Behind the Screen: Miranda McMillan
“Behind the Screen” is a spotlight series that introduces the people of Kinduct. This instalment features Miranda McMillan.
What’s your role with Kinduct and how long have you been there?
I am the Lead of the Data Science Team at Kinduct. I have been with the company for almost four years but have been in this role for about 10 months.
How did you hear about Kinduct? What did you find attractive about the company/job opportunity?
I had originally come across Kinduct in the local media and was quite interested in what they were doing. However, I really made a closer connection to them while working at a previous job at the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) when one of my colleagues left there to come to Kinduct and start the data science team.
I often tell people that ask about my job that the work I do, and Kinduct as a whole, is a perfect merge between what I am qualified and educated to do and what I am passionate about. Sports have always been in my life so it is great to be able to be engaged in sports every day and in a way I never would have imagined.
You’re a former student-athlete, can you touch on your experiences in university, both athletically and academically?
I attended Dalhousie, which was a great school. My time there were some of my favourite years. I was challenged both academically and athletically. Our hockey team was competitive in the AUS and we had some true all-star talent. I am very grateful to have been able to play at such a high level throughout my entire university career. In the classroom, I had some great professors that led me through my degree while teaching me so much.
What drew you to data science?
My connection to data science is through my love of math and science. Both were always my favourite subjects growing up, which is why I chose to study them in university. When my math courses started to become less application and more theory, I became drawn to statistics and shifted my focus towards that.
Any advice to younger students who are studying data science or considering it?
I would encourage students of data science to try and learn as many different coding languages as possible. My degree was almost solely built around R, but since entering the workforce I have been introduced to many other languages and programs. It is great to be able to be flexible.
How is data science defined at Kinduct? What are some of the staples of your role here and the value data science brings to the sport/human performance space?
The data science team at Kinduct is an innovative team that has touched many different aspects of the company. We can provide innovative solutions to new ideas, support clients in their pursuit of athlete monitoring by helping them develop advanced metrics, and we can help clients explore their data by offering analytical and visualization tools where they can actively interact with their data.
What are some projects you’re looking forward to working on and/or wrapping up?
One of the projects that has been the most fun in seeing out has been our integration with Tableau. It is a product that has allowed us to provide next level reporting and visualizations to our clients and seeing its use evolve within our company has been really fascinating. We’ve gone from only one or two people knowing and using the product to now having a lot of our CSM’s and support staff using it on a daily basis and even having a position on the Data Science team dedicated solely to Tableau Development.
How has your transition to working from home gone?
It has been a pretty easy transition for me. My house is quiet during the day and I have a home office set up that I can escape to during work hours. I worry more about my dog’s transition to being alone when we are allowed to go back to the office.
What do you look forward to most when things return to normal and we’re all back in the office again?
Honestly one of the things I have been missing the most from work is my standing desk! Aside from that, I am looking forward to being back in the office and being able to have conversations with peers in person instead of staring at a computer screen. Outside of work, I am looking forward to hopefully being able to hit the golf course and sneaking in a couple of camping trips this summer, but we’ll see!