Programming is key for careers in data science – Martina Naughton, ACIA (video)
Martina Naughton, senior research analyst, Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics

Programming is key for careers in data science – Martina Naughton, ACIA (video)

24 Feb 2014

Martina Naughton, senior research analyst at Aon’s Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA), is the first woman ever to be invited to speak at the Career Zoo Tech Box. Here, she tells us what a career in data analytics involves.

The Tech Box is now a permanent fixture at the twice-yearly Career Zoo events in the Convention Centre Dublin, and Naughton’s talk early on the morning of 15 February attracted a crowd that spilled out of its Plexiglass confines.

Naughton spoke about her 10 years working with data and noted the common challenges that crop up, no matter what the dataset.

“When you look at a raw database table, you can’t really tell much about the data but, when you apply different algorithms and different techniques, you can really start to harness what the data is really saying and it’s very important, as we move to an age where the data is growing and growing and growing, we need to learn how to extract meaning from it in a more efficient way,” she said.

At the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics in Dublin, Naughton works with a team of four (and growing, as ACIA is hiring), who are given problems to solve from all business units in Aon. More often than not, this involves building something from nothing and hacking together prototypes that can provide solutions and add value to the company.

Naughton’s tip for those interested in a career in data analytics is to keep their skill level up and learn a programming language. “I think being able to programme is huge because being able to automate tasks is something that we really need to be able to do. Manual tasks, for me, are a thing of the past,” she said.

Career Zoo 2014: Martina Naughton, the Tech Box’s first female speaker

Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s year-long campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. On 7 March 2014, we will kick off the campaign’s second year. Let’s change the ratio.

Elaine Burke
By Elaine Burke

Elaine Burke was editor of Silicon Republic until 2023, and is now the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. Elaine joined Silicon Republic in 2011 as a journalist covering gadgets, new media and tech jobs. She later served as managing editor before stepping up as editor in 2019. She comes from a background in publishing and is known for being particularly pernickety when it comes to spelling and grammar – earning her the nickname, Critical Red Pen.

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