How did Tom Beckers experience his first half year at Hammer?

In the summer of last year Tom Beckers started as Data Scientist at Hammer – Market Intelligence. Tom reflects on his first six months at Hammer.

Could you introduce yourself?

My name is Tom Beckers, 28 years old and born in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Via a Bachelor Human Technology Interaction at the TU/e in Eindhoven and Master Artificial Intelligence at the Radboud University in Nijmegen I arrived at Hammer for a data science internship. During my internship I focused on conducting a proof of concept for internal data projects. Previously I have also done an AI internship at ASM International where I worked in the field of computer vision.

Why did you choose to work at Hammer?  

At Hammer I am expected to develop my data science skillset and apply my knowledge from the field of AI. This combination works very well for me.

I can spend a decent part of my week on the data projects that I am working on, where I get a lot of responsibility and freedom to develop the projects in a way that is beneficial for Hammer and strengthens my own skillset at the same time. Next to that I can assist in projects of other team members, where I can help them with data science related problems.

Hammer also expresses its desire to pivot towards a more data-driven workflow, which is something I would very much like to be a part of.


How did you experience the first months?

When starting full time at Hammer I was the first data scientist to do so. This meant that the bridge between the projects that I was working on and the rest of the team was quite large. I did not understand a lot about the workflow and bottlenecks experienced by others, while at the same time I found it hard to explain the points that I was struggling with in my own projects. By now this issue is getting smaller and smaller.

Being part of the team for a few months gave me a lot more insight into the day-to-day business of my colleagues and talking about my projects also helps them in understanding what I am working on. There has been a great effort from the team to accommodate me in that regard. For example, my projects have been highlighted during our stand-up meetings and I have weekly updates with other team members to discuss my planning and progress. Over the last few weeks I have also worked closely together with a few team members on a challenging project, which we are now finalizing. This also shows the progress we have made in merging the different backgrounds and skillsets into one team.

Project you are currently working on?

My main goal at Hammer is still to develop the internal structure for the Hammer Data Platform. We have a multi-year goal to change the workflow to a more data driven environment.

The first steps have been taken with the development of the Hammer Goldmine. In Goldmine, Hammer team members can find news articles annotated with topic labels that are relevant to their search query. This aims to reduce the time they need to spend at finding useful information, allowing more time for the analysis. Goldmine is currently in an advanced beta and will soon be the subject of an exciting blog post, stay tuned!

Next to my work on the Data Platform I work on several projects related to predictive modelling and assist the team in projects where data needs to be stored efficiently, processed, or specific information needs to be extracted.

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