Ilpo exchanged his long academic career for fun and games at Fingersoft. We appreciate all his nerdy insights he extracts from data that help us make great games!
Who are you?
I’m Ilpo, Data Scientist at Fingersoft. I don’t like numbers, I don’t think that anybody particularly likes numbers (it’s quite perverted to be inspired by the number seven!), but I have always felt that with numbers you can do magic. That’s why I chose physics: it gives you ways to understand the world better than ever with your normal senses, and even accurately predict future things. It was also considered difficult and everyone else basically hated it - obviously my thing!
What have you studied and where?
I completed Master’s and PhD degrees in space physics and became a docent (Adj. Prof). My field of research was long-term evolution of solar and heliospheric magnetic fields. That work required massive data analysis. At the time, back when I started in the 2000s, no one talked about big data, machine learning or AI. We simply had crazy amounts of data and we learned to manage that and create tools for analysing it. In the 2010s I learned that this is actually something very fashionable and fast-growing. It’s not only solar telescopes or satellites which produce massive data volumes, but also applications in our various devices, used in daily life, industry, research and in many other ways.
What have you done before ending up at Fingersoft?
At some point I realized that my driving force is problem-solving and those problems can also be non-scientific. I spent 16 years at the University of Oulu: five for a Master's degree, five for Ph.D. and six years post-doc, but then it was time to do something different. It was interesting to start looking for a job that did not exist back when I started studying. It required few iterations of CV and job interviews to switch from solar physicist to data scientist mode. Suddenly methods I knew were more important than results I have found using them.
How did you end up at Fingersoft?
I became a data scientist at Fingersoft because it was quite clear that they knew what the added value from data science is, and expectations were realistic on both sides. In the job interview we discussed real problems and how to solve them, not about money or maximum profit. I felt relaxed, but also very well motivated and hard-working atmosphere from the start. There was creative madness in a reasonable amount, and the possibility to build my own role, use my strengths and improve my weaknesses.
Tell us about your job at Fingersoft!
I maintain, process and analyze our big data, which is continuously collected from our games. We use data analysis results in technical game development, improving player experience and monetization. I work with all game teams, LiveOps, the ads team and management. I receive quite a lot of questions and requests from various people in various teams, and do my best to carry out the necessary analysis to reply all. I also try to proactively reply to questions before they are even asked. My work also includes communicating various statistics to colleagues and on a company level, and collaboration with some external partners.
What’s the best thing about working at Fingersoft?
What I like most about my job is the freedom to do what I find important, the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them, and the strong support from colleagues. It is a great pleasure to work with extremely talented, well-motivated and committed people. We also have amazing benefits, which make life easier and more enjoyable, but those alone don’t make such a great place as Fingersoft is.
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