Karen Beckers works as a data scientist for Squadra Machine Learning Company. In this article, we will take a closer look at one of the projects she’s currently working for. The organization that requested this project to be performed is a startup based in the United States.

This American startup aims to be the first brand search engine to revolutionize the way customers search for products.  Before the Miami-based company’s website can go live, some challenges need to be overcome first. “We have worked on this project since July”, Karen explains. She has been working on the project together with Jelmer Wind and Dennis Trommelen, who are also data scientists at Squadra MLC. This startup equested a product- and brand search engine that decreasingly focuses on product categories, but rather on specific products. So, when typing ‘summer dress with flowers for a summery day’ in the search engine, it is aimed to receive results of such dresses. Karen elaborates: “we are working on a search function that is able to search products based on images”. This is a starting point for finding specific products based on image characteristics. It’s also the part of the project where Karen is working on.

 “I’m doing the project together with Jelmer and Dennis, but we are not actually programming together. Our collaboration is more about brainstorming about the project and communicating about it since it’s really complicated.” Sometimes, she admits, she’s stuck, not knowing how to continue her work. That’s when she really appreciates to think about the issues together, and that’s when new insights come to light. “That’s when you come up with new ideas”.

For such projects, she continues, “we have weekly meetings together with the startup’s spokesperson”. In these meetings, the tasks that have been executed or still need to be executed are discussed together with the client. Such meetings provide informative feedback, and the client receives more information about the status of the project. She continues: “We also had calls with people in San Fransisco, Australia and the United Kingdom. For me, that was really insightful: these people appeared to have much knowledge on the topic, and they had some interesting stories to tell.”

Though the project is pretty demanding and puts a lot of pressure on her shoulders, Karen really likes the challenge of it, and she claims that it’s truly a cool concept to work on.

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