Senior Consultant Assurance Technology Group – Niccolò holds a Ph.D. in Physics. These days, he calculates the future success of companies.
Senior Consultant Assurance Technology Group – calculating the success of companies.
Could you give us a quick overview of your activities in Data & Analytics Team at KPMG?
I concentrate on predictive analytics, automation and optimizations. In other words, I analyze data, recognize patterns, and compute predictions about unknown events and program algorithms.
Could you give us a practical example?
KPMG’s game planning for NBA professional league is very illustrative of what I do. The numerous teams from all corners of the United States require that game scheduling is fair. As many games as possible should take place on weekends so that fans can be present in the stadium. However, these stadiums are also used for hockey matches, concerts, etc., which could cause a scheduling conflict. The games have to be televised and the players require adequate resting periods and enough time for traveling, etc.
“My current work at KPMG is an extension of what I did in academia. The origin of the data is a bit less technical. But the math is the same.”
The possibilities for planning and coordinating so many games is immense. Algorithms can come up with the best scheduling for the more than 1,000 games. It is precisely this type of algorithm that we are programming.
What are you working on right now?
KPMG gives me the possibility to work on many different projects that have many facets. The current project not only uses automation for calculations but also to make decisions – for instance, the locations where a company should open additional offices. I then calculate how much income a company could generate at each location over the next few years.
You read Physics and did your doctorate in this area: Now you work in Consulting. What do you find fascinating in your job?
That my current work at KPMG is an extension of what I did in academia. During my Ph.D., I was working towards goals that no one has attained to this day. I had to find my way to the goal first. This is similar at KPMG. While it’s a challenge it is also my passion. The source of the data to be crunched is slightly less technical than at university. For instance, the data comes from banks and life science companies. But the math is the same. I work with the same statistical means and build algorithms and models. With my knowledge, I support my clients, helping them in their decisions and ultimately in their success.
Technical profiles are in high demand in Consulting. What is the advantage of that for your team?
Success requires a good balance between economic and technical knowledge. This enables us to implement internal as well as external projects in the team in the best possible way and to advise our clients. The closer our technical expertise is to a specific case, the better we can support our clients, thus making the collaboration a success. Sometimes it is hard to imagine just how much data and IT knowledge is necessary to implement a project.
“Economic correlations can be computed and thus improvable. This is where we come in.”
I would not hesitate to recommend to a recent graduate to do some consulting as it is possible to compute economic correlations thus improving them. This is where we come in. It is especially the areas of artificial intelligence and data analytics that have developed in leaps and bounds. It is also an area where KPMG invests a lot, just as it does into the technical and personal development of its employees.