Ladies and gentlemen, introducing one of our newest additions to the ryze team: Gioia Blayer!
We're thrilled to have her here with us as a Senior Data Scientist in the R&D department. In this interview with Gioia, you'll have an exciting chance to get to know a little more about her and her unique journey. If you're lucky to catch her in the kitchen or at her desk, she might even give you some data-driven, but local travel tips for your next trip to Italy.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background in the field of data science
After doing my research, it was clear that studying in Israel would be the best decision to get the kind of education I was looking for in the field. I moved here to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, completing both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in statistics.
I then entered the industry for the first time at a small mobility intelligence-focused startup (Neura) that was acquired by Otonomo. After gaining invaluable experience, my next step was moving to the field of signal processing at a different startup, where I worked as an AI researcher.
I then found my way to ryze, actually with the help of Shaun (Head of Business Development at ryze). He had also worked at Neura (my first company) during the same period I had been there. Thanks, Shaun! Ronen (paid media) also worked with us there so it’s great to meet familiar faces again.
Q: What are you most excited to bring to the ryze team?
Hmm, good question! My statistics and data science knowledge will definitely contribute a lot, as well as the business experience that I gained so far. At the moment, I’m working on two main projects. One is focused on fraud detection to increase the quality of brands. This is something I decided to take on myself after discussing it with the rest of the data science team and I’m really looking forward to it.
The other project is based on A/B testing. The idea here in simple terms is to cover two versions of the lineup. Based on the comparison of statistical distributions, it will help us gain a deeper understanding of which lineup is performing best.
Q: How has your landing at ryze been so far? Based on your first impressions, what will your experience look like here?
My landing was okay! I received a lot of support and people have all been super available for questions and clarifications. I think it’s worth it to invest in the first few months to consolidate the basis, and I really feel like there’s a mutual investment from both sides. I’m asking a lot of questions and I've also been given back the time from everyone.
The start of every job is where you need to process everything and it’s challenging - but that’s how it should be. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fun enough.
I feel like I’m given responsibility and the ability to make an impact, with the space to explore, in terms of data, details, and business where I want to focus and improve.
Q: Share an accomplishment that you’re most proud of - either professionally or personally
When I moved to Israel from Italy in 2015, I didn’t speak Hebrew. So finishing 2 degrees in Hebrew was a challenge, but I managed! Technical fields are great here in Israel, especially in more advanced degrees. I wanted to mix something that wasn’t as technical as computer science but not quite as abstract as math, so I went for statistics. It only made sense to study here, despite the language barrier.
I also see the fact that I entered the field of data science as an accomplishment. It’s a very competitive field, and I’m grateful for the path I took and where I’ve managed to get to.
Q: What’s a surprising fun fact about yourself?
I love stand-up comedy. I never tried it myself but I did study theater when I was back in Italy and have always had a passion for performing arts, especially for acting.
But if I wasn’t a data scientist, I would probably want to be a vet because I also really love animals.
Q: Your favorite thing to eat for lunch and why (bonus: favorite person to eat with)
At the office, probably Chicken Station. Or at least it’s what I order the most often - it’s good and comes fast. What’s most important to me is that I don’t get home starving, so Chicken Station leaves full for a long time after lunch so that I can get back to focusing on work. I usually eat with the R&D team, who make great company.
Thanks for your time Gioia! Can't wait to see what's in store for your future at ryze.