IAPA Women in Analytics Spotlight – Q&A with Cathy Daniels
In a normal day, what kinds of data / analytics activities are you involved in?
Frisk is an Adelaide-based data intelligence company. We deliver next-gen data augmentation and decision optimisation solutions, to private and public sector clients. Our aim is to give clients the power of sight, across both structured and unstructured data, so that they can derive meaningful insights and make optimal business decisions. My day-to-day involves collaborating closely with stakeholders to understand their ever-changing business needs and how Frisk can assist them in achieving their objectives. From here, we develop solutions, applying a wide range of technologies including, data ingestion and indexing, artificial intelligence specifically machine learning, natural language processing and graph/network analytics.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
In my current role, the biggest challenge is demystifying AI, particularly for small & medium enterprise who are keen to start adopting the technology and realising the benefits but are unsure where to start. That along with balancing innovation and risk; ensuring new rapidly advancing tech meets security and data governance requirements.
What would be the proudest or most enjoyable moment in your analytics career?
I don’t have one most enjoyable moment in my career, but a highlight has been the people I have met and worked with along the way. Forming a team of talented people, with diverse experience and skills, to deliver a project successfully, is always a thrill. Seeing stakeholders get excited about the solution and how much value it will bring, drives me to start the next project! Coaching and mentoring new talent, is also a highlight; providing support and guidance for people to fast track their career into roles where they love what they do, every day.
What advice would you give to a woman wanting to get into the analytics industry?
Every day is a learning curve, don’t wait to be a master. One thing I love about the analytics industry is the variety – the problems to solve are rarely the same, and the technology is constantly evolving. This can be daunting for people considering a career in analytics, but acknowledging and embracing these things, can bring valuable career opportunities and experiences.
In terms of the future of analytics, what do you think will be the most interesting aspect/s?
Many large enterprises have already introduced and are realising the benefits of graph analytics. This trend will continue to grow, however an increasing number of small & medium enterprises will start adopting the technology, as it becomes increasingly accessible. As graph analytics is further embraced, I am excited to see how the public sector in particular, applies the technology in order to deliver improved outcomes for Australian citizens.
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