Andrew Milner

Andrew Milner | Data Detangler
Data Detangler

You found yourself dealing in data
By default.
As a Mechanical Engineering graduate, I got hired in digital publishing and had to translate 400 000 pages of Printed IRISH legal books into fully searchable digital content. With a team of 40 people I developed processes and programs that accelerated the conversion process, ensuring a very low error rate.

Later I worked with SAS, the largest worldwide data warehouse and analytics provider at the time. I quickly became immersed in data warehouse design and development.

It feels great
Having clients tell us we always give neutral advice.

Best thing about a day in your world
Learning new things and applying new ideas to a team-generated solution. There’s nothing more fulfilling than having a team share and debate ideas to solve a complex problem.

Were you always going to be doing this, or did you have other plans?
Life is unpredictable. Back in the day, I never realised the world of data as I know it now even existed.

How does work feed you?
The greatest pleasure for me is the opportunity to enthuse each person with the creative opportunities that data presents. There’s a creative and a logical aspect to data science. With the right tools and access to data that allow creativity to flow, it’s incredibly rewarding.

The path that brought you here
Was via a series of fortuitous decisions resulting from my will to want to learn and solve interesting problems. Data happens to be an incredible conduit for learning about almost anything that exists in the universe. I managed to get a position in a company that was the leader in that field in the 90s.

David and I started Slipstream in 2004 while doing our MBA. It was a bold move and it happened by chance based on an opportunity that we followed up via a personal contact.

Defining moment at work
Realising that tools are not a substitute for ingenuity in problem solving.

You are the Chief Technologist and caretaker
This effectively means that I am responsible for most of the solution architecture and the design work for any of the solutions we develop or provide to the market. In parallel to this I also investigate and find new products and solutions that SlipstreamBI will take on to enhance our ability to deliver agile solutions and services.

When you’re not working with data, you could be
Running on the mountain, cycling, hooking bass, walking with my family.

Love learning?
I did Mechanical Engineering at WITS (1990 – 1993). Masters of Mechanical Engineering at UCT (1994 – 1996).
Full time MBA at the UCT Graduate school of Business (2004).
Besides this I did some life study (!) cycling solo around the world (almost) in 2001.

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