Qingyao Duan, Data scientist

"There are not that many data scientists in the agricultural sector yet. Agrifirm is quite ahead of other companies with this."

What are you doing at Agrifirm?  

I’m working as a data scientist together with my team mates. We make sure that the most can be brought out of the data that’s generated every day. We do analytics, modelling, and in the future we will probably also work with AI. We would like to bring that in business of Agrifirm. I work mainly for monogastrics (pigs and poultry). We focus on different domains. The other scientists are focusing more on arable and ruminants. 

  • Can you tell something about the team you are working in?

    We are working in a scrum way. In the morning, at 9.15h, we will have a stand-up with the whole team. To talk about what everyone has been working on the day before and what we will work on today. In these 15 minutes update we will also discuss personal aspects. Every two weeks we have a sprint. After two weeks, we’ll have a summary about how it has been going and what can be improved next time.

During ‘normal’ working days we are doing a lot of individual work. For example interview internal stakeholders (logistics, R&D, product management). We figure out what data looks like behind our computer. And we also compare the data with other industries (f.e. the financial industry). They are very far with data science, so we can learn from them.

What do you like about this job?

Working as a data scientist I can basically work with any colleague from any department. That is what I really enjoy. Every day I learn more. I really like the learning part of this job. And it brings value to the company. I like agriculture too because I can contribute to the sustainability of the world. We need food, so we need agriculture. This is the most intensive industry to work on, to improve, to become more sustainable. Otherwise you avoid something that exists (like caron emission, etc.).

What is unique about Agrifirm?

There are not so many data scientists in the agricultural sector yet. Agrifirm is quite ahead of other companies. Of course it will be growing for the whole industry. Data will become bigger and bigger. This is a good foreseeing of Agrifirm to start a team early. The data scientist team has just started three years ago.