We’re pleased to welcome Mohammad Eltiebi to the speaker panel for Big Data & Analytics 2017 Conference @ CeBIT where he will present on Data Fuelled Entertainment Analytics. In the lead up to the event we had the chance to catch up with him as part of of our interview series TechByte. Read on to find out more about his circuitous route into the world of data analytics.
How did you find your way to your current role?
Mohammad: My undergrad was nothing to do with data or analytics; I actually studied food science. When I finished my undergrad I went to Jerusalem and I was working with a professor who was doing a national health survey — I was just doing data entry, you know, a student just trying to get a few more bucks, and I started to see how the whole survey worked. The professor I was working with was great, really down-to-earth and more than happy to explain everything and anything. He explained how to better use statistics to explain health behaviour, how the survey worked – things like that – and I loved it. So I enrolled in a couple of public health courses, one of which was statistics. When I came back to Australia, I did a Masters in Statistics at Macquarie and went from there.
What do you love most about working in technology?
Mohammad: I’m a curious person and a bit of a tinkerer. If I have a laptop or a program, I love trying to make it do whatever I want it to. I’ve been fortunate enough to turn that passion into a career.
What is the most challenging part of working in this sector?
Mohammad: I think sometimes the challenge can be to convince people about the benefits of analytics, especially when they come with a preconceived idea that it doesn’t work. This idea isn’t necessarily built on any experience they’ve had, just a belief. But that’s the thing with data — numbers don’t lie. So the conversations with those people are about showing them the data, the possibilities of the technology and being honest, telling them that change is a series of small steps and analytics isn’t a silver bullet. But once they get it, those people tend to be the biggest advocates.
Name a book, podcast or presentation that has had an impact on your worldview. How has it changed your perspective?
Mohammad: I like to gather different ideas, no matter how big or small. so I’ll go on YouTube, for example, to look at a whole lot of material on how people do things, especially with programming. For example, on YouTube there’s a video called Jupyter Notebook Presentation: the presenter writes code that creates a lot of different graphs and, with a click of a button, those graphics become a live presentation of the data sitting behind it.
He could run the analytics as if he was presenting it. It completely blew my mind. It made me think about how I can build my own presentations so that my analysis is also the presentation. I love stuff like that.
What is the technology that will transform our world in the next 10 years?
Mohammad: I think people are going to start to realise what data can do for them. And as organisations get a hold of that, the Internet of Things will really start to come to life and start to play a much bigger role in our day-to-day lives. The possibilities are endless, really. It’s a bright future and I’m excited about it.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given?
Mohammad: Just keep trying and, if you follow your passion and do what you love, you’ll end up in the right place.
Lastly, do you use an iPhone, Android or… other?
Mohammad: Android — I like tinkering!
Mohammad will be part of the distinguished speaking panel at the Big Data & Analytics 2017 Conference @ CeBIT. Download the program and join us to learn more about emerging trends in big data and analytics that will shape the future.