The Random Variable exists…

Because the things that stand in the way of analytics and data science aren’t things like bad data or poorly written code. Those can be a hassle, but they aren’t the dangerous hurdles. The things that hold us back are…well, us.

But there are ways to solve for this.
about me profile

My name is Rob Reynolds and I have been working within corporate America for my entire career, most of that time focused on all-things-data. I started this blog because I think all the good that can come from data and analytics won’t materialize unless we make some serious changes. 



…Or is it?

Data Education

The first thing we need to work to improve is education around data in general. In order to realize the benefits that data and technology can deliver to our world, we need more people to understand and appreciate all of what that entails. The good, the bad and the ugly.

People Skills

Secondly, those in the data science world need to develop their soft skills. There are lots of good technicians out there, but to realize meaningful change at any level, we need to be able to engage others across a spectrum of landscapes. Who better to help enlighten and inform others in this space than those who are steeped in it?

Our Why

This is why The Random Variable exists. I want to share lessons I have learned over the years and build a supportive community that can enable us all to maximize the potential that exists for our organizations, teams, and communities.

Here is my motivation – my hope. As more people become familiar with what data can do for us, and as those of us that already know data get better at communicating, there will be a lot more good that comes of the work we all do in the decision science field.

As these two things come together, policy should improve, opportunities should grow, and challenging problems will find solutions — making our world a better place.

I hope you share this hope, and join me in this endeavor.

Let’s get started.


About Rob Reynolds

I have been working in and around data science, data engineering, and analytics (what I generally refer to as Decision Science) for most of my career (25 years, yikes…that’s a little depressing).

Over the course of that time, I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with many people who are smart, motivated, and principled.  Most of them have great intentions, passion, and drive to make sure their work has meaning. Either for the company we work with (whichever one that was at the time), or more broadly for the benefit of others (customers and our community). I see this as a true blessing that is unique these days (crap, I even sound like an old man!).

Working with people like that, you are bound to learn a few interesting things. Some may even be truly remarkable. I have combined those lessons with some of my own thoughts and insights which I have gained over the course of my career and found that I have developed some strategies and tactics that can be really valuable.

I started in consulting, working for a couple of well-known firms, where I learned a little about a lot of different topics. My consulting career covered finance, risk management, energy, financial services with an underlying thread of technology. After consulting I then worked for a national electronics retailer where I had begun to develop my first management experience, building new teams from the ground up and getting much deeper into the world of data, which was a lucky happenstance.

From retail, I went back into consulting but focused on analytics and data science (before it was called that). This tour in consulting taught me much about organizational dynamics, as I saw first hand both clients and the firm itself go through organizational change on several levels.

Seeking greener pastures, and finding them, I made yet another career change.  One of my best friends was working at an insurance company and encouraged me to join them.  I was lucky to find that I knew several people at this company and so I joined after finding only good things were being shared by people I trusted. It has been 14 years since I joined.

It is within the insurance industry I have had the opportunity to build several teams, lead multi-million dollar data projects, lead organizational change (on an almost constant basis) and go very deep within with world of data science. I currently lead analytics, data science and data management teams for a now global, fortune 500 insurance carrier, and have been blessed to  work with and learn from some wonderful people. I have seen a lot over that time that I think can help others, and so I have decided to begin writing this down, in the hope that someone finds it helpful.