I met Nari Savanorke-Joyce while living with 20 other people in a double-wide row home in Boston’s most elite neighborhood. She had just graduated from Wellesley College (Hillary Clinton’s Alma Mater) and was getting started in entry-level corporate America.
Within a year she had become one of her company’s most valuable data scientists.
Nari and I used to go sailing on the Charles River. We’d talk about economics, education, and the future of technology. Those conversations were fascinating to be a part of, so I thought: “Why not bring the genius of Nari on the show?”
As a professional, Nari takes cutting edge predictive models from the dusty shelves of academia and puts them to work on important business cases. She’s a technical expert in data science but more than that, she’s a chameleon who deftly maneuvers the social and political conditions of whatever situation she’s in.
Our conversation in episode 4 of Hacker Practice takes place on Skype, with Nari calling in from a poppin’ lounge in Stockholm. If you’re unfamiliar with data science or are looking for career advice for ambitious millennials, you will certainly enjoy this conversation with Nari Savanorke-Joyce:
[1.10] Why Nari booked a trip to Stockholm, Sweden on a whim
[5.50] How Nari learned about entrepreneurship through her parents
- The importance of failure in the journey and grit required to bounce back
[6.30] Why Nari uses meditation to stay focused
[9.30] Adapting to the corporate world despite having entrepreneurship
in your blood
- How to adapt to different environments
- Parental influence in this domain
[13.50] Why putting yourself in a position where you aren’t in control is important for self-development
[16.10] Discussion on data science
Good data scientists excel in three directions:
- Domain expertise
- Computer science / programming skills
- Statistical modelling skills
DATA SCIENCE = Taking massive quantities of data and turning it into actionable insights
[18.30] Discussion on the methodology of data science (How to Data Science 101)
- Find a problem to solve
- Find the data
- Clean the data
- Apply a model
[22.10] How an insurance company uses data science to stop insurance fraud?
- Use models to predict low frequency high severity impact events
[30.30] Incentive structures in a data science role
[33.50] Using logistic regression to ask binary questions i.e. is person x likely to commit fraud?
- Using survivor modelling to understand claim lifespan
[37.30] Why data cleansing is the most time consuming component of data science?
- Using AI to detect pattern anomalies
[42.20] Discussion on behavioural economics (psychology and economics) and how to derive value in data science
[45.00] Behavioral economics is not classical economics
- Can behavioral economics be used to improve lives and business?
[45.30] Specific advice for ambitious young people
- Get out of debt
- Find community with older people
[47.00] Importance in investing in continuous education
- Focus on learning as a motivator
[51.50] Diversification vs focus lesson from Nari’s parents – “You have to go all in if you really want to pursue something”
[55.00] On insurance start-ups attracting corporate talent
- Begin with the “why” and be more than profit seeking
[58.10] Personal finance and budgeting
- Awareness via categorisation of spending
- Automatically save a percentage of your income
[1.03.20] Future of data science
- Using data to continuously dive deeper and personalise – huge potential in the health sector
[1.05.00] Nari provides podcast interview tactics that she’d like to see adopted by Hacker Practice podcast
[1.06.00] Nari’s Top tier interviewees:
- Thich Nhat Hanh – Meditation as we walk through life
- Michelle Obama
[1.10.10] Nari’s book recommendations
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, Philip Tetlock & Dan Gardner
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
[1.15.10] Travel hacks to save money
- Grocery stores are a great way to save money instead of eating out but also to learn about local food and culture
- Walk everywhere, especially if the city or place you are visiting is compact
[1.16.20] Final piece of advice to listeners
- Try 10 minutes of meditation per day
If you enjoyed the show please subscribe to Hacker Practice on iTunes. Hit me with suggestions of who you’d like to see on the show (@justuseapen). Leave me a review on iTunes. If you do any of these for me I will of course love you long time.
Thank you for listening!