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Employee Spotlight: Sara Billen, Data Scientist

DataCamp Team,
March 30, 2022 5 minutes min read
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This veteran DataCamper talks about her path to our company, her start as a Content Developer, her transition to our Data Science Team, and her favorite moments and memories from her four years with us.

How did you end up working at DataCamp?

Before working at DataCamp I worked in consultancy. I was a Data Science Consultant. I was contacted by the People Team since DataCamp combined two things I’m interested in—the data side of things and the learning aspect. It was an interesting opportunity for me so I took the leap and started working here as a Content Developer. Four years later I’m still working here, not as a Content Developer but as a Data Scientist. 

What is your background? 

I studied economics and majored in marketing. During my studies, I took some courses that focussed on marketing analysis, which is where I first discovered my love for data analysis and statistics. Afterward, I went to study something specifically focused on the data science side of marketing in Ghent. I took courses focused on predictive analytics with CRM applications. That’s where I learned more about topics like machine learning and network analysis. 

How has your career evolved since joining? 

I initially joined as a content developer. I worked with the instructors to create the courses we have on our platform. Because of that I got to meet loads of experts and came in touch with data-related topics which was really cool. After that, I switched roles and became a curriculum manager. I was responsible for a piece of the curriculum and at this point I switched teams, as well. Instead of working on our core curriculum courses like R, Python and SQL, I switched to a team that was more focussed on curriculum expansion. We worked on building newer technologies like BI, conceptual courses, and data engineering. I stayed in this role for about two years before deciding to switch to data science. I chose to apply to this role because I was really missing the data analysis side of things and at the time there were some data scientist roles available within our company. I got the role and I have been doing that for about two months now. 

Can you describe your job as a data scientist without using the word data science?

I work on the product side of things. That means I’m responsible for helping the company discover insights based on the data they receive. These insights help us to act upon certain decisions that are to be made. For example, they help our product managers make better decisions on how to design the learning experience on our platform. 

As a data scientist, is there anything new you have learned from completing DataCamp courses? 

I think there’s always new things to learn. What I like about DataCamp is how easy it is to get introduced to a topic you’re interested in. I have actually learned a lot from developing these courses. As a content developer, I created courses about BI. Because I created those courses I have learned a lot about Tableau and Power BI. Within my job, I would say I have definitely learned and grown a lot. 

Is there a skill you would love to see being added to the DataCamp platform? 

I’m very excited about the plans for the BI curriculum that are coming up. When I joined the team we were still trying to figure out whether there was traction for it but now there is actually a lot of demand within companies. I’m very excited about the expansion that’s coming up over there. Our R and Python curriculum is also getting revamped which is exciting. 

What is your superpower? 

In the position I’m currently working in I have the luck of having been at DataCamp for a while. Having worked on the content team means that I have gained a very good understanding of our platform and the way our users interact and learn with it. I have great domain knowledge which helps me out with the rest of my job as well. Other than that I would say my passion for business and data science makes me good at what I do. I love enabling companies and people at companies to make greater decisions. 

Are there skills you would like to be more proficient in? 

I think there are always skills you can pick up as a data scientist. It’s such a wide profession and there are so many things you need to know to be good at this job. What I’m learning more about within this job specifically is the data engineering side of things. The full flow of data within the company, instead of just the very last piece of information. There are tools we use to get the data from our sources into our pipeline that in the end enable us to make the right business decisions. My strength is more on the touchpoint side of the business. What I like as well is that I can experience a really wide range of knowledge. All our data scientists know the full process from start to finish which is something you don’t really see at many other companies. 

Can you describe working at DataCamp in 5 words or less? 

Educational, fast-moving, and amazing people. 

Working at DataCamp has really been a whirlwind. I love how ambitious we are. To me the most important part of working here are definitely the amazing people. The people I work with are so smart and being able to work with them is truly amazing. 

Could you tell me about your favorite DataCamp memory or moment? 

I think that must have been at one of our work weeks. During a workweek, we get the whole company together at a destination and you finally get a chance to meet the people you have been in touch with online for so long. The last one was in Lisbon and this was also the last time we could do this before the pandemic. We had a holiday party and really got the chance to get to know each other which was really nice. 

 

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