I Am Merkle is a series of interviews that showcase the incredible individuals who make Merkle a unique and diverse place to work. This week we chatted to Sandro Matos, director - analytics, based in our Edinburgh office.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in a small village in Portugal, I’ve moved to Lisbon when I was 18, where I lived for over seven years. I’ve now been living in Edinburgh for six and a half years.
2. What drew you to your current career?
I’ve always liked maths since a young age, so I decided to study maths as my undergrad and during that time I realised what I really liked everything that involved practical work with data.
3. Why Merkle?
Merkle has a huge range of clients and industries and analytics is a strategic part of their offering, so I really enjoy the feeling that I can add value and bring innovation to the company.
4. Tell us a bit more about your day-to-day.
My normal day starts with a few meetings and stand-ups on my current project/client, where the teams discuss progress and challenges. I frequently meet with different people throughout the day to either gather requirements or present results and discuss next steps. I also regularly have check-ins with my team and the wider advanced analytics team to discuss anything from recruitment to new tools or techniques in the data science world. I’m also involved in different Merkle initiatives including a pro-bono partnership with a charity.
5. What do you enjoy most about advanced analytics? And what do you think future developments will be?
The team spirit in advanced analytics is what I enjoy the most. Everyone is extremely helpful and always happy to try and assist the best they can. Data science and AI is a hot topic at the moment, so I think the future developments will be focused on the client needs and the shape of our work and our team to fulfil those needs.
6. What would your advice be to somebody considering a career in Analytics?
Being a great data analyst or data scientist is much more than being able to code or work in specific tools. Being able to understand data and to translate analysis into insights are extremely important, so my main advice would be to not focus exclusively on the technical skills.
7. What is your greatest accomplishment?
I’d say that leaving my country of origin and creating a career in a different country that I can now call my home has been my greatest accomplishment to date.
8. Tell us a bit about your experience so far with Merkle.
I’ve been with Merkle for over four years and it has been a great experience. I’ve learned so much from my peers and it’s great to work surrounded by smart and friendly colleagues.
9. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
The Diversity and Inclusion pillars are a huge part of Merkle’s culture, I think it’s essential that we make sure everyone in the company feels they are treated the same and that we, as a company, do our best to give voice to every single person. The leaders of Merkle also maintain a very close relationship with employees, join debates from the DEI pillars and address the questions from the staff no matter how challenging they are.
10. What was your dream job growing up?
For many years I wanted to be a maths teacher.
11. Are you involved in any of our DEI Pillars? If so, which one and can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m part of the LGBTQ+ pillar. Some of the objectives of the pillar are raising awareness for minorities that are still not well known or represented in the media, and making sure Merkle is a safe environment for any LGBTQ+ employees. We celebrate how far we’ve come, but also remember how much we still have to do regarding LGBTQ+ rights.
12. Rapid fire:
a. How do you like your eggs?
Poached with Avocado and toast.
b. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime?
Just finished “Into the Night” on Netflix.
c. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Everything related to the Eurovision Song Contest.
d. What is your dream holiday destination?
Iceland is my favourite country and I try to go back as often as I can. I’ve never been to Japan, but as a big Pokémon fan, it’s on the top of my dream list.
e. Best advice or mantra you live by?
Don’t waste time worrying about something in the past that can’t be undone, focus on making it better next time.