This post was written by Andrew Gruber, Vivian Liu and Michał Kilian, who recently completed the summer data internship at Azimo.
On a rainy June morning, we started our data internship at the Azimo office in London. Looking back now, it’s easy to see how much we’ve learned from the experience, but during those whirlwind eight weeks it was hard to see beyond the BigQuery tables and full English breakfasts.
While our sample size is a bit small and we might be just a bit biased, all three of us think that the Azimo data internship is an amazing opportunity. We encourage any aspiring data professionals to apply next summer.
What we did
Our task was to analyse churn, the rate at which Azimo users leave the service. Our goal was to find out if behavioural data indicates when a user might stop using Azimo, and then condense the data into a predictive model.
Before we could do that, we needed to understand the behaviour of an active Azimo user. After spending one week analysing the data, we identified five key actions that help determine user activity:
- Checking exchange rates
- Making transactions
- Adding recipient details
- Contacting customer service
- Sending invites via the referral program
These simple metrics helped us to visualise the data and start to build a model. After aggregating user information into a variety of summary tables, we took a weighted average of all the metrics that had a strong relationship with churn, taking into account the recency of the session. Our score system defines user activity and segments users into simplified activity groups.
Reasons why an internship at Azimo is different:
1. Azimo is a global product, and working at Azimo is a truly global experience.
We had the opportunity to work in both London and Krakow, with colleagues from all over the world. Azimo’s mission is to democratise financial services, making them affordable and available to all. We felt the scale of this ambition from the moment we started work.
2. Azimo is an established company that still has the exciting culture of a startup.
Azimo had so much to offer all of us beyond just the plentiful stock of snacks and the flexible work hours. The friendly, upbeat culture among the staff made us feel really welcome, but Azimo’s sizeable presence in the remittance market meant that we also had plenty of customer data to work with. Azimo has all the fun of a startup and none of the drudgery of a big corporation.
3. You’re encouraged to think of everything as an iteration.
Azimo is a fast-moving business that builds products iteratively, always responding to feedback from customers. Consequently, we were encouraged to build our own solutions and improve others as potential issues came to our attention, always moving forward and refining over time.
4. The things we did were visible across the company.
And that made us feel good, even if it just meant making someone a pie chart 😎. The work that we started is being continued by permanent members of staff. Even as interns, we were able to start a significant project that could easily have an impact on how the company is run.
5. We met people from every team, which gave us a much deeper understanding of the company.
For the first two weeks of the internship, we met with all the different teams in the company so that we could better understand Azimo’s product and its many moving parts. These meetings made it much easier to ask questions later and get what we needed to make an impact.
6. We worked with real data from the beginning.
Data can be messy and overwhelming but we’re all glad that we were thrown in at the deep end. Nothing we learned in classes could have prepared us for what living, breathing data sets actually look like. We learned so much about dealing with raw data, from cleaning it to modelling it.
7. We were treated as real team members, expected to do real work from day one.
This isn’t a coffee-fetching kind of internship, nor were we expected to merely shadow people. We were integrated into weekly meetings and assigned our own tickets to work on from the start. We learned to master tools like SQL, Domo, and Python to solve real-world problems.
8. You will use and abuse parrot emojis on Slack more than you ever thought possible.
Tl;dr: We loved our experience and we learned a huge amount.