After being promoted to Data Scientist during lockdown, James Riley is thrilled to be back in the office and performing his new role!
Before we get to know James a little better, let’s begin by explaining what exactly Data Science is…
Data science is defined as ‘an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from noisy, structured and unstructured data, and apply knowledge and actionable insights from data across a broad range of application domains.’
Fittingly, this description is reminiscent of how we describe the IMS Evolve solution – extracting data from noisy, unstructured environments and applying expertise to drive automation, actionable insights to deliver transformative value. Therefore, it’s not unexpected that Data Science plays a significant role within the business.
James Riley joined IMS in 2017 as a Data Administrator, supporting software systems that managed energy consumption for our two largest retail customers.
“I worked in a team that was in the middle of rolling out systems to 5000 stores across the US.” says James. “However, once the rollout was complete and I’d had exposure to other areas of the business, I became interested in learning more about report writing.”
James spent several months learning both on the job and in his own time, and in 2018 landed the role of Report Writer, just one year after joining the company. The report writing role involved generating, updating and maintaining customer reports as well as supporting other team members with a variety of data analytics.
It was during this time that James’ knowledge, experience and passion for data analytics grew, but the path to becoming a Data Scientist required one more step. From 2018-2020, James joined the Development Team and worked on backend coding and producing services that harvested data and applied data analytics. With his experience and business exposure now refined, in the summer of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, James was promoted to the role of Data Scientist.
“IMS was fully supportive of my personal training and development path and even contracted someone part-time to provide me with specific training while arming me with online tools for further learning. My managers and colleagues encouraged my progression and always gave me the opportunity to work on areas that weren’t necessarily part of my job specification at the time.”
Today, James’ role involves seeking new ways to derive value out of the very large data sets captured through the IMS Evolve platform, including the real-time health, performance and energy data across the tens of thousands of assets we connect to in our customers sites across the world.
James works closely with a Junior Report writer and Data Analyst to efficiently tackle the heavy workload and busy schedules.
“An example of a typical day involves a morning call with our Junior Report writer to go through his tasks for the day and see if there are any areas that I can support with.” James continues, “I will then begin with the current work assigned to me, as well as interacting with customers to discuss any business objectives that I may be able to help with using bespoke analytics and reports.”
James directly supports our customers’ needs and works closely with them to understand their requirements and translate them into technical solutions. “An example of this could be providing energy analytics to help a customer clearly see how much energy has been saved since IMS started deploying targeting changes across their assets.”
When asked what James enjoys most about his role, he said, “I enjoy the wide range of responsibilities I have – I really like the variety. I also enjoy how technical my role can be, as well as helping others with their work and interacting with our customers.”
Although it hasn’t affected his ability to perform his job, James has not particularly enjoyed working from home over these past 18 months…” Working from home hasn’t really affected my role as I can still get everything I need done, but I have really missed the social events and the general energy in the office. I can appreciate the flexibility that working from home gives us all, but I have been pleased to start going back in a couple of times a week!”
It’s not surprising James didn’t love lockdown, seeing as his hobbies include playing tennis, skiing, and going to clubs and festivals. Our resident recreational guitar and piano player managed to keep himself mildly entertained while stuck inside, but we can tell he can’t wait to get back to the buzz office and his much-loved nights out!