7 Questions with Associate Data Scientist Joanne Lin

Working with data scientists can help you understand your data in ways that impact your business and inform critical decisions. None of this would be possible without our talented and passionate team of data scientists. Each month, we highlight a member of the U.Group team so you can get to know the people behind the capabilities—and this month we’re introducing a member of the data science team.  

Meet Joanne Lin, associate data scientist at U.Group. Joanne is committed to using data for public good, and her background in public health and nonprofits influence her approach at U.Group as well. Read on for more of what inspires Joanne—both in her down time and at work. 

Describe your role at U.Group.   

JL: I use algorithms and machine learning models to find, examine, prod at, experiment with, and sculpt data into new and useful discoveries for our clients.

How did you discover your passion for data science? 

JL: I had a wonderful statistics teacher in high school, Mr. Dawdy. His class taught me how to see, interpret, and understand the world and its data in new ways. But I didn’t pursue work in the data field until after graduate school, when I landed a job as a data analyst. I learned SQL and Python, designed and analyzed surveys, ran experiments, and realized that working with data is really satisfying and a lot of fun! So I pursued data science by enrolling in an online bootcamp course with Thinkful. I joined U.Group’s Data Science Team shortly after. 

Data is more than just numbers. How we use and manipulate data reflect how we treat the people, actions, ideas, or industries the data points represent. In the era of big data, I am especially interested in building data science solutions that are ethical and equitable.  

Do you have an outside hobby that influences your professional work? 

JL: I knit! Knitting is a tedious and repetitive hobby, thus a constant lesson on patience and endurance. While I enjoy complaining about knitting almost as much as knitting itself, there IS something deeply satisfying about inching onward, tiny stitch by tiny stitch, until the project is done. I know that as long as I don’t give up, I will (eventually) have a finished product that I’m proud of. 

Before working at U.Group, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?  

JL: I was a gallery attendant at an art museum all through college. It wasn’t the most exciting job, as it mostly involved standing around for hours on end. I did get to yell “NO PICTURES” a lot, and still fight the urge to do so when I see people taking photos at museums. 

What is something few people know about you?  

JL: I am an amateur nail artist! Here are some eggy, sunny-side-up nails. 

If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in your field, what would it be? 

JL: No one in data science knows everything there is to know about data science. Get comfortable with asking for help. Overcome the fear that it might be a stupid question. And when the day comes that someone asks YOU for help, pay it forward! 

What is your favorite place in the world, and why? 

JL: Any and all ramen shops. Home is where the ramen is. 

Tune in next month for another team member spotlight. Want to nominate someone for a 7 questions profile? Browse our team page and tweet us your nomination. 

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