Rhea Pereira '14 MS MIS
My undergraduate degree was in biomedical engineering, and I was working on asthma research in a laboratory at the BIO5 Institute. It wasn't anything with big data–very small scale and a lot of statistical analysis. I felt like I needed a change, I did enjoy working with data, and I knew that I could go deeper.
After I graduated with my master’s in management information systems, I accepted an offer at Capital One as a senior data analyst and was then promoted to a principal data analyst, which is what I do today as part of the strategy team for small business banking.
Currently I provide consultancy to the leadership team. So for example, we have a new online checking product that we offer to small business owners. As people apply online, we have a tool that shows us every click: who started the application, how many actually finished and where the customers are dropping off. I can then create a report looking at where our problem points are and what happens when we make a small change in the process. Does it improve anything?
Another thing I look at is how we offer products. Is it better to offer a savings product along with our credit card? What kind of email should be sent? Does direct mail work better? And what kind of customers will benefit the most from this kind of an offer?
I create dashboards and business reports, I deliver monthly Tableau reports, I even present to leadership–but the part I love most is pulling the data, making sense of it. It’s like storytelling. There are so many angles to a story. How do we provide enough analysis to convince our leadership to go a certain route? There are so many ways to go about it, and there are always new analyses that we're doing. It keeps it interesting.
I also enjoy troubleshooting a lot, especially when we work with both structured and unstructured data. I love writing SQL and creating dashboards. And I love the opportunity we have to learn new technology as it comes out. There are so many new tools available to us, and we are encouraged to constantly learn new technologies.
On the Horizon
From my experience, I know the future is going to be in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It's really huge at Capital One. It will make us much better at protecting from fraud and give us better opportunities to catch fraud, even before it happens.
Our applications will also get much smarter, which will help us make banking more intuitive and very personal, rather than having the same products and experience for a whole group of people. Everyone's experience will be different based on their needs.
The biggest challenge will be that we will have so much data available. How do we validate data quality? How do we manage security? Can we safely store customers’ personal data? There are and will be a whole bunch of challenges in this area, as well.
Photos courtesy Eller College of Management.