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The art of wearing many hats: a chat with Ricardo Galante

Started ‎02-07-2023 by
Modified ‎02-07-2023 by
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Ricardo Galante is a Senior Analytics Customer Advisor for SAS Iberia, based in Lisbon, Portugal. He is also a mentor for the SAS Hackathon, a statistician and a PhD researcher, and an invited professor at three universities in Lisbon, the University of Lisbon, the European University, and the Portuguese Institute of Marketing Administration (IPAM). I caught up with Ricardo to talk about teaching, data science and the SAS Hackathon.

Ricardo, you wear so many hats: customer advisor, hackathon mentor, researcher in machine learning and artificial intelligence and data science professor. Which is your main hat?

Interesting question! It would be impossible for me to define myself as ‘just’ a customer advisor or professor or researcher, or even say that I am more one of those things than another. They’re so closely related. My ‘day job’ is a customer advisor at SAS, but while I am doing that, I am also researching new approaches on machine learning and data science, and when I am teaching students, I am also improving my skills as a customer advisor. What they all share is that I am learning all the time.

You are a Brazilian, but currently living in Lisbon. Was your move for personal or professional reasons?

I started my SAS career in 2007 at SAS Brasil in São Paulo. I worked as an instructor in the Education area, and taught courses on analytics, before I started working on the customer advisory team. I loved working in São Paulo, but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join the Iberian customer advisory team at SAS Portugal when it was offered in 2015. The move has worked out well for me and my family and we have no regrets about it.

Tell us about your teaching work. I think you’ve recently been involved in a new SAS Lab at the University of Lisbon?

I currently teach at three universities. At IPAM and the European University, I teach Applied Data Science in Marketing, and at the University of Lisbon, I teach Data Science with a more statistical approach. The new SAS Lab at the University of Lisbon opened a few months ago. This aims to link the academic world, the corporate world and SAS. It is a great environment for these interactions, with different courses aimed at academia and companies. It will also be an opportunity for students, professors and professionals to exchange experience and knowledge.

Have you noticed any changes among young data scientists since you started teaching 10 years ago?

There has been a lot of change, and a real evolution of young data scientists in recent years. Data science as a field has existed for 30 years, but it has certainly gained prominence in recent years because of the emergence and popularization of large databases and the development of areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. There is no question that this knowledge is highly sought after in the job market. Students are well aware of this. I think there has been a cultural change in young data scientists: they now want to know much more about data science in context, not as an isolated science.

You are one of the SAS faces for the forthcoming hackathon. Tell us more about the event.

I am one of the mentors for the SAS Global Hackathon with a particular focus on the retail area. The SAS Hackathon is for developers, students, start-ups, SAS customers and technology partners who want to solve a real problem and present the solution using SAS and Open Source technology. In this Hackathon, participants collaborate online for a month, improving their data science skills.
The deadlines are:

  • January – February: Technology enablement, resources and support on SAS Communities in SAS Hacker’s Hub. The deadline for registration is February 28.
  • February 9: Kick-off session on LinkedIn and YouTube.
  • March 15 – April 15: The month of the Hackathon.
  • April – May: Jury voting.
  • June: Industry track, technology and regional awards.
  • September: The overall winner will be announced at SAS Explore: An Analytics Experience for Technologists.

You can find out more at I have no doubt that participating in this Hackathon will be a unique experience. Because when teams from different regions come together, with diverse backgrounds and skills working in analytics, data science and artificial intelligence, amazing things can happen. And being a part of it is unforgettable.

Is there anything else that you are particularly looking forward to in 2023?

I think that 2023 will be a challenging year, because of the global political and geoeconomic situation. However, I also hope that it will be a fantastic year with many interesting challenges, learning and work.

Thank you, Ricardo.

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‎02-07-2023 03:19 AM
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