I’m Karthik and I’ve been a data scientist at Movio for eight months now. Here’s how a typical day works out for me!
9.00 AM - First things first – coffee. Coffee is an essential part of every scientist’s diet. And fruit. We get fruit baskets delivered to the office so I grab a coffee and some fruit and start my day by catching up on important movie news (yes, I said movie news!). In order to do my work I need to keep up to date with movie news and box office figures from around the globe. So, I spend a little bit of time in the morning reading any company announcements and our weekly box office reports as well as looking at movie websites. This gives me an idea as to which movies are tracking well and what is scheduled to be released in the coming days, weeks and months.
9.30 AM - I generally like to split my day up into chunks so I can spend time doing different things – this gives me some variety during the day. One of the great things about working as a data scientist at Movio is that we get to spend time researching new product ideas on our own. This leads to a creative and informal culture within which blue-skies research is encouraged. I like to spend the first part of my day researching new ideas and searching for academic journal articles. Finding new articles usually leads to interesting conversations with other data scientists and developers and thus the ideas flow.
12.00 PM - Lunch! I enjoy going out for a walk at lunch time, and with the large number of food options available around our office I am never stuck for choice. There are also a lot of nice cafes in the area if I feel like sitting down for a coffee or meeting friends. Movio also provides a number of activities for staff at lunchtimes, such as the Run Club and Monday Yoga.
1.00 PM - Producing written work for publication is a large part of being a data scientist at Movio, and these come in the form of press releases or larger movie industry related documents such as white papers. When we produce industry insights we compare past movies that are similar to an upcoming movie and analyze the moviegoer's behavior versus the audience demographics of those previous movies. Our insights are often picked up by many of the major movie industry trade publications like Variety, TheWrap, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood. It’s pretty cool as a data scientist and movie fan to have our research pop up on the websites that I like to read to get my movie news.
White papers are much more involved and can take several weeks to write. These are done under the supervision of our Chief Data Scientist Dr. Bryan Smith. Each white paper consists of an in-depth analysis of an aspect of the movie industry, and usually requires the use of complex data analytics algorithms that we run over tens of millions of database records in order to produce statistically meaningful insights.
Below are a few snapshots of the kind if insights we produce for white papers. These examples come from our recently published ‘Understanding Millennial Moviegoers: A Data-Driven Playbook’ where the data science team have analyzed Millennials’ behavior to reveal insights and trends that may surprise the cinema industry. These white papers have also proved to be very popular with the movie industry media.
In order to produce publications that conform to our corporate brand I also work closely with the marketing and design teams – something I enjoy as I like to see their creative process!
3.00 PM - Coding is a core part of my work, and I typically spend at least half my day coding. We use Python for the majority of our data mining needs. Most of my coding work is for developing enhancements to our products. This includes a lot of experimentation work with new algorithms, and evaluating how useful these algorithms would be to Movio’s products. This is a process I find very rewarding as it typically covers a wide range of disciplines including mathematics, statistics, marketing, and finance, to name a few, and this constant steep learning curve keeps my job very interesting.
6.00 pm - At this point I usually call it a day. If it’s Friday, everyone gets together for a glass of wine and the music starts up. We also have monthly BBQs where one team gets to decide on a theme and they cook up a BBQ for everyone. These social events are a lot of fun as they are a great way to get to know people you don’t work with on a daily basis – that’s in addition to the great food, of course!