Jim Knapik is an established leader in the field of data science technology with a strong background in machine learning. Jim also has a wealth of business management and team building experience from his time as the CEO of Oz Communications and Vantrix. Previously, Jim led Data Networks and Signaling and then the Messaging Technology teams at AT&T. 

What are you working on right now?

In my spare time … I’m looking into python based platforms that allow retail investors to identify good trades using information other than just technical signals, for instance, using sentiment and press releases to better model price changes.  That and a BMW R100 RS that needs a makeover.

Why are you passionate about data analytics?

Unfortunately for those who know me, I analyze everything I do.  In the analytics community, this is a good thing, outside … not so much!

What was the most exciting challenge that you solved using analytics?

Sometimes the most enlightening observations are not the most complex.  When leading a software company focused on instant messaging, I asked my team to put the picture of the phones that where generating the most messages on a monthly basis in our reports. Bear in mind this was ten years ago. It became very obvious that all the high message generators had either chicklet keyboards or virtual keyboards, in other words, it was very easy to type messages.  This may be blindly obvious now, but we were at an inflection point in wireless messaging back then and that single observation nailed the inflection point for what became an onslaught of text messaging.

What traits do you think are most important for students learning analytics?

You have to be infinitely curious.  Right after you answer the question you were after, you need to ask the next one. Rinse. Repeat.