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Mary Willcock discusses technology trends and AWS collaboration

Mary Willcock is a data scientist manager on our Baker Tilly Digital team with experience in advanced data analytics solutions. She uses a business-first approach to data, diving deep into organizations to ask the right questions and prepare innovative tests that discover true gaps in business intelligence. Mary joined Baker Tilly through the acquisition of Talavant, a Wisconsin–based data analytics management consulting firm.

  1. What led you to working for Baker Tilly’s consulting team?
    I have always been interested in the way that business and technology interact together. While I took a traditionally winding career path to discover the data science and advanced analytics space, when I did I realized advanced analytics really captures both data science and advanced analytics on a day to day basis. I love the use of technology and the ever-increasing opportunities we have because of technology, but we always have to ground them in the business and make sure we’re properly leveraging technology to solve the real problems we are encountering in the business.
  2. What do you enjoy most about working for Baker Tilly Digital?
    Baker Tilly Digital provides services to a wide variety of industries as well as departments within those industries. For one project, we might work with an IT department, another project the marketing department, then the next project a manufacturer or a business in the retail industry. Interacting with a variety of industries provides the opportunity to learn different ways to problem solve. By seeing such a broad variety of projects, if I learn something that one industry is doing, I can transfer that knowledge over to the next business to provide tangible business solutions.
  3. Due to the pandemic, what obstacles and/or opportunities are clients seeing?
    Specifically around advanced analytics and AI (Artificial Intelligence), a lot of the models and previous data that we have been using no longer serve the current problem. Patterns that were true one to two years ago might not be true anymore due to the pandemic. For example, how customers decided to purchase goods during a retail season in 2020 will not mirror how they purchased in previous years. In many industries, it is common to use simple forecasting and intuition to make future business decisions. When our intuition is based on past patterns that are no longer accurate in our current pandemic economy, we need to leverage bigger tools and better technology to help address these problems.
    Machine learning and AI are extremely powerful because they can identify these patterns that exist beyond where the human brain can identify and calculate. Since machine learning is able to analyze more data and zero down onto very particular patterns within that data, the opportunity to use these toolsets to find patterns about the way the world works now during this pandemic and make sure we attune our business appropriately is vast.
  4. What does the collaboration with AWS mean for Baker Tilly Digital?
    Amazon Web Services provides a robust framework to implement any type of data services. As Baker Tilly Digital collaborates with AWS, we get access to AWS’s cutting edge tools to leverage for all of our clients to better serve and guide them as we address these tough problems, such as the pandemic. 
  5. What opportunities can clients take advantage of with this collaboration?
    When considering digital solutions, a cumbersome tool can be the downfall of an otherwise successful project. The collaboration between AWS and BT Digital provides this opportunity to pair excellent tools with a robust solution to make sure our solutions are successful from start to finish.
  6. Describe what the inaugural Deep Racer master classes, events and offerings can provide clients and prospects.
    Baker Tilly Digital has some very knowledgeable professionals in the advanced analytics and AI space. Our professionals will draw on their entire breadth of knowledge, concepts broader than just deep learning, expanding on tools one might engaged with during an AWS collaboration.  Baker Tilly Digital professionals will be hosting masterclasses to share their knowledge and provide attendees the opportunity to learn a robust set of concepts to apply a toolset that can address their most pressing business challenges.
  7. Did you take up any hobbies during quarantine? / What do you like to do outside of the office?
    Typically, my hobby outside of the office is that I play the cello. I play in a community symphony orchestra and have a wonderful time. Unfortunately, quarantine has kept me away from playing with other people. As a family, my husband, son, and I have been re-watching "The Office" and "The Great British Baking Show."
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