05 October 2020

Our Head of Data Science up against the wall

Magnus Image Min

We choose to put our Head of Data Science, Magnus Eriksson, in the spotlight to dig deeper into his experience and why he believes that the future for any industry lies in data and analytics.

Working as a Data Scientist at a bank - why is that exciting?

Whoa, strong start! Haha - but OK, I will give you the elevator pitch. My overall goal is to work with data from our customers and products and transform it into information and predictive models that lead to relevant and intelligent banking experiences for our customers - helping them improve their financial life.
And if I may elaborate a bit on that. In my opinion, data scientists are at the core of the business. Really providing the tools for the other departments to do their job more effectively. Through the data and numbers we analyze, we are able to create a good understanding of what our customers really want. It is kind of amazing really, how relevant and tailored we can be today towards our customers. With data and numbers, we can create a 100 percent tailored banking experience for every customer's needs, which is really exciting!

You’ve been working at traditional banks as well as gaming-tech companies such as Paradox Interactive. Lessons learned? 
There are always a ton of things you learn and bring with you. Northmill is in some way a blend of companies I´ve been working for previously. Working at a traditional bank for example provided an understanding of how banking has been handled basically forever but also triggered thoughts around how it can be done differently if the technical prerequisites and the organizational will are there. I was also fortunate and became a part of establishing the data science team at Paradox Interactive, a gaming and tech-company developing computer strategy games. At the time Paradox was in very strong growth and scale-up mode and it became the first time I was exposed to a cloud-only, agile way of working. That made me convinced that it is that type of fast-paced, “everything is possible mentality” type of company I want to work for - true tech companies constantly exploring new technologies. That is close to my heart on a personal level, but I have also witnessed the competitive advantages of having a scalable infrastructure first hand. When I say this to you now it makes complete sense that I ended up at Northmill really! 

What will be a differentiator within data and analytics in the next 3-5 years? 
Looking ahead I still see that privacy and integrity will continue to be fundamental in the discussion - which I believe is a good thing. Companies really need to build trust around those areas. Even though people gradually are getting more and more OK with handing over their data to private companies in exchange for more relevant experience, it truly is a learning curve and an educational aspect to this that we as companies need to understand and embrace. The companies that can “sell” the promise to the customers - very simply put - share your data with and we will tailor your experience and bring you to value, and then deliver on it every time will see a strong competitive advantage regardless of what field or sector they are operating in. 

It is a tough balance with an ethical dimension that we need to handle every day, not only as a company but also individuals working with this data. A basic ground rule is to always start by asking the question of how data can be used to optimize the experience for the customer. Not only focusing on optimizing revenue or gaining efficiency internally. 


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