Kęstutis Daugėla: We are building big data fishing rods
- Title Senior Solution Developer and Tech lead, Information Platform unit, Data management team
- Education Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, Kaunas University of Technology
- Personal interests Weightlifting, gaming and solving problems
Kęstutis worked as a trade finance specialist for a number of years before deciding to pursue his passion and build his career in IT. Now his team is responsible for collecting and managing vast amounts of data and developing solutions for analysing and using this data to improve SEB’s products and customer experience. “There’s plenty of cool stuff going on within SEB, and we are transforming ourselves to a data company. In our area we can have start-up level of agility, and it’s fun to work in such high pace using the cutting-edge technologies,” says Kęstutis.
Tell us about your journey in SEB
I used to work as a trade finance specialist in another bank. Then in 2015 I noticed an ad for an interesting trade finance-related role in SEB, applied to it and got the job. I worked in this position for one and a half years, and during that time I started studying applied mathematics for my Master’s degree. During the studies my love for data science started to unfold. IT had always been my passion, but it wasn’t my profession and I didn’t have any previous work experience in IT. Still, I decided to change my role and apply for an open position in Data Lake team. When I joined it was a new team of 29 people. Now we have 55 colleagues, about half of them working in Vilnius and the other half in Stockholm.
Please tell us about your current responsibilities
I am responsible for the technical implementation of software products in my area, which is data management and governance. We want to be a data-driven company, so it is very important to ensure data governance, have solutions and infrastructure in place, otherwise data will become unreliable. We are still in our journey in terms of integrating data analysis in business, operations and other processes, and there are a lot of things where we can improve. But we have a lot of bright and knowledgeable people, so I don’t have any doubt that this journey will be a successful one. When it comes to my daily tasks, I develop solutions, communicate with product owners, work with documentation and have many other things to do. My favourite programming language is R, which is similar to Python, but not that common in the engineering area.
The mission of our unit is to develop and offer convenient tools for business units and other functions, which they can use to improve our products and make better and faster decisions. We are not giving them just fish, but we are building fishing rods so that they can fish in the Data Lake.
What motivates you and gives you energy?
New technologies in big data area are developing really fast, so we as IT experts need to learn constantly to keep up. Learning and experimenting with new solutions is an important and interesting part of my job. That’s why we have recently organized hackathons such as Big Data Challenge and Data Quality Hackathon for experimenting, learning and creating some value together.
When I solve a complicated problem – it is a good feeling, which gives me great motivation. I am happy every time when I see a huge amount of unstructured data, because it is an opportunity to process, analyse and organize them. And, of course, I have a great team around me. I learn from them, they learn from me, and we support each other.
Can you reveal what are your hobbies?
I do weightlifting and powerlifting. I used to participate in Strongman competitions and even qualified twice for Lithuanian’s Strongest Man Finals. Now I like to train other people and help them develop their strength and improve their health. I have encouraged quite a few colleagues to start lifting weights and taught them how to do it correctly.
I also enjoy gaming. I used to play Counter Strike, but now all five of us in our team are playing Valorant. I like the teamwork and competitive aspects of the game, and for our team it is a teambuilding opportunity as well.