Jacob Spoelstra is global head of R&D, Opera Solutions, the independent analytics provider that boasts approximately 200 data scientists, one of the largest pools of that emerging practice outside of IBM. Spoelstra, a native of South Africa with a machine learning Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, develops internal analytics tech and strategies for Opera as well as customized, proof-of-concept projects for clients. His decade in the field also includes analytics work at SAS and Fair Isaac. From his San Diego office, Spoelstra recently discussed his thoughts on getting data scientists involved early in business meetings and continually learning about data needs, as well as different facets of his role over the last decade at Opera.
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