Today’s Women in Technology (WIT) blog entry is about Ali, a Data Scientist in Chicago who will be speaking at the Unstructured Data Science Pop-up event here at Groupon headquarters on June 10th. 

Name: Ali
Title: Data Scientist
Start date: July 2013

In a nutshell, what does your role entail? 

I am on the Data Science team, which works on analyzing our vast heaps of data and on developing models to optimize various aspects of the business. It’s a huge team which is split up into several sub-teams. On my specific sub–team we work on issues pertaining to sales and the Local business. This includes using historical data to determine ways to accelerate growth and increase engagement. We have also worked on modeling both merchants and markets in order to optimize the workflow of our sales force with a system called Quantum Lead.

How did you get involved with Unstructured

I first heard about Unstructured and the speaking opportunity through my manager. After looking up the history of the project and the people involved, I knew that I had to get involved myself!

What’s an interesting project or challenge that you’re working on? 

Right now I’m working on predicting customer values — given everything that we know about an individual customer, can we predict their purchasing habits for the next 90 days, 6 months, or even one year? If we can, then we can figure out when users are starting to disengage or when new users are likely to make their first purchase. This knowledge can help us tailor the way that we interact with each individual customer. It turns out that we can indeed do this, but it’s really hard.  This project has essentially all of the tech challenges that you hear about with data science, especially those associated with “big data.” We have a lot of users who interact with us in lots of ways, which translates into lots of data.

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. We’re hiring Data Scientists! No football skills required.