'Anita' - Data Scientist within Cyber Engineering


Data is an unstructured form of information and at a very basic level, my role is to help make sense of that data. Within the NCA this data tends to be provided by our colleagues who are working on an operation. They will use my expertise to help make sense of a very large data set, so that they can use it to solve serious and organised crimes. In the NCCU, this is typically cyber related crime.


A typical day as a Data Scientist will start with a daily team talk. We’ll get together – be it virtually, or in person – and talk about what we’ve got planned for the day, sharing some highlights from each of our weekends. I really love these meetings as I get to hear all about what my colleagues are working on and we get the opportunity to learn from one another. At any one time I am likely to have a few priority jobs on the go – and this will involve working with data that has come from a live operation. It’s a bit like solving a puzzle because I spend time trying lots of different ways to get to the solution, and to make sense of what the data is telling us. Some days I might spend working on a longer-term project, for example, developing machine learning tools that will assist Intelligence Officers. This type of work takes a lot longer and I have to spend time researching and evaluating techniques and datasets.


I love what I do and so every day is pretty good. I love the variety and that no two days are ever the same. I also enjoy working closely with the rest of the Cyber Engineering team. We have Software Engineers and colleagues working on technical Research & Development. We’re a relatively close-knit team so I get the opportunity to work closely with these teams and learn from them. I suppose a really great day is when something I have developed has helped the Agency achieve a goal. Knowing that I have been a part of that gives me a lot of satisfaction and I know it’s not something that I would get in other roles.