OP celebrates hosting its third HDSM event
The evening began with some welcoming words by Hugo Gävert, Chief Data and AI Officer at DAIN Studios. The 2022 HDSM event was the third of its kind at OP, and Hugo mentioned that since the last iteration of the meetup in 2016 HDSM had enjoyed rapid growth. He said that as of December 2022 there were 1800+ HDSM community members.
So, if you couldn’t make the OP event, let’s see what you missed. What were the takeaways from the two panel discussions?
Highlights from Panel 1:
MLOps and Productization of Analytics
The first discussion was chaired by Hugo Gävert. The panelists were Neelabh Kashyap, Principal Data Scientist at Kone, JP Salmenkaita, VP for AI and special projects at Elisa, and Hanna Saarinen, Senior Data Scientist at OP.
- Tooling and Databricks
- ML Ops processes
- How to design ML teams
- Best practice around testing
JP Salmenkaita expressed his satisfaction at the recent improvements in tooling which had made the work of data engineers more efficient.
He also said that it was important for companies to have a good balance between data scientists and data engineers. A little tongue in cheek, he went on to add that he recommended that students find work in data engineering—rather than data science—because it was in that field where the higher salaries and better opportunities lay.
During the discussion, Neelabh Kashyap made an interesting point about how in recent times data and AI job functions were changing and a new role of the Machine Learning Engineer had emerged.
He also went into some detail about how the data team at Kone were divided between those that worked in business processes and others who were focused on services, R&D, and analytics.
Meanwhile, Hanna Saarinen discussed with the audience how important it was that MLOps implement best practices at the earliest stage possible. She also outlined how templates can make life easier for engineers and scientists.
Highlights from Panel 2:
How to Enable “damn good” Citizen Data Science
The second debate was chaired by John Bailey, Senior Data and AI Strategist at DAIN Studios. The panelists were Juha Vesanto, Principal Data Scientist at OP, Clemens Westrup, Head of Data Science at Sanoma Media Finland, and Sami Ahma-Aho, Digital lead, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence at Neste. It was a fast-paced and dynamic discussion which grappled with questions such as:
- What is Citizen Data Science?
- What’s the difference between Citizen Data Science and Citizen BI?
- Why do companies need Citizen Data Science?
- How is your company approaching Citizen Data Science?
On the question of how to define Citizen Data Scientists, Sami Ahma-Aho took a practical approach. He mentioned the common example of a professional with an extensive research background who was looking to build on their data science skills.
Juha Vesanto gave a lively account of what the Citizen Data Scientist is. He adopted a wide definition in which the role could encompass any situation where people create value through data. Continuing on the theme, Juha wondered if companies needed to introduce obligatory data courses for all employees.
When asked why companies need Citizen Data Scientists, Juha said it was partly a “Hype thing. Everybody is talking about the value of data.”
On the subject of how the data community had reacted to the emergence of the role of the Citizen Data Scientist, Clemens Westrup was up front. According to him the community had been “sleeping on this” and needed to invest more in Citizen Data Scientists.
Questioned about definitions, he gave an equally frank reply. According to him there was “no difference” between Citizen Data Science and Citizen BI.
Get all the skills for data success
At HDSM we inspire the data community with in-depth analysis.
We do this by taking a deep dive into the best practices from leading companies, offering speeches, panel discussions, and mingling sessions. Our events are opportunities for networking as well as learning and development.
If you’re interested in hosting a meetup, please contact us and let’s plan the next edition of the Helsinki Data Science Meetup together. Alternatively, if you want to learn more about the collaboration between OP and HDSM, you can rewatch the event here.
About OP Financial Group
OP is Finland’s largest financial services group. It consists of 117 cooperative banks and two million customers. The business encompasses three segments: retail banking, corporate banking and insurance.