Dr Ed Ryan has had quite a career. An extensive academic background including an MSc in Statistics and a PhD in Applied Maths has led him to work on data projects in Sheffield, Lancaster, Manchester and the USA. He has 13 years of experience across several industries using data analytics to solve important real-world problems in climate change, air quality and finance. Moreover, he has two teaching qualifications and seven years of teaching and tutoring experience. He works at Corndel as a Professional Development Expert in Data Analytics, using his knowledge and experience to help our learners to gain the skills and confidence to apply data analytics in their workplaces. He tells us about his experience so far, and why he thinks a solid grounding in data analytics is so important.
Tell us a little bit about your work experience journey so far.
I feel very fortunate that most of my career has allowed me to pursue my passion of building and applying mathematical and statistical models in a variety of interesting areas of research. My first post-doctoral research job at Arizona State University involved using observations and models to understand the effect of climate change (elevated CO2 and warming) on the terrestrial biosphere. Following this, I worked at Lancaster University as a senior research associate and used advanced statistics to ‘open the hood’ of atmospheric chemical transport models that are used to inform policy makers to make good decisions in terms of improving air quality in different cities and countries. Finally, I moved to Manchester University and worked with academics from the Mathematics department along with stakeholders from a Manchester-based financial services company to improve the computational performance and accuracy of a financial model that the company used for forecasting purposes.
How important is it for non-technical employees to learn data skills?
Data skills are very important. These days, many people have basic Microsoft Office skills (Word, Excel, etc). However, data is becoming increasingly important for our economy and in our workplaces. This means that skills in data analytics are becoming more universally necessary. Although many companies employ data analysts and data scientists who are often very proficient, it can be very beneficial to a company if more employees also have a solid grounding in data analytics. For example, if a company has more people who know different programming languages like Python or SQL, then there is wider pool of employees that can be involved in projects involving these languages.
These data analytics skills are of course great for the individual because more doors are opened in terms of career opportunities, including higher paid jobs. It is important to realise that anyone can become a data analytics expert even if they belong to a department or team that has not traditionally used data analytics. Beyond the individual and company, if data analytics skills are more ubiquitous throughout our society, then this will hopefully result in a more productive economy.
Why did you decide to join Corndel?
Corndel has a reputation as a high-end educational provider in a professional setting and so of course I thought it would be wonderful to be part of the Corndel family. I also really believe in the Data Analytics programme. It teaches all the skills required to become a data analytics expert, and allows the participants to apply these skills to real world problems related to their current job roles. I am passionate at helping our learners to not only pass the programme and gain their diploma, but also to become competent and confident using data analytics on a daily basis.