Meeting… Gerardo Núñez, Senior Data Analyst at The New York Times

“Meeting…” is an ongoing series from NYT Open that features New York Times employees from different corners of the company.

Illustration by Claire Merchlinsky

What are your pronouns?

What is your job?
I’m a Senior Analyst for Audience and Coverage.

What does that mean?
I look at ways that insights from data can provide answers to questions like, ‘Which social media platform works best to promote certain pieces?’ and ‘How does reader interest in our journalism vary by region?’

My job is a combination of data analytics, data engineering and data science. I spend most of my time interpreting data, some of my time making sure we have infrastructure that supports our work and the rest of my time applying advanced techniques that help provide more insights.

How long have you been at The Times?
Since September 28th, 2020.

Most Times employees are working remotely right now. Where are you working from these days?
I’ve been working from Coral Springs, FL.

How do you start your day?
I’ll start my day at 7:30 a.m. with my eight-pound Cavachon, Kovu, asking me to walk him around the park nearby.

My wife will wake up a little later and start preparing tea and breakfast, which we’ll enjoy together on the balcony. We usually spend some time there with Kovu, just observing the birds and turtles gather in the canal behind our apartment while the sun rises over the trees.

What is something you’ve worked on recently?
At The Times, we collect a lot of complex data that can be hard to analyze, so we spend a lot of time making sure we get the insights right. I’ve been working with my team to create a way to simplify how we gather insights and share them with our colleagues.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on at The Times that you’re especially proud of.
Currently, I’m looking at the performance of Times enterprise stories, which are big journalistic projects that might take years to produce, such as the series on former President Donald J. Trump’s taxes.

What’s interesting about this project is that whenever we say ‘Enterprise Story’ we automatically assume that it will outperform other stories in every possible way, which is not necessarily true. For example, a story specific to New York City will probably perform well there, but might not be the most-read story in every state or outside of the United States. This is important because, given the amount of effort these stories take to produce, we want to get better at setting our own expectations.

What was your first job?
I was a theater usher back in Venezuela.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I spent four years working in a libertarian think tank in Venezuela.

What is your secret to career success?
I strongly believe that if I first focus on being a good human being, success will follow — not only in my career, but in my life.

What is your superpower?
Learning and sharing knowledge.

What are you inspired by?
Most artistic expressions, and philosophy.

Name one thing you’re excited about right now.
The world after COVID.

What I’ve seen during this time is not limited to the pain and struggles of many close to me, but also their resilience, their creativity and their ability to adapt. And all those learnings make me hopeful for a future where we all go above and beyond to connect meaningfully with one another.

What is your best advice for someone starting to work in your field?
Technology is a fast-changing industry, and it can sometimes feel challenging to stay on top of the latest developments. If you can stay curious, you can turn this challenge into an opportunity to learn new things. At least, that’s how it’s worked for me.

More in ‘Meeting’

Meeting… Angelica Hill, Associate Product Manager at The New York Times
Meeting… Corina Aoi, Technical Product Manager at The New York Times

Meeting… Jessie Wu, Software Engineer at The New York Times

Meeting… Gerardo Núñez, Senior Data Analyst at The New York Times was originally published in NYT Open on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: New York Times

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