FoodGrads Podcast Episode 56: Turning a side project into a full-time food industry data analyst career with Evonne Chan – Food, Grocery & Nutrition Data Analyst at Pinto
On episode 56 of the FoodGrads Podcast we interviewed Evonne Chan, Food, Grocery & Nutrition Data Analyst at Pinto. Pinto is a product database and analytics platform for food, grocery and CPG products. They help provide businesses of all sizes with the data and the tools to power personalization, help their shoppers find the best products for their health and lifestyle needs, optimize their product data online, and relay the nuanced product information that today’s shoppers rely on when making purchasing decision.
On this episode Evonne and Veronica talked about all things data and how Evonne got into the field. Evonne is actually a food science graduate but really loved data science. Because of that she took it upon herself to create a self-directed data project which actually helped her get a job our of university. Evonne gave Veronica a better look about what a Data Analyst does including the skills she is actively trying to develop for herself, the software’s she uses and the data communication. They rounded out the episode talking about some fun stuff such as where she finds all these cool food and beverages she shares on LinkedIn!
Evonne has such a great enthusiasm for the food industry and you can tell she is very aware of what is going on. If you are a student looking to learn how you get into data science or just looking ways to make yourself standout in the industry while still in school then this is the episode for you.
[3:08] Evonne talks about her job and more about Pinto
[6:11] Evonne’s story of how she got into data science and creating her own project that she published on the internet
[9:48] How Evonne marketed her skills
[13:04] Different types of programming languages
[15:24] Typical day for Evonne
[17:35] How Evonne makes conclusions with her data
[21:10] How e-shopping works for groceries
[30:04] Evonne’s favourite food brands and how she finds them
[38:04] Job opportunities in data analysis/science
[40:05] Skills that Evonne is actively trying to work on currently
[44:05] Veronica and Evonne talk about science communication
Evonne Chan Interview Quotes
I’ve always loved data and in my mind I always thought that there could be a way to play to both sides like the food side as well as the data side. So I had a quarter life crisis before graduating. I was like, “Oh I don’t know what I wanna do” and I just set out to teach myself how to do anything like data related. – Evonne Chan
Who’s looking at the data is in the fact that they could make sense of it. And so that’s where like our knowledge really comes in and you’re able to say like, “Oh I, I have this interesting, like hypothesis, let me query the data to see if I can see anything around that area. Can I confirm or deny what I’m thinking of?”
I think like some people feel a little lost. Like maybe they don’t like R&D and maybe they don’t like being in QA and stuff like that. But I would challenge them to think about all the other ways they could be in the food industry but be in a role that your really enjoy. For me that was data.
And I think that a lot of people don’t realize that. There’s so much to it and these roles may be traditionally helped by other people, but I think about the experience that you can bring in considering like all the food knowledge that like anyone with a food science or dietetics and nutrition degree holds. Like you’re giving in that extra perspective to that retailer and also like to that brand or wherever you choose to work at. It’s a very valuable experience that I hope that people see that you can go anywhere with this degree.
Being able to communicate your ideas to your colleagues is very important. Like it could be a multi-million dollar generating idea but if you can’t get your point across than it is never going to take off.