Yaniv Leven, panoply.io
Hey, could you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Yaniv, I am CEO of Panoply, a Smart Data Warehouse for BI. My general and academic background is in Statistics. In my past positions, I managed teams that dealt with and practised Statistical analysis and social data modelling. I headed the analytics and data management design and utilization as COO at Mytopia (acquired by 888Holding (LSE: 888.L) in a $48M transaction and Win (a subsidiary of Bwin.party digital entertainment (LSE: BPTY.L)).
Those are some impressive achievements. You’ve really succeeded in the statistics field, but could you tell us when you first heard about Data Science and how you ended up working in it?
[Data science] is a fantastic field, I heard about it just prior to starting university. I studied statistics at university because I wanted to practice data science in the financial industry. My first position after university was building statistical models for Moody’s.
So, from building statistic models for Moody’s you are now one of the founders of panoply.io. Could you tell us a bit more about the solution you are offering?
Panoply is a smart Data Warehouse for BI. What’s smart about the Panoply Warehouse is that it automates Data Management utilizing Machine learning algorithms and it streamlines the entire data lifecycle to BI. Panoply’s algorithms basically automate and optimize the 3 pillars of data management Automated Data Integration, Elastic Data Management and automated query optimization.
Awesome! Panoply is incredibly innovative. Away from data management though, you’ve described yourself as an ‘analyst for life’. Could you elaborate on that?
The way I approach any challenge is through the lenses of analytics.
I grew up as an analyst, from my army days to my formal education to any position I’ve ever held. I’ve always been either an active analyst or I managed the company’s departments that served its information needs. Now, being a CEO, I don’t see it any differently, in every aspect of managing the company or my personal life, the way I approach any challenge is through the lenses of analytics i.e statistical thinking and logical deduction.
That’s a great way to look at things. So, through your life as an analyst could you tell us which tools and software are essential for your work, apart from Panoply?
Well, unfortunately, I don’t practice data science in a practical manner too much anymore, but in my days as a practical analyst, the only two tools I really used time after time were excel [including VB] and R [also, a bit of S+ before R matured].
You can do anything with R.
We can’t argue with that! Yaniv, you are obviously successful in what you have done so far. But can you recall a moment when you yourself were super proud of what you had accomplished?
It is one thing to talk about critical thinking like many universities do, and another thing to practice it day to day like we do at Panoply.
I think that part of analytical thinking is that you are never really proud of what you have done because there is always another layer to uncover. At Panoply I am happy with the way we’ve been able to introduce a critical culture, so people are not afraid to ask questions and challenge decisions regardless of hierarchy. I think critical thought is part of any good analysts thought process and way of life. It is one thing to talk about critical thinking like many universities do, and another thing to practice it day to day like we do at Panoply.
That’s definitely something to be proud of. Now, every time we have these interviews, we finish with some nerdery. What is the one nerdy thing you would like to share with the world? It doesn’t have to be data science related.
Mushrooms are more related to humans than plants.
Pun of the interview. Lastly, we leave our readers with a joke. What’s yours?
Two men went out for a walk when suddenly it began to rain.
“Quick,” said one. “Open your umbrella.”
“It won’t help,” said his friend. “My umbrella is full of holes.”
“Then why did you bring it?”
“I didn’t think it would rain!”