My name is Daniela and I’m a Data Scientist at Idatha, a company that specializes in Natural Language Processing and Social Media data. I am from Uruguay, a little country in South America where I also live. Originally I studied Economics, but only worked in that field briefly in the Academia. Right when I finished my studies I started working at Equifax Uruguay where I discovered (and fell in love with!) Data Science. I’ve been working in Data Science for the last 5 years.

I started in a junior position there as an Analytics Consultant. I remember the first interview when the guy who was later my boss told me about the role. I was so amazed that I told him: “I have no idea how to do that, but I know I can learn fast and I would definitely love the opportunity!”. That is how I got the job, and was also when I knew what my vocation was.

I was lucky to start working there when the Data & Analytics team was getting built, so I was the only person working in Analytics at that time (me and all the enthusiasm I had, which was a lot!) I remember that time as one of the most productive periods of my life: I was receiving lots of training from the International Center of Excellence for developing predictive models. I was also in constant contact with our clients so we could design together the best solution for each situation in terms of credit risk assessment, marketing services, income prediction, collections or any other problem we could solve using data. And I was happy :)

From there on it was all about growth for me: the company acquired the biggest credit bureau in Paraguay and in that process I was the Analytics team leader for both countries, recruiting and training the local teams, building relationships with local clients and developing the first Paraguay Bureau Risk Score deployed in 2016 as part of the re branding strategy of the bureau in the country.

Everything was pretty good, but a feeling that something was missing started growing on me… I was building a career in a very big company (which took me a great deal of work) but technically I was falling behind (there’s only so much you can do with credit data that clients are willing to pay for). So I was very good at solving a very specific kind of problems, but I was missing a whole other world in Data Science. I struggled with that feeling until I realized I was not happy anymore and I had to make a change. So I quit. I can say now that despite being one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made, it was also one of the greatest: I had my enthusiasm back! And man, wasn’t I missing it!

From that change of mindset on, a lot of crazy things happened to me I had never thought I was capable of handling. Among other bold moves, in only a few months I built this blog, I joined the R-Ladies Global community as one of the Buenos Aires chapter founders first, and later I co-founded the Montevideo chapter as well, I got accepted to join the out-of-this-world NASA Datanaut Program, and I nailed a Data Scientist position at a great company! In this short period of time I have exposed myself more than ever, but I feel this is what I am supposed to be doing. This makes me really really happy.

So this is me, and here I am: exploring the many ways Data Science can help telling compelling stories, focusing on Data Visualization and R (for now), starting my blog where I plan to share whatever it is that I’m playing with at the moment. And loving every minute! If additionally I can contribute to inspire others like me to follow their gut, even better!

I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them, and please feel welcome to leave your comments and mention me on Twitter :)

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