5 Bullet Friday with Luke Hayden

Welcome back to 5 Bullet Friday! This bi-monthly post gives you insight into what the people of Conjura are loving, using, reading, watching, thinking about that week. Do go back and check out our previous 5BFs with:

This week’s 5BF introduces our Senior Data Scientist Luke Hayden!

What I’m reading:

One of my interests is data visualisation; working out the best way of using data to tell stories and inform decisions. As my long-suffering colleagues, who have listened to me rant about the relative merits of ggplot vs matplotlib, will know – I have unreasonably strong opinions about this topic.

I have been enjoying seeing some recent articles from Nightingale, the journal of the Data Visualisation Society. This plot, which shows US immigration as a plot of tree rings, is both beautiful and informative.

What I’m working on:

One of the most interesting things about being a data scientist at Conjura is the variety of things that I will be working on from one day to the next as I problems through from conception to delivery. It’s always refreshing to be able to change contexts and consider all the angles of an issue.

One minute I will be thinking through a thorny statistical problem, then turning the solution into code, then looking at how that impacts business decisions and finally presenting that information to a client.

What I’m enjoying:

My two main hobbies are highly complementary; running and eating.

September is a good time to do both, as I’m enjoying early morning runs in the crisp autumn air, just as the leaves are starting to turn. No better way to start a day than a few kilometers before breakfast.

On the food side, I’m very much enjoying refining my method for making pizza bases, and working on a recipe for a foraged cake with blackberry coulis and elderberry syrup.

What I’m thinking about:

At the moment, I’m thinking a lot about how to improve our data science infrastructure. I’m really excited about the recent improvements to how data is processed at Conjura (big shout-out to Balint Biró & Jacek Spera for their great work on dynamic workflows!) and how this will open up some really exciting opportunities for building more robust and intelligent machine learning pipelines.

What I’m listening to:

Along with my regular diet of podcasts in the evenings (I enjoy the Economist’s Checks & Balance and the Irish Times Inside Politics), I listen to music for much of my workday. I’ve had Angie McMahon’s rendition of Tea, Milk and Honey on pretty constant rotation for the last couple of months and I haven’t gotten even a little bit bored of it yet.