Data Scientist, Boston

Why did you choose Analysis Group?
I first encountered AG through an interactive case presentation at a conference for a program called Management Leadership for Tomorrow. I was impressed by the emphasis on robustly understanding data rather than simply finding patchwork solutions. I chose to intern at Analysis Group because I knew it would offer great opportunities to quantitatively understand and solve real-world problems, and I returned as an analyst for its collaborative, nurturing, and fun culture.
What do you work on at Analysis Group?
I work primarily in the Health Economics Outcomes Research (HEOR), Epidemiology & Market Access practice. While this practice area is incredibly diverse, most of my work has been on software for a pharmaceutical company to develop drug pricing models.
What do you enjoy most about your work? What do you find most challenging?
I love that my work keeps me on my toes. Every analysis requires a fresh perspective, and I appreciate how my job encourages me to think creatively and critically. This is also the most challenging aspect of my job. I’m quickly learning how to think dynamically about problems rather than copy and paste a past solution.
What new skills have you learned since joining Analysis Group?
I’ve been able to improve a lot of my technical skills, including coding in SQL, R, and SAS. I’ve also been able to further develop my communication skills. Complex analyses must often be presented to people of diverse backgrounds, and that requires simple and concise communication.
What new experiences have you had at Analysis Group?
A new experience I’ve had is working in a software engineering role with new software development tools. I’ve been able to gain insights into how a product manager would approach and reframe a problem, as opposed to a developer. In terms of new experiences outside of case work, every year the Boston office goes on a ski trip. This was my first-time skiing and we stayed at an amazing resort. It was great to spend time with my coworkers outside of work doing something fun.
What is it like to work on a case team?
Case teams at AG are extremely collaborative. Everyone is always so encouraging and open to providing a helping hand. When I first started, I was amazed at how my team members were willing to invest in my growth and teach me new skills – even if they could complete a task faster on their own. My case teams are always very respectful of my time and my identities. I never feel scared to ask a question or set a work-life boundary.
What is it like to work in your office? What is the culture there?
I would say AG’s culture is very “come as you are.” Everyone here is accepting of other perspectives, even when that perspective is new or underrepresented. As a non-binary Black woman, there are not many similar perspectives in the consulting industry that amplify my voice; nonetheless, I have always felt that my voice is heard at Analysis Group. It’s also in little, day-to-day interactions that I have come to feel included in the culture. If I were to sit alone in our café at lunch, someone would definitely invite me to sit with them. When I make a notable contribution to a case team, my case team members will go out of their way to make sure I receive credit. These little things add up and contribute to why I love AG’s culture.
What do you think about Analysis Group’s collaborative culture? How does this benefit your work? Clients?
It promotes our best work because it creates a free flow of ideas. When you feel like your perspective is valued, sharing ideas feels encouraged rather than scary. Rather than remain stuck on an analysis, I know that I can turn to a team member for help, which saves time and creates a learning opportunity.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Growing up, I was a competitive cheerleader, and outside of work I try to maintain my skills by tumbling at a gymnastics gym. I’m also really into astrology and am learning how to read tarot cards. Lastly, I’m really into fashion. On weekends you can find me working on my numerous design projects.
How do you find a suitable work/life balance?
I try to manage my work/life balance by being direct and honest with myself and case team members. I always communicate explicitly when and for how many hours I can work on a task before accepting it. As soon as I begin to feel concerned about the feasibility of a deadline, I express that concern. My managers have always been receptive and appreciative of this honesty. I also leave my work laptop at the office. That way, I can’t be tempted to work when I get home.
Celeste McFarlane

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