"Finding the patterns"

Janika Aan, Data Scientist at Telia in Estonia

Janika Aan from Tartu in Estonia has had a love for mathematics since she was very young. She has a passion for numbers and solving complicated problems. So, her job as a data scientist at Telia in Estonia suits her perfectly. Every day, she is able to crunch data to find solutions that in the end always create an improved foundation for good business decisions.

Patterns are my passion

“I have been obsessed with numbers, data and patterns since I was a kid. I have had a lot of Rubik’s cubes over the years, and I am still solving them every now and then. To me it is not about solving them quickly, I still take time and reflect on the consequences of each and every move. I think the cube represents a lot of what I do. There are endless combinations and pitfalls are everywhere. But if you put your mind to it, you can reach your goal every time.”

Looking for patterns

“Put simply, my job is to identify new patterns in massive pools of data. And using these patterns to create foundations for better business decisions in the whole organization. My work with segmentations models, for instance, ensure that we can offer more precise and relevant services to a wide range of customers. When working to find patterns, there are three key things you should keep coming back to.

  1. Keep reorganizing the data
  2. Look for deviances
  3. Trust the numbers

With these three dimensions as a guide, you can be sure that you will find patterns in any pool of big data.”

Having your passion as a job

”At work, I don’t have any Rubik’s cubes, of course. But my job has similarities. I crunch masses of data to find patterns that will lead to new insights that we can use to improve our business. One example is what I am doing right now. I am going through the data we have on all our TV customers. All data is anonymized, but it still gives me a lot to work with. I use a model that we have developed ourselves, written by us in Python. When I put in the data into the model, it processes it in almost 80 different dimensions. One example of what our model can provide data for is customer TV behaviors. The model gives us answers to:

What they watch

How much they watch

When they watch it

And so on. Then I get to work on the results to identify if any of our customers would be interested in another type of package. In the end, our insights help our development team to create services that our customers really want. And it helps our marketing team to reach customers with better precision and with more relevant products. All this, just by doing what I love doing, every day.” 

Access to the best tools and great people

“I have worked in the gaming industry and in the financial world as an analyst. But I have found my home at Telia. Here, I get to work with the best tools like Python, Tableu and Vertica. But what makes the work of organizing and analyzing large portions of data so great at Telia, are all the great people. My colleagues make me grow and develop every day at work. And my manager is keen to see me grow by giving me access to courses, webinars and trainings. His motto is, if I grow, Telia grows. “

My dream project

“My dream project is about finding new ways to create a positive impact on society by using data and identifying new patterns. To me, it is important to have a strong purpose in our daily work and in the simple tasks we do every day. This is why I especially enjoy working on the Smart City project here in Tartu. It is a big project, where Telia is just a small part. But what we do and the value we add by our data analysis has a direct impact on society, for example how we can make products and services more effective and less harmful to the environment. So, in a way you could say that I am already working on my dream project.”

The data scientists at Telia are hard at work every day, trying to find new insights and patterns that will lead to better decisions. Basically, the data scientists at Telia deliver better foundations for future plans and ways of working. A classic example is crowd insights, where we can help societies to become more sustainable by understanding how people act, move and do over the course of a day. Another example is to control traffic lights to create a better flow, and thereby reduce emissions and energy consumptions.

Advice I wish I got when I was at university

  1. Free yourself from limitations
  2. Keep meeting new people
  3. Try new things every day

Facts

Education
A master’s degree in financial and actuarial mathematics from the University of Tartu.

Life before Telia

My first professional experience was as a credit risk analyst at a bank. After that I worked as a capacity analyst for an IT company for more than five years.

Life outside work

I spend most of my time outside work with my family and friends. I love my house and some DIY. I decorate anything from the house we live in, to the cakes I bake when I have the time for it.

Family

I have a husband and two kids, 9 and 3 years old – a boy and a girl and we live in Tartu, Estonia.

Something you didn´t know about me

I loved mathematics so much in school that I signed up for extra, advanced private lessons during my secondary school years.