Women@OCTAVE: OUR TEAM

This International Women’s Day, OCTAVE is delighted to resume our series Women@OCTAVE! This year, Vindya Mahavithana — Analytics Delivery Manager, Hiruni Kandaudaarachchi — Analytics Delivery Manager, Karisma White — Analytics Delivery Associate, Malshini Nissanka — Data Science and Engineering Associate, Akshila Anurangi — Data Science and Engineering Associate, and Poorna Rajapathirane — Visualisation Analyst are ready to share their stories.

Why did you join OCTAVE?

Vindya: OCTAVE provides the opportunity to engage in analytics projects across multiple business domains that bring true value to an organization.

Hiruni: While at Keells in Range, Space & Merchandising, I learnt about the impact Data Analytics has on a business, in terms of effective problem solving to derive value at a competitive advantage. So, it was a dream come true when I was presented with an opportunity to join OCTAVE and be a part of the Advanced Analytics transformation journey of the Group.

Karisma: Before joining OCTAVE, I worked in the banking industry for a few years, and I wanted to move into an organization that would give me exposure to several industries while offering me the opportunity to learn and work on Advanced Analytics projects.

Malshini: Towards the latter part of my bachelor’s degree, I have discovered my passion for Data Science and searched for an opportunity to sharpen my skills in advanced analytics with industry exposure. I identified OCTAVE as the best place, given the opportunity to work with multiple businesses with the best mentoring and learning opportunities.

Anurangi: As a Data Science enthusiast, I had always wanted to experience what it was like to implement the theoretical concepts I learnt into real life use cases. My decision to start a Data Science career at OCTAVE was a no brainer as it provides unmatchable exposure to Advanced Analytics, compared to its competitors in Sri Lanka, across multiple domains with access to large volume of data.

Poorna: I joined OCTAVE due to the many domains in which I can acquire knowledge and experience. I wanted to learn the practical applications of Data Science in solving business challenges. The team at OCTAVE comprises of individuals with years of experience and knowledge in this field, which compelled me to join and learn from the best.

What is your role at OCTAVE?

Vindya: I am currently working in the capacity of an Analytics Delivery Manager involved in delivering analytics solutions to a client in the Consumer Foods sector of the John Keells Group. I act as a translator between the analytics team and the client to ensure maximum value is achieved from each use case. It is also my responsibility to ensure that the projects are delivered on time and within budget.

Hiruni: I am an Analytics Delivery manager working with functional experts from the client’s team to effectively define and transform a business problem to an analytics problem. Together with the Data Science team, we derive a practical solution that gets embedded into the client’s business processes. Then KPIs will be monitored regularly to visualize the value from the solution in their day-to-day operations. The complexity of the project requires the analytics team to continuously collaborate effectively with the functional experts in the business to understand the current processes, constraints and find an effective solution.

Karisma: As a part of the Analytics Delivery team, I ensure that the use cases are planned, tested, executed, and delivered successfully in line with timelines. I am currently working on use case that improves production efficiency in the beverage domain.

Malshini: I am a Data Science & Engineering Associate, attached to cross selling use cases in Retail and Leisure.

Anurangi: I am a Data Science & Engineering Associate, which provides me the opportunity to move across different teams at OCTAVE and experience the role of a Data Scientist, Data Engineer, and Visualization Analyst. Recently I’ve been working on a retail use case which optimizes the store operations with the help of data analytics.

Poorna: I am a Visualization Analyst and as such, my main responsibility is to develop dashboards to visualize the results of a use case which will then be used by the client to make decisions. The most recent use case I worked on was in the consumer foods domain where we targeted optimized promotions to acquire new customers.

What are the highlights of your career before joining OCTAVE?

Hiruni: During my tenure in the Retail sector of the John Keells Group, I successfully completed the trials for a specific product to outlets which carved the path for its successful centralization in 2019.

Karisma: I was a part of a project team that put together a state-of-the-art mobile banking app, which utilized Advanced Analytics to attract 30,000 users within a span of two months, resulting in a growth of digital transactions from 60% to 90%.

What challenges did you overcome when entering the field of Data and Advanced Analytics?

Hiruni: Working at OCTAVE is both exciting and challenging. Coming from a non-technical background, I had to familiarize myself with many concepts in this field. Opportunities for continuous learning and growth presented by OCTAVE helped me bridge this gap, and continues to help me to stay up to date with the latest processes and technologies.

Karisma: I joined the Digital Financial Services team at a bank right after college and worked my way towards managing Information Systems. Over the years I developed a liking towards working with data, and the sheer power it gives businesses when analysed effectively. While on the job I started an Advanced Diploma in Data Science, which gave me the academic exposure and the required skills to pursue a career as a Data Analyst in the Data Analytics and Business Intelligence Unit.

Malshini: With an interest in analytics, I started following free online courses which helped me improve my knowledge. But I still lacked the necessary practical experience, which prompted me to apply for an internship at OCTAVE which helped me to get a full-time job.

Poorna: I first became aware of the field of Data Science during my third year at university and I was instantly interested in it. As an individual coming from a statistics background, my main challenge when entering the field of Data Science was lacking the knowledge of programming and computer science required in this field. I acquired them through online courses in Coursera and YouTube tutorials, and constantly practicing coding.

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