This week, we sit down with Anda Ziemele, Data Scientist and Software Engineer Lead at Capgemini UK.
When did you first become involved in the ‘social intelligence’ sector?
I first became involved in social media intelligence straight after graduating. I finished my degree in Psychology and I wanted to get into data and analytics, so a role as a social data analyst was the perfect fit for me. However, before that when I was a teenager I was managing the social media pages for a fashion stylist and designer whilst working as her PA.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Oh many, many careers, teacher, lawyer, doctor, investigator… I just knew I wanted to solve problems and contribute to something.
What, in your opinion, are the key benefits of social data analysis for organisations?
Beyond understanding what is said about you and your competitors on social media, the magic lies in analysing what is happening in the world and in particular the space you play in, even indirectly. There are a lot of things happening in the world right now that have already begun to affect everyone’s lives and how we think about the future, therefore the most important thing is to have a shift to a long-term vision – organisations need to understand the macro trends and be ready to implement solutions that go above just the short-term goals such as meeting targets and driving revenue. Social media data is so rich and beneficial in uncovering these trends as people use social media to share what they genuinely care about.
What aspects of your work do you most enjoy?
Mainly the investigative nature of the role – you’re really trying to read between the lines and dig deep into understanding what is going on in the data. But the best part about it is the nature of the data – it makes the above process so much more fun. It is a creative role – you can play with narratives, visuals and story-telling and really bring the emotion out – I love it.
What are the biggest challenges in your day-to-day work?
Digging through the noise, both obnoxious and malicious, and steering away from biases – in the data and my own.
Are you worried about regulatory restrictions impacting on your work in the future?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve been saying this since the first year I started my job and a person I spoke to who is quite senior in the field didn’t think it would be an issue – well, look where we are now… It’s still not as bad as it could be, but I feel we are more limited especially in regards to social data such as Instagram and Facebook and I don’t think it will become more relaxed.
Which social data analysis tools do you use? Do you have a favourite?
Brandwatch and Brandwatch.
Do you think the ‘social intelligence’ community needs its own professional body?
Absolutely. There’s so many roles and the knowledge and experience that comes with them is very diverse. Bringing it all together and looking at social intelligence from all angles ranging from ethics and security to visualisation and data science would be beneficial for everyone and would encourage an introduction of set standards across all these aspects.
Name a book you would recommend to others
The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. It is a long, heavy read but every page is blowing my mind.
Name a social account that everyone should follow
Taylor Lorenz is a reporter for New York Times. Her reporting on social media and pop culture is extremely fascinating.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to follow you on social?
My grandfather who as my mum described him was quite a creative and a big geek at the same time – he was really photography and fixing TVs – overall that pretty much sums me up.
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