Raanan is BlueConduit’s Data Scientist, R&D. Here’s a quick Q&A with Raanan.
Why did you join BlueConduit?
I joined BlueConduit because I believe that accessible, safe drinking water is a human right. Everyday myself and so many others take for granted the abundance of clean water we have access to. So working for a company dedicated to helping people, especially those in under-served communities, motivates me everyday to do the best job I can. BlueConduit’s mission to use data science to foster healthy, informed, and engaged communities resonates with me, not only as a lover of technology, but also as a passionate advocate for social, environmental, and restorative justice.
What professional experience and expertise do you bring to BlueConduit?
My journey with BlueConduit began in 2019 while I completed my undergraduate thesis on the lead problem in Pittsburgh, PA. My paper focused on the application of machine learning to the process of lead service line replacements, and its first citation was from the founders of BlueConduit speaking about their successful response to the crisis in Flint, MI.
Beyond my experience on the subject of lead, I have spent the past five years engaged in the civic tech community through a number of professional and academic pursuits. I have been fortunate to work in a number of consulting positions in government at the local and Federal levels, giving me valuable experience and perspective on the needs of public servants when it comes to technology and data.
What does a day in the life of BlueConduit’s Data Scientist, R&D look like?
As a Data Scientist at BlueConduit, I focus on our efforts to improve how we serve our customers and scale our work across the country. My day-to-day consists of a lot of research into the different technologies we can use to work more efficiently and effectively at scale. I spend a lot of my time in Python notebooks, analyzing data on public water systems around the country to get a better understanding of the market we hope to serve. But by far my favorite thing to do is make maps.
What work accomplishments are you most proud of and what goals have you prioritized for this year?
I’m most proud of our work to influence state and Federal policy when it comes to predictive modeling and lead service line identification. When you see your name and your bosses names referenced in official state guidance, you know that you’ve made a difference, and that feels pretty awesome. My goals for this year are to help launch our free software, publish a national map on lead in public water systems and contribute more to the ongoing efforts to innovate water policy in the US.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I spend my time outside work enjoying the company of my family and friends in New York City, frequenting trendy coffee shops and ranking them by the quality of their almond croissants. I love walking or running through Central Park and getting out of the city for a hike. But when the weather is cold, staying in to cook and watch Netflix is the perfect alternative.
Note: Originally published in June 2022. Updated in January 2023 with Raanan’s new title and updated photo.