The A-Team: Cara Crawford
Meet an Asymmetrik Data Scientist
May 20, 2020
Data isn’t just a collection of statistics and numbers to Data Scientist Cara Crawford. To Cara, the human element has always been the driving force behind her passion for analytics. In essence, she sees data analytics as means for humans to improve their quality of life, and help each other in the process.
Prior to becoming a Data Scientist, Cara studied social science and conducted behavioral science research on human decision-making. But a few years ago, she shifted towards analytics after seeing how a software update to a family member’s medical device made a huge impact. With a single update, the device became “significantly more accurate at interpreting sensor data without changing any of the hardware”.
“I thought it was amazing that there could be life-changing effects not only from technical improvements in medical technology, but also just from making better use (via improved algorithms) of data that was already being collected. I’m still fascinated by the potential to use information we already have or can easily get to improve people’s health and happiness.”
Coming to Asymmetrik
Cara first heard about Asymmetrik from her brother Daren, a software engineer and former Asymmetrik intern. After learning about his experience and Asymmetrik’s work in healthcare technology, she decided to apply. “I wanted to use my analytics skills to make a difference on important problems and to learn more about how data science can best integrate with software development.” Now Cara says, “It’s great to be able to do these things and to be part of a community of brilliant, fun, and passionate coworkers.” (Including Daren, who is joining the company full-time next month.)
But, her interest in Data Science doesn’t stop there. Whether she’s speaking to college students or volunteering her expertise for good causes, Cara is heavily involved in the community. Currently, she’s working with the US Digital Response to model COVID-19 spread rates.
In addition, Cara is a local chapter leader for Datakind DC, an organization which helps nonprofits use volunteer talent to pursue data science projects that would otherwise be out of reach. “I really enjoy being able to use my skills for this and staying connected to the local data community.”
- Cara loves running, yoga, aerial dance, and skiing. She’s working on adding cooking to the list too. Lately, she’s been trying to improve her baking skills, but with mixed results. Though her focaccia experiment was successful, her sourdough, not so much. Sadly, “the starter went bad and I threw it out before I could try the bread”.
- She loves to travel and counts Paris, Hawaii, Amsterdam, and Scotland among her favorite places in the world. In fact, if she were an animal, she would be a bird so that she could see all the amazing sights the world has to offer.
However, she says her runner up animal choice would be one of her dogs Pippin (a Puli) or Finley (a beagle mix), because “they have a great life”.
- The movie she’s seen more times than she’d like to admit? Space Jam.