GtD is delighted to introduce our new addition to the Get the Data (GtD) analyst team, Kasra Aghajani. Kasa has a BSc in Mathematics, but recently graduated with an MSc in Data Science from the University of Sussex as he wants to specialise in statistics that are suited to the modern world. In this month’s blog, Kasra writes about how he applied data science and the latest technology to map English vineyards, and how he now looks forward to contributing his knowledge to GtD.
When we think of wine, the first images that come to mind might be a Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux or a Chianti from Tuscany, but rarely do we think of England. However, global warming has given the region a more temperate climate, and while devastating for our planet, this has caused the establishment of vineyards. These are being planted at a rapid rate across the South East, and geographical information regarding agricultural practices plays a critical role in ensuring sustainable development. The mapping of these vineyards has resulted in a classification problem but since classification is one of the main tasks within machine learning, data science emerged as a solution. So, using data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel satellites my Master’s dissertation mapped the increasing number of vineyards within the South of England
The use of novel data sources to map vineyards and solve viticulture problems has a more general application to our understanding of the world around us. The analysis of data allows us to understand the world in an objective way and enables us to instigate progressive solutions. The increasing availability of new data sources has improved our ability to statistically analyse and understand underlying information, and to create data products that have positive social and economic impacts. While much of the progress we have witnessed, in industry, has been consumer orientated, I am very impressed by the work GtD is doing in the criminal and youth justice systems. Some of the problems facing justice systems include a failure to assist individuals who have already gone through the system to desist from a criminal lifestyle, resulting in high rates of reconviction and reentry.
GtD’s work in developing a reoffending predictive algorithm allowed probation to target its limited resources on high-risk individuals. To be able to continue my learning, post academia, by tackling problems within our society is an amazing opportunity for me.
I believe it is not enough to have only the technical ability of statistical inference and data analysis. One must also be able to effectively communicate a story from the data. To enable this, analysts must first understand the context behind the data and build their knowledge within a client’s domain. From an evaluation point of view, communication skills are very important to demonstrate and describe efficiently certain insights, while justifying methodology and approach. So, from vineyards to probation, I’m excited to bring my skills and perspectives to GtD’s business while being mentored by experienced specialists.
I look forward to working with you.