Spotlight: Meet Lukáš, our Senior Data Scientist & Data Protection Officer

Spotlight: Meet Lukáš, our Senior Data Scientist & Data Protection Officer

In our first Spotlight interview of 2022, we sat down with Lukáš to find out all about his love for work. He may even reveal the secret about his motivations and the challenge of balancing work and family time. 

Should you describe being a Senior Data Scientist to the uninitiated, what would you say? 

Definition from Wikipedia says: “Data science is 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. Data science is related to data mining, machine learning and big data.” 

In datasapiens is data science even broader and contains for example: 

  • exploring, cleaning and transforming incoming data from clients 
  • restructuring data to the form that is easily usable by our automated reporting  
  • creating useful segmentations on top 
  • designing reports or producing adhoc deep-dive insight analyses 

In other words data scientists are building a bridge between a pile of raw data and actual reports, insights & recommendations delivered to the client. 

Data scientist’s job consists of various parts  such as hard work of a data cleaner, architect like work when designing the whole process and the reports, and artist’s work to find illustrative and easy-to-understand visualizations. It is important to deliver the message. Nowadays there is also a quite popular trend of “storytelling with data”. 

When was the first time you realized data science is your passion? 

I did not realize it at that time, but since childhood, I really loved maps. For example – population density (heatmaps), industrial production, or transportation density. Very exciting for me are historical maps. It is fascinating how one map can contain the dynamic of historical development.  

And then the time of the NHL hockey players’ cards collection came. We were comparing both team and individual statistics (scoring leaders, goals averages per game, goaltenders save percentage, etc.). I still remember the moment when I first printed out the page with the statistics of all players playing for Vancouver Canucks. It was around 1997 in the school computer room on the stylus (dot matrix) printer. And it took me a while to get to it and download it – we had one shared phone line internet connection for all the computers…. 

The concept of data visualization is not new. Moreover, it has been around for centuries. The earliest and most obvious examples of dataviz projects are maps. Then you have the pie chart which first showed up in the early 19th century. A few decades later, Charles Joseph Minard used statistical graphs in order to map Napoleon Bonaparte’s Russian campaign of 1812, combining multiple metrics: the number of troops, temperature, distance, directions, and more

What does a Data Protection Officer do? Assuming it is not protected information 😊 

No, it is not 🙂 To some extent, it is similar to the data scientist role. Data scientist has to deal with the pile of data. Data protection officer must deal with a pile of legal regulations, obligations, and norms. For us, it is e.g., GDPR, contractual obligations, and the technical and quality norms like IS0 27001. And these need to be translated into everyday actions. 

A necessary prerequisite is that all required technical security measures are in place. (Secured VPN connections, data encryption, MFA, logging….) 

And this security infrastructure must be then used properly. You can have everything secured within your IT infrastructure. But it doesn’t help much if you have printouts with sensitive data laying all over the office… So, it is a lot about awareness, training, and documentation. We need to make sure that security awareness is present in everyday working life. 

You have been with us for some time now. What is it about your work you enjoy the most even after those years? 

I can see clear results of our work. And so do our clients as they tend to stay with us for long. And there is always space for improvement and development in the long-term perspective. For me, this continuous journey is the source of long-term satisfaction. And the team here is great as well. We know each other and are able to joke even in tough moments. 

How would you say those years with the pandemic have affected the work of your team or yours alone? 

Our cloud-based Business Insights solution can be managed remotely quite well. So we were one of the businesses that were less affected by the pandemics. COVID just forced us to switch from a 15% to an 80% remote and it works better than we expected. I miss the everyday office life sometimes. But at the same time, I am more flexible now and can spend more time with my family and kids. 

How do you see best to motivate and support your team? 

I don’t need to do much as we are all very well self-motivated. Sometimes even a bit over-excited 😊. So the main thing is trying to make sure that everybody can focus on his/her work. We often deal with complex projects and deployments. And we need to make sure there is as little confusion and frustration as possible.

I imagine the work can be somewhat demanding. How do you balance your work, family, and relaxing time?

My wife started to work part-time this year as our youngest kid started going to the kindergarten. So there is quite a strong pressure on me to take my part of the responsibility for the family and kids. And it is a good thing. I sometimes find it difficult to interrupt the work in the middle and go pick up the kids. But it is great to refresh the body and mind outside. Moreover – the kids’ perspective of the world is amazing. The ability to focus is definitely a challenge with WFH and kids at home. So I usually go to the office 2-3 times a week when possible to enjoy silence and do some deep work.  
And of course, I need my part of free time without kids as well 🙂 I like outdoor sports, live concerts (especially open-air festivals), scouting and summer camps games. And I enjoy trips to nature to the less known or even forgotten, abandoned, and hidden places.