Culture

Meet Andrea Spreafico, Senior Data Scientist at BVNK

In this edition of Life at BVNK, Andrea talks about his journey from building computers to data science, and why it’s important to embrace uncertainty.

Tell us about your role. 

As as Senior Data Scientist in the Financial Crime team, I have two focus areas:

  • Data: making sure we have access to precise and trustworthy data for our financial crime investigations and processes.
  • Machine learning models: designing and implementing machine learning models and prevention systems for tackling financial crime. 

I usually start the day with some morning stand-ups. The rest of my day I focus on creating and checking data pipelines, helping out my colleagues with data queries, working on our machine learning models for transaction screening and other data-related tasks.

Why did you decide to join BVNK?

I saw it as a chance to be a part of a rapidly expanding business where your contributions matter. Plus, the product we're crafting is one-of-a-kind. I'm still here because of the fantastic colleagues, the flexibility and the ever-changing nature of the work.

Describe the culture at BVNK in one word.

Smart. The level of expertise and dedication that each team member brings has been a real inspiration since I joined. BVNK has created a culture where intelligence and data-driven decision-making are highly valued and collaboration is at its best.

Tell us about your career journey so far. 

Growing up, I was always a bit of a nerd. First I was drawn to video games, but my interest evolved into a deeper fascination with computer science. 

After building up my first computers and creating a few fun apps, I developed a genuine passion for data. Since I've always been a science enthusiast, I couldn't resist the chance to merge science with data! 

Any books, blogs, films or podcasts you recommend?

Factfulness by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling. It offers a fresh perspective on life and the workings of the world, urging readers to adopt a more rational lens and prioritise facts over perceptions and beliefs. Every concept presented in the book is supported by robust data, making it a must-read for those with a passion for data and statistics. Plus, it's filled with really cool charts and visualisations!

Other books I’ve recently read and would recommend are The Ride of a Lifetime and Dopamine Nation.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

I love the outdoors – hiking, climbing, cycling, skiing, or anything else. I enjoy spending time in the open air and sharing these moments with my girlfriend and our dog, Luna.

Best thing about working at BVNK?

The people I work with. The team is not only talented but also supportive. The flexibility here allows me to maintain a great work-life balance, and the fast-paced environment keeps me motivated and learning every day.

Any advice for someone starting out? 

Take risks and embrace uncertainty. Data science is constantly evolving, and the most significant breakthroughs often come from those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones and try new approaches.

Embracing uncertainty involves recognising that the world around you can change rapidly. It’s important to be adaptable and ready to acquire new skills and knowledge as needed. Staying curious and continuously learning will help you stay ahead in a field known for constant innovation.

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