Idiomatic team member feature: Ryan Franks – Director of Data Science

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Could you please tell us about your background and your current role?

My path to my current role, Director of Data Science, has been fairly unexpected and not at all pre-planned. It all started with the desire to become a dentist and a chosen path of biology as the means to achieve it. The sciences have always been a passion of mine and when dentistry did not come to fruition I followed my passion with a masters degree in Evolutionary Biology. Then came the pivotal choice of whether to follow my passions even further or to broaden my knowledge base and see what else the world has to offer, I chose the latter. Which led to my successful pursuit of an MBA. Primed with a broad educational background and honed skills of analytical problem solving, critical thinking, and a never ending desire to learn, I endeavored to find a career I would enjoy. Queue Idiomatic, a company focused on cutting edge technology to unlock a wealth of information from near endless data. A process cater made to mesh with my years upon years of data analyses and assessments. Here at Idiomatic I found learning and joy in machine learning with the added bonus of utilizing pre-engrained abilities. In my current role I create hierarchies, organize and manipulate data, all for the goal of creating models capable of unlocking the hidden information in our clients’ data. I am also excited to grow the data science team and influence our technologies as Idiomatic continues to grow.

What do you like most about your job?

The constant need to think creatively and create unique solutions for client problems. There are always new clients with new problems and questions that need answering. Having the ability to answer those questions is a very fulfilling feeling. Additionally I have almost endless opportunities to learn whether it be from machine learning technology and applications or from just learning about clients and their businesses.

How do you like to spend time outside of work?

Trying to love life and experience all life has to offer. Whether that be traveling as often as possible or finding that unique experience locally with friends. I am also a home owner and so doing DIY projects is a great way to spend an occasional weekend. Many evenings you can also find me at home with my cat consuming media or playing games with friends. Cars are another passion of mine so finding me tweaking my car or going for drives isn’t a rare sighting.

As a Director of Data Science, what’s an average work day like for you?

This is another reason why I enjoy my job because there is no average work day. Within any given week I could spend entire days brainstorming and thinking creatively about our technologies or applications. While other days I could spend whole days brute forcing data organization or manipulating. Some days I have fully planned out ahead of time while others I walk into with nothing and even other days with surprises left and right. I’ve had previous jobs where I could precisely write out every moment of every day with no variation and I will never go back to a job like that again.

What’s your favorite Idiomatic feature and why?

My favorite feature isn’t actually a feature, it’s the many features that give myself and our team the flexibility to address our clients’ questions. We obviously have prediction models, the core of our product, but we also have ways to manipulate those models or even divert around them, and several ways to actually apply those models to data. The flexibility our product offers is the coolest part because our offering is not just turn on and go, which we all know rarely help answer the hardest questions businesses have, the customization and flexibility we offer just puts us above and gives myself freedom to be creative every day I work here.

From your perspective, how does Idiomatic solve our customers’ challenges?

In our purest form Idiomatic provides information, the differentiator is the information we can give is often about data that is a blackbox, an unknown. Any time light can get shined into dark areas the better everyone is for it. Businesses have decades of processes and presidents for utilizing other sources of data but what we can give is new, potentially the last new data insight left that companies can use to inform their decisions. Information is power and Idiomatic provides the power ups companies need to succeed.