Jeff Herman is not a locomotives expert. His background is in math and engineering, followed by additional study in data science. But when he was a data scientist for a railroad company, his job was to look at data about locomotives in order to make predictions about them.
Since he wasn’t a locomotives expert, he needed to find people at the company who were.
“Having good relationships with those people would make my job easier,” he said. And relationships don’t just happen, he said. “A big part of teamwork is providing value to the people on the other side.”
For example, he noticed that some analysts were producing Excel reports that required obnoxious amounts of manual labor.
“I was able to automate some of those processes with an automated Python script, and that helped build relationships,” he said. “Teamwork is a two-way street. You provide value, you get value.”