New year, new faces. We’re back with our Meet the Team series, where we are introducing you to the incredible people that work on our team.
You’ve previously met Alexus Jimson-Miller. Today, we are excited to introduce you to Aydan Koyles!
Aydan is the newest member of our squad, recently joining our team full-time to lead our new data science initiatives. As our Lead Data Engineer, he will help Upper Hand’s customers visualize their data and make smarter, more informed decisions about their sports training business.
Ready to meet Aydan? Let’s go!
First, let’s start with the basics – tell us a little about yourself.
I just graduated from IUPUI with my masters in Applied Data Science after graduating from Purdue with my bachelors in Statistics. I have always enjoyed working with data and numbers and particularly enjoy working with sports-related data. In high school, I swam, golfed and played basketball, and played several intramurals in college. I have always enjoyed being in and around a sports-centered environment, which is why I am so excited to be a part of Upper Hand.
As a Lead Data Engineer, what does a typical day look like for you at Upper Hand?
Working on the data science team involves a lot of cleaning and flattening the various datasets that Upper Hand has from our various clients. Whether it is preparing the data to produce valuable dashboards or creating new metrics from existing data, it involves lots of creative problem solving and creativity. In addition, I work closely with our CEO, Kevin MacCauley, and Austin Anderson to complete ad-hoc and post-hoc reports based on feedback from clients and produce insights that they want to see to grow their businesses.
The typical day tends to vary, but in general I often split my time between several of our clients. I focus on any specific requests from clients first, but also spend time working on dashboard maintenance and additions, data cleaning and transformation, and documentation of the various processes the data science team uses.
Related: Upper Hand Announces New Data & Analytics Center of Excellence
What excites you about working at Upper Hand?
Upper Hand has an awesome atmosphere and collection of people working in a fast-paced, startup environment that makes me most excited about working here. I also love being a part of the sports industry and I am ready to help Upper Hand continue to grow in the sports scheduling software field. The services that Upper Hand provides its clients are important for the growth of young athletes and it is exciting to be a part of that growth.
Related: Upper Hand Named Top Startup to Watch in 2023
How do you define success?
Success for me personally is the ability to expand my abilities and grow alongside an exciting company while also helping that company and my colleagues grow as well. I hope to be an important part of Upper Hand’s continued growth in the sports industry and I am excited to be involved with such an awesome team and company.
What is your sports background? And, how do you stay involved in sports today?
I have always loved watching and playing sports since I was young. I played football, basketball and ran track through junior high, then transitioned to swimming and golf in high school. Though I did not officially participate in any college sports, I played several intramurals including basketball and softball. I still love playing most sports and play recreational volleyball and basketball every week. I also still watch a lot of sports with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Florida State Seminoles being my favorite teams.
What’s a fun fact people may not know about you?
I have hiked three different sections of the Appalachian Trail.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
Outside of work, I love reading, playing and watching sports, playing video games and doing outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking or water sports.
What advice would you give to someone that is looking forward to a career in data science?
If someone wants to get into the sports industry in data science, it is important to find good internships to build experience while also finding projects to do outside of classwork. Developing skills working with real-world data in addition to classroom data was incredibly important for me as I progressed in my academic career and transitioned to my professional one. It is also important to find good people in your network who are willing to provide you with good feedback on the various projects you do and are willing to make suggestions for improving your skills.