Patrick Anthony is excited. As the new data analytics manager at Overstock.com, he’s responsible for building machine learning and deep learning solutions to further the company’s marketing capabilities. He is also hiring and training a team of advanced analytics professionals who can contribute to this effort.
“I am excited most about the prospect of using the latest techniques and technologies in machine learning and deep learning to contribute original work to the field of marketing. At our company, my team and I have a plethora of resources to do cutting-edge work in the field.”
To make the most of his role, he has applied all the data science knowledge he gained from several years of consulting and a master’s degree in Data Science from the University of Wisconsin.
His journey into data science
It all started as a hobby really. Early on, Patrick was interested in games—from puzzle games to action-adventure video games to sports. That initial interest evolved into more complex pursuits in college.
As an undergraduate student, he filled his schedule with upper-level math, statistics and probability, and computer programming courses. He took a specific interest in game theory, agent-based modeling, and evolutionary economics. He wanted to move beyond the traditional paradigm of classical economics and contribute to the evolutionary perspective of choice, systems, and organizations.
After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he became a data analytics consultant for Seattle-based companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Tableau Software. He was quickly hooked. “Solving quantitative problems in that fast-paced consulting world energized me,” Patrick says.
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Why a master’s degree?
While consulting, Patrick enrolled as an online UW Master of Science in Data Science student. “As a data analyst, I identified specific business needs. But I wanted to go deeper in the data science field to gain additional skills in machine learning and prescriptive analytics for marketing.”
Eventually, he decided to leave consulting to take a full-time position with Tableau, a data visualization company. He helped develop data science strategy and solutions to improve the impact of marketing, sales, and customer success programs. “I used machine learning and prescriptive analytics to identify value for the business.” This high-impact work earned him official recognition by Tableau and a company award honoring his efforts.
Putting new data science skills to work
Patrick graduated from the UW Data Science program in 2017. He says the rigorous curriculum grounded in computer science, math and statistics, management, and communication prepared him to become a full-fledged data scientist and leader.
Since he started at Overstock.com in March 2018, Patrick has used his knowledge of statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data mining, and natural language processing daily.
He credits these data science courses as having the most immediate impact on his career:
- Big Data: High-Performance Computing
- Data Mining
- Prescriptive Analytics
- Visualization and Unstructured Data Analysis (e.g. natural language processing)
- Data Science and Strategic Decision-Making
In particular, the program helped teach him to distill vast stores of complex, unstructured data into actionable insights and improved decision-making. These skills are critical for a data scientist at Overstock.com—and are sure to help him continue to lead and innovate in the future.