Meet the Data Team

Meet the Data Team

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

– Sherlock Holmes

As a business owner, having as much information as possible will allow you to make smarter day to day and long term decisions. But this is often easier said than done – gathering, organising and making sense of data can be both time consuming and difficult to scale.

That’s why we have our Data Team. They’re like a compass for our company. They help us navigate our way through running and growing a business by alerting us when the numbers indicate that we’re going off-course. Most importantly, they help us understand our Yoco Family members.

When we first launched Yoco and had less than 100 merchants, we were able to have one on one time with all of them and really get to understand their needs. We visited, chatted on the phone and learned how their businesses work – and how Yoco fits into that.

However, as we scale, reaching out to each individual merchant becomes less feasible. This is why we use data to tell their stories and to understand the collective impact of changes that we make. The Data Team collects information on usage patterns and errors. They then work closely with other teams to pass on feedback, and continuously iterate and improve on how we do things.

Now that you know a bit more about how we see data, get to know the team behind it all:

Garainesu a.k.a. Gari a.k.a. African Salt Bae

“Waking up every morning knowing that the work I am doing is not only making other people’s dreams a reality, but also growing the African market, gives me goosebumps.”

Gari started his Yoco career just over a year and a half ago while he was studying his Masters degree in Finance and tutoring third year students. At Yoco he provides data and insights to all other teams within the company, which helps them carry out experiments and hypothesis tests. This contributes to efficiency and helps us make prompt and data backed decisions.

“They say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Coming from a background in finance, I knew very little about programming and coding. Since I joined Yoco I know how to code in R, SQL and am considering learning Python – it’s never too late!”

He loves that he learns something new every day and gets to work with unique and talented people. Outside of work Gari is exploring foreign currency trading. He also enjoys travelling and food, because it allows him to learn about other cultures through sharing meals and conversation.

Andrea a.k.a. DataBae

“Since the data touches on every aspect of Yoco’s processes, I get a sense of connectedness from working with it every day.”

Turning raw data into actionable data is what Andrea’s all about. Our DataBae enjoys contributing useful insights to other teams and hopes to soon start building predictive models to empower Yoco’s merchants to make more informed decisions about their businesses.

“I hope to identify minimal tweaks that can be made to our processes and have maximum impact.”

Andrea previously studied a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Stellenbosch, which focussed on machine learning and computer vision. Since working at Yoco she’s learnt how to be adaptable in a fast-paced and constantly changing environment. In her spare time, she loves to read, support the local metal scene, and is into all things fantasy-related.

Lunga a.k.a. Lungs

“My favourite thing about my job is data, data and more DATA!”

Lunga recently joined us a Data Scientist after completing his Masters in Astrophysics. He’s jumped straight into organising our existing data and is enabling the team to build predictive models. Lunga loves that at Yoco he’s constantly learning new tricks and using various platforms to “subject the data to his every command” (his words not ours).

“Working in the data team means I contribute towards the successful growth of a rising company. The success of the company also means that businesses in the country and eventually the continent are fiercely rising to success. This is what makes it meaningful to be working at Yoco”

When he’s not making magic with 1’s and 0’s, Lunga loves to go hiking and listen to music. He also enjoys reading up on astronomy, philosophy and The Bible, and annoying the living daylights out of his wife.

Andre a.k.a. Harry a.k.a. Data by Dre

“I get to learn many new things every single day. Without fail.”

Reading, coding, communicating and thinking – that’s Andre’s typical day at Yoco. Joining us from machine learning and national retail clothing businesses, he helps figure out what we want to achieve with our data and how to best integrate this throughout the company.

“There’s a mountain of untapped potential in the data. Being part of the data team is a great responsibility and the clever ways in which we can use the data to improve and inform the Yoco offering excites me!”

Working at Yoco has taught Andre the importance of putting people first – whether it is your colleagues or the merchants or even their customers, people should be the top priority. Outside of the office he’s a mastering engineer and has worked on a number of music tracks. When he’s not indoors he enjoys taking his motorbike out for a ride or going for a hike in the mountain.

We’re looking for more Yoco’s to join our innovative and energetic team! Have a look at our careers page to see our current openings.

About the author: Robyn

RobynRobyn - Social media and community manager

When you’re engaging with Yoco on social media, Robyn is the girl you’re talking to. She loves learning from our community and seeing small businesses thrive. In her spare time you’ll find her off hiking in some forest, curled up with a book or singing karaoke (badly).

After graduating with a B.Bus Sci degree from UCT, she found Yoco and jumped in head first. She now manages Yoco’s social media profiles and online community, and writes an article or two for the blog.

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