MACHINE LEARNING SKILLS: KAGGLE, KENTIVO AND T-REX

Kaggle as part of company culture

You may wonder what Kaggle and T-rex have in common with sharper skills. More than you might think. As T-Rex is an inspiration both in Science and Education, Kaggle offers the same for machine learning. At Kentivo it inspired us to leverage both. Not only Kentivo as an organisation benefits. It is also important for clients, employees, partners as well as Kentivo as an organisation.  Kentivo has started to participate actively in Kaggle competitions and make it an integral part of our companies culture. Together with our employees, managers and partners we start using it to stay on top of what is happening and keep our predictive analytic skill sharp. (For some managers it is a bit painful as our in-house theoretical astronomer has painfully  discovered. His skill are a bit “rusty” to say the least).

Benefits

The benefits it offers the team are:

  • Work Inter disciplinary: In our Kaggle assignments, we take look at the challenge from different angles. With our team from Kentivo we make sure not only our data scientists look at it but also sales, marketeers and consultants from other disciplines work on it.
  • Team work: With the competition, it allows to easily introduce new employees and partner to work as a team. Beyond methodologies, people get familiar in the way each persons style of working. Only by gaining experience in working together can team members excel.
  • Push for new ideas: The challenges from Kaggle, also help us to look freshly at the R&D taking place at Kentivo together with other partners in our Network.  Innovation often takes place at the intersection of different domains. Kaggle helps in trying to apply knowledge from one domain to another. Our biologist might come up with an idea to apply statistical ecology concepts to the problem our econometric guy struggles with.
  • Networking: Our team consists not only of Kentivo consultants but is also open to partners and freelancers in our network. Thus it supports a vibrant interaction and mixing of ideas. No better way than getting connected through fun and valuable work.

Practicalities

We just started and over the coming months we will sharpen this initiative. First results though: Fun and already a consultant from KVL will join in together with Kentivo. Also it stimulates peer learning and a some healthy competition, even internally. We do already see the benefits and one lesson is definitely as a company to combine it as part of our marketing, people management and career paths of consultants. It strengthens a mindset and culture for the organisation.

One question we got to sort immediately: What to do when the team wins money? That was easily solved. As it is not our core business, we use it as contribution to good causes in the area of Science and Education.

  • First half we donate to a good cause in the domain of education and science. Our first topic is sponsoring the T-Rex that will go on show in the Dutch natural history museum Naturalis
  • Second half we will use to fund interns in Kentivo and/or participating partners in order to give-back experience and share with them the knowledge, experience and culture of Kentivo and its ecosystem.

Interested to be part?  Just drop us a line

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