Auror’s Insights team plays a vital role in the way we connect people with intelligence in order to reduce crime. Without their deep-dive analyses and data-driven storytelling, we wouldn’t be able to provide essential support for our partners and our own teams at Auror.
Caleb joined Auror as a Customer Insights Analyst in September 2021 - our first Analyst based in Denver! He describes what his typical day looks like, the impact of his role, and what it’s really like working for a New Zealand company.
What is your role at Auror and what does a typical day look like for you?
I’m a Customer Insights Analyst here at Auror! My job is to be a steward of our customers’ data, conducting analysis and running statistics on all of the rich information they provide to us. Examining event trends, identifying patterns in repeat people, and conducting deep-dive studies on large-scale data sets are just a handful of the ways I spend my time.
Working in the Denver office here in the United States means that the first half of my day is dedicated to our North American customers, while our Kiwi teammates are still asleep. The second half might have a few meetings with our overseas teammates. Once I’ve gotten the administrative tasks done, I take a look at what our customers have requested. Based on the priorities, I start coding up a set of SQL queries, embedding them into automated Python scripts, and take a look at the output.
Then I think. And I think some more. Maybe make some tea, then do more thinking. It’s like that meme of the lady with all the maths symbols floating around. Aha! Here’s a correlation coefficient that’s above 0.8, let’s segment the data on those parameters and run the analysis again! Maybe these distributions are related? If a z-test yields a low p-value, then we’re getting somewhere. …and so on.
How do you find working for a New Zealand based company?
My previous company was a US-based tech startup, and the cultural differences between the United States and New Zealand came into sharp view pretty early on. At Auror, I feel recognized and treated like a person far more than I ever was before.
The word “family” is often used by tech companies in an attempt to promote a positive environment, but that can backfire and make people end up feeling obligated to overwork themselves. Here, the keyword is “team”. Everyone puts in a lot of effort to make sure that their working relationships are positive, being open to feedback and learning from it. I never feel pressured to work to the point of burnout.
My teammates and I all support each other in a way that encourages us to produce the best work possible, and play to our strengths. If I need help with something, I know I can ask for it. If I have an idea for how to improve something, I know I will be listened to if I share it. Shout out to our Customer Insights Lead, Kelsey Buntain, for always allowing me the freedom to explore new ways to make our code more efficient, or try out a new method of automation.
Can you describe the impact that you have in your role?
The most meaningful function that the Insights team serves is right in the name: “Insights”. It’s one thing to be able to compose a complex SQL query and run stats on the results. It’s another thing entirely to take that extract and derive a meaningful piece of information that affects the business decisions of our customers. Anyone can crack open Excel and look at a spreadsheet. Insights is all about going deeper, understanding what is most important to our customers, and surfacing the conclusions we draw that might be hiding in the noise.
Recently, I helped one of our largest customers uncover a key insight on the value of shoplifting and fraud events. It turned out that over 90% of their total loss was due to only about 10% of the people reported.
In other words, a very small set of repeat people were responsible for the vast majority of total value lost within a quarter.
As a response to this, the customer’s leadership created an entirely new task force of LP specialists to focus on this specific subset of people, and I got to work extracting all the information on those people available to assist them. New investigations are now being actively created in order to identify and apprehend those people. It felt really great to see such a tangible impact of the work I did.
In your words, how would you best describe the culture at Auror?
Respectful. Excited. Encouraging. Realistic. Communicative.
Auror is not a company that’s interested in burning out one employee after another for the sake of the highest profit margins. Sure, we’re a business, and that means making money is still important. But I never feel like just a cog in a machine. My contributions are valued and recognized based on my individual strengths. I feel treated like a person, always.
The culture at this company is miles ahead of any other organisation I’ve worked for in terms of treating its people with respect and encouragement. Being a global company means that communication is paramount to our success, and communication is abundant here. The goals are realistic, but we still put in the effort to add a touch of magic to everything we do.
Oh, and everyone is really nice. Like, really nice!