Meet the ADEPT Decisions Management Team
The entire ADEPT Decisions team has always strived to provide the ‘personal touch’ to our clients; whether it means going the extra mile on a project, accommodating short-notice configuration changes, or just providing a sounding board to the credit risk team.
We believe that this flexible, ‘can do’ attitude is one of the aspects of ADEPT Decisions which set us apart from larger and less accommodating corporate vendors.
With this in mind, we decided it was a suitable time to shine a light on the unique personalities behind the ADEPT Decisions software. This is a management team which prides itself on delivering above and beyond the call of duty!
Describe your role at ADEPT Decisions.
I am the Chief Operating Officer of ADEPT Decisions, and I am charge of everything related to software development, client integrations, analytical projects and IT operations. I originally joined as the product owner/manager and quickly became involved in the management of the various units. Each area has its own challenges, which definitely keeps me on my toes. The management team is composed of an amazing group of individuals, and I am privileged to work with them and constantly acquire knowledge from every interaction.
How long have you been with the company?
I joined the company in December 2016 when I was based in Spain. Since then, I have lived in Dubai, South Africa and Mauritius, supporting our international client base. Last year, we relocated back to Spain to be closer to my family; one of the many effects the pandemic had on expatriates like me.
What led you to join ADEPT Decisions?
Having worked in a consulting environment and with a background in Data Science, I was looking forward to applying my skills to the design and development of a decision engine. Not only has it provided me with a platform to deepen my technical skills, but also to experience working with remote teams all over the world.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
I can’t say that my time at ADEPT Decisions has been without a few bumps in the road, especially during the last 3 years. The pandemic affected everyone’s lives, both at work and at home. As a team, we have always worked remotely from home, so one of the areas that was really difficult for everyone else played directly to our strengths.
Putting the external challenges to one side, I think the biggest challenge for me has been to learn as quickly as possible about areas that I have never worked in before. As a SaaS solution, the ITOps area presented the biggest learning curve. An additional challenge has been finding qualified resources who can take the platform forward in terms of stability and capacity.
What is your background?
I completed my high school education in Spain and decided to go to university in the UK, where I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Operational Research. At that time, applied mathematics and Data Science were not as well-known but I was lucky to join a leading credit scoring company in my first job, where I worked for 5 years delivering projects in the EMEA region.
After a brief spell back in Barcelona, I was given the opportunity to move to South Africa and work as the head of Analytics and Scoring. I fell in love with the country and its people and set up an analytics training company with a couple of partners.
In the last 6 years, I have lived in Mauritius and Spain while working at ADEPT as the COO. Although I now do a lot more than analytics, I have always been fascinated by data and how it can help organisations make the right decisions. I have a background in Data Science and Product Management, but my real interest lies in how it applies to business problems, whether in credit risk, insurance or marketing.
How did you start in the industry?
After graduating from the University of Birmingham, I got a job at the Fair Isaac (now FICO) UK office. I did not know anything about credit scoring, but after meeting their representatives at a career fair, I became intrigued with how applied mathematics could bring fairness to banking.
FICO UK was then still a small office and I had to learn fast in order to deliver value to clients in the EMEA region. I was very fortunate to meet, work with, and learn from very knowledgeable individuals. They were more than willing to share their experience and knowledge and helped me become who I am today. Even back then I realised how lucky I had been to get an opportunity to work with such an incredible team. No wonder the majority of the ADEPT management team comes from the same background.
What changes have you seen over the years?
Access to processing power and more software tools has enabled a wider spread of Analytics and Modelling. Individuals from all backgrounds are now able to run complex analytical techniques at the press of a button, making Data Science a commodity available to all. This applies not only to Analytics but also development software. This change brings, as every change invariably does, good and bad things. The wider community of modellers and credit risk professionals that understand the tools and how they can be used, is a key improvement to what I initially encountered in my career. More complex problems and solutions can be tackled, making the world a lot more dynamic and interesting, even after all these years in the industry.
What advice would you give to those starting out in the industry?
With the appearance of hybrid and work-from-home models, it is increasingly difficult to avoid isolation. This is particularly detrimental to people starting out in their careers. I learned so much by talking to other people during breaks, both from my team or other teams within the company. My advice is to go to the office as much as possible and interact with the business, modelling, and operational teams. By listening to their key concerns, you will get an understanding of the full picture. That is priceless.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Well, I am a working mom; I think that sums it up. Before I had my child, I used to scuba dive, backpack across continents and enjoy a great camping weekend now and then. Now I prefer to focus my energy and time on my family and exercise as much as I can when I have the time.
What’s your favourite quote?
“When opportunity presents itself, don’t be afraid to go after it.” Eddie Kennison.
What’s a little known fact about you?
Travelling and meeting other cultures have always been a passion of mine. So far, I have been to more than 40 countries, and I hope to reach 100 one day. I am a CMAS 3-star Advanced Nitrox scuba diver and I love nature, so I am an avid recycler and try to lower my carbon footprint as much as I can.
About the Author
Eva Neves is the Chief Operating Officer of ADEPT Decisions and has held a wide range of roles in the credit risk industry since 1995.