Looking for a New Job

Do any readers know of job openings for a data analyst with 10 years of experience using SAS? I currently manage safety data for the Federal Railroad Administration. For various reasons, I’m very interested in “moving on up” — though it doesn’t necessarily need to be “to the East side.” Data science is awesome and relevant to everything, including sumo (naturally). I’ve been reading a lot about the whisky-making industry, and you’d be amazed at how much data Diageo and other companies are collecting as they regulate steeping temperature, track malting progress, and trigger the cut from the heads to the heart to the tails of the distillation.

My background is in Economics. I got my BA in Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. No, I’m not a basketball fan…at least until they bring back the hand check and get rid of charging fouls. After a stint teaching English in Japan, I got my Masters in Economics at East Carolina University, where I learned the power of Econometrics and Forecasting…and importantly their limitations and the dangers of bias.

Unfortunately, the standard Economics curriculum does not seem to delve deeply enough into data management. I’m always stunned at how much data is stored and analyzed in spreadsheets and text files, cobbled together with Ctrl+C and glue sticks. I learned a great deal about data management and programming from a colleague of mine with a degree in computer science. We worked together at a non-profit called Social Compact that assembled data from municipal data sources to create neighborhood population estimates.

Our main targets were food deserts and the lack of formal banking services in many urban communities. Much of our day involved cleaning tax assessment data, building permits and utility data and creating replicable ETL (extract, transform, load) process flows. Municipal data sets have tons of data, much of it unstructured. We would update tax assessment data with information from the building permits to create estimates of the number of housing units, and mash that up with data from the credit bureaus on market strength, then map locations of the closest grocery stores and retail banks.

Though I learned a lot, including the power of maps and GIS analytics, I needed to learn formal best practices in data management. So, I went back to school at George Washington University and got my MS in Information Systems. This helped me at my current job where I manage the data behind several of our safety systems, including our accident data from the railroads, inspection data, and our grade crossing inventory. This leads to interesting analyses regarding rule-making activity, accident trends, and inspection effectiveness. Crossing incidents are correlated with single-family residential developments, so we’re working to understand more about how to mitigate those risks.

It’s time I move on, though. I would love to go back East to Japan but that’s not necessary. I need to be challenged and I look forward to new opportunities. If you know of any, and can put up with bad puns, drop me a line at martinandy@hotmail.com or feel free to leave a comment.

13 thoughts on “Looking for a New Job

    • I played far too much Bond and Mario Kart when I was there. I took one computer science course there but now you’ve got me wondering about whether there are some grad level courses there. I really want to make a game but I don’t want to step on the toes of the other sumo community sites that are doing banzuke-related or fantasy games. If I had the time, I’d use Unity to make a game based on the paper sumo that kids play or a Street Fighter-type sumo game. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to do that. A few months back I built a Twitter bot that would respond to questions based on keywords and send out “answers” with links to those awesome NHK videos…but I’ve not had the time to actually get it deployed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you are interested in game dev as a side project, I’m happy to chat about it. I’m currently the lead designer at an indie studio that’s made some mobile titles and currently working on a PC game in Unity.

        I feel like there’s could be room for a well made sumo game, no matter what the genre. The web based fantasy games aren’t as appealing to me as something more like the season or management modes in the EA Sports titles. Sumo techniques would fit more in a physics-based fighting engine than something combo and timing based like Street Fighter. Especially since balance and movement play such a big role… Maybe something like a modern day Punch Out!

        Besides the sumo-related stuff, have you ever thought about getting into data analytics for games? Many of the larger companies have some pretty deep investment into analytics due to games as services becoming a bigger part of the market.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I would love to get into gaming analytics. The economies of online games are fascinating. Something like Football Manager but Heya Manager would be very engaging, especially if it included everything from how much chanko you need to prepare to travelling for these jungyo mini-basho.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Heya Manager would be a really fun game that could have broad appeal and even get some people into sumo if presented well. It could also be set up in a way to have both a more casual mode (more like a light rpg game akin to Long Live the Queen) where you mostly have to worry about your Rikishi and their personal issues and training, all the way to a more hardcore mode, with more control over stable finances, PR problems, logistics, etc.

            I’d assume you’d let the player character create custom rikishi, so you’d get around needing an official license. Then people could make their dream teams of yokozunas past in fantasy mode, or do the best with what young recruits and beat up old veterans are out there in normal mode.

            Life sim games can be huge successes without needing state of the art graphics (Like Stardew Valley recently) and are relatively easy to port to multiple platforms.

            I see analytics jobs pop up on Gamasutra from time to time, mostly in the Bay Area. Some of the Japanese mobile studios might need them too, but I don’t really know much about their job market.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I saw a really cool tabletop Sumo game at SXSW earlier this year. It was amazing (NHK World also has an incredible presence there). Will have to dig up some pix/video

            Btw yes to Sumo version of football manager and Sumo games in general. We should probably do a post about Shusse Ozumo, which has been rereleased on PS4 and which I am terrible at

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a fighting game concept where you input a pre defined pattern for your opponent and then that is executed on a loop against your foe, with his own sequence. Its like rock paper scissor game. We can do in sumo. Its simple gameplay to implement vs something realtime control

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Above all thanks for sharing your story here – what an incredible path you’ve taken, doing a lot of really interesting things!

    Excited to see where you will end up next!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’re always hiring data scientists and data analysts in my company in Israel 😉 I’m head of BI but my team is mostly applicative DBA work with big data.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.jsWas the SXSW sumo game https://yonder.itch.io/circleofsumo by any chance? I couldn’t find anything else listed for 2017. Looks like an interesting fast paced arcade style game. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any VR titles with Sumo themes, but I guess it could be really disorienting with a close up view.

    And yes you guys should do posts about Sumo-related entertainment like games. I didn’t even know there was an arcade game from the 80s like Shusse Ozumo.

    (also I guess replies can’t be nested too far down in WordPress)

    Liked by 1 person

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