Kimberly Nguyen

Data Science Consultant

Boston, Massachusetts

"I use data to help drive business decisions, manage risk and even predict the future."

How I put change in motion

Data Science is when you take historical data, apply some math to it and come up with conclusions. As a Data Science Consultant, I turn data into creative solutions for clients’ most complex business issues, and then use that same data to help drive business decisions, manage risk and even predict the future.

I love the collaboration in the work that I do. The people in the data science community at Accenture are so intelligent and fun to work with. I love putting our heads together to solve a tough problem.

I recently worked as a senior developer on a Microsoft Power BI project for a U.S. government client, where I collaborated with two other developers. We started out not knowing much about Power BI, which is a platform that enables you connect, model and visualize data, but we all became experts by the end of the project by helping each other research solutions when we ran into walls. With our combined skills, we were able to create multiple highly advanced dashboards that presented the client’s data in an easily synthesizable format, so that they could use those insights to better serve their clients.

It’s so important to keep learning so your skills stay fresh. I’ve taken many training courses at Accenture—but I’ve learned the most from my peers. I learn the best when being taught by someone who uses the coding language or modeling methodology in their everyday work, such as my data science consultant colleagues at Accenture who have voluntarily hosted a series of Python classes.

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A day in my life

While my day varies based on the project I’m working on, here’s what a typical day looks like:

  • Open my OneNote and make my to-do list for the day. I love the feeling of completing a task and checking it off my list.
  • Attend my morning standup meeting, where we share our plans and any roadblocks we are facing on our projects.
  • Daily work: anything from working on a presentation to doing some data prep in the R programming language to building models.
  • Eat breakfast around noon—yes, breakfast at lunchtime because I get so engrossed in my work. I always have plain oatmeal, a kale smoothie and a grapefruit (boring, I know!).
  • Meetings with peers throughout the day to collaborate on review work with leadership.
  • Attend an end-of-day meeting to share our progress from the day.

“Data science is hard work. Speak up when you don’t understand something.”

My advice

Data science is hard work. Speak up when you don’t understand something. I’m not too shy to ask others to share their code so I can study it. I’ll go over the code line by line, annotate it, research the functions I don’t understand and go back and ask them questions until I have a good grasp on it.

Also, I’ve learned that to be a leader, you need to ask for help and let go of control. Sharing responsibilities with others gives them the opportunity to shine and trust in your ability to guide them, and that the project benefits from input from the whole team. This has helped me manage work-life balance as well.

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