is the great collaboration with the colleagues and the business value that we generate through our work. This is what makes my daily work even more exciting!
Surprising hobbies and their life lessons
Judo has taught me lessons that apply for sports as well as my professional career at Siemens
Besides being a Data Scientist at Siemens, I have a couple of other hobbies that might come as a surprise to some of you. One of them is Judo – a modern Japanese martial art with its origins coming from Jujutsu.
As a city champion in Judo in my hometown Erlangen, I learned a couple of lessons for life already at a very young age that still apply to my everyday work:
- Stay calm – Patience is a key element of success – not only in sports, but also for success in the workplace.
- Be yourself – Don’t try to compare yourself to others – being unique is what makes you special.
- Learn from losses – Let go of the disappointment, keep the lessons the fight taught you and win the next time.
- Be bold – The next step sometimes takes courage – face your fears and trust that you can do better than your best.
- Find a good teacher – in sports as well as in your job, it’s important to surround yourself with people that inspire and motivate you.
Fresh perspective through yoga, walks in nature and creative activities
In my free time I enjoy activities that allow me to express my creativity. This might be anything from watercolor or acrylic painting, to making hand-made decorations. Same as in my daily work as a Data Scientist, these hobbies require being patient and paying attention to details, but the joy of seeing the end-result is worth the effort and time. What I like the most is that I enjoy the process itself and few hours can fly by in seconds.
In addition to painting and crafting, I love practicing yoga and spending time in nature – it helps me relax, gain new energy and a fresh perspective. As they often teach in yoga classes, it is not important to try to do the poses perfectly and compare yourself with the other participants, but rather to focus on yourself and find what works best for you. I think that applies to work and life in general, and even though it is easier said than done, I try to remind myself to follow that mindset more often.
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