name: arda sisbot
role: data scientist, kpmg lighthouse - center of excellence for data & analytics, kpmg in the us
previous experience: phd in data optimization
i enjoy the direct application of my academic research. i considered going into a tech firm but there wasn't the same variety of clients with such diverse demands.
since joining kpmg in the us, arda has worked on a wide variety of decision analysis and optimization projects. however, one of his highlights has been a project to optimize police staff resources for a local government organization in the us.
the us firm's work on police staffing models was part of a wider evalsuation of a county's criminal justice system. “seeing an opportunity for the client to optimize police staff resources, we applied data and analytics to look at when and where crimes were happening, how police officers addressed those crimes and what they spent most of their time on,” he explains. this included reviewing activity at the county, station, jail and patrol level.
it was at this point that arda took part in a unique experience - a ride-along with uniformed police officers to understand their day-to-day priorities on the ground. “i saw first-hand how calls come in, the type of calls they deal with, how they travel from one place to another and what happens when they arrive at the scene. my work with data is often very abstract, so this was a great opportunity to gain concrete insights.
“we wanted to ensure the client could allocate more police officers to high crime areas, but this isn't as simple as it sounds. we also had to take account of constraints such as labor supply and union rules.”
it's this kind of real-world benefit that attracted arda to a career with kpmg following completion of his phd. “i enjoy the direct application of my academic research. optimization isn't something you can learn in a day - you need a solid understanding of techniques and tools. i considered going into a tech firm but there wasn't the same variety of clients with such diverse demands.”
looking ahead, where does arda see his career with kpmg heading? “i'd like to stay in a technical role and grow my skills horizontally. i can see that kpmg values people with wide- ranging knowledge of different tools and technologies. it's a dynamic, fast-paced environment that provides practical experience across a variety of projects and domains. i've been able to acquire significant amounts of knowledge in a very short amount of time.”
since joining kpmg the variety of projects arda has worked on has been vast. from a household tools manufacturer, looking at efficiencies in the manufacturing processes by identifying common parts in different assemblies, to helping a conference center in london optimize revenue from their events and exhibitions spaces.
arda believes he's found the perfect place to grow his career: “if you want to be in consulting, and want to apply learning from an advanced degree across different industries, i don't know any other organization i'd choose as an alternative. i can't wait to see where my career takes me.”