In Sri Lanka, where Dinushki De Livera grew up, the first half of her first name-DINU-translates to WINNER.
That seems only appropriate as Dinushki brought home First Prize in the Data Visualization contest at the recent 2018 Women in Analytics Conference in Columbus, OH.
Dinushki is a Business Analyst on the Business Intelligence team at Unifund and Recovery Decision Science. She joined Unifund after completing her schooling at the University of Cincinnati where she earned a BS in Economics and Finance before completing her master’s degree in Applied Economics.
She admits she wasn’t particularly good at economics at the all-girls high school she attended in Sri Lanka.
“But I was always inquisitive,” she said. “Especially about how different countries manage their finances in today’s global economy.”
Dinushki spends much of her time at Unifund working on Tableau, developing data visualizations that analyze various company functions. As it turns out, one of her professors at UC was Jeff Shaffer, Unifund’s Vice-President and COO. Jeff is also a Tableau Zen Master.
Until three days before the final submission date, she was unaware of the Tableau/Data Viz competition at Women in Analytics. That’s when her boss, Ethan Hahn, suggested she enter the contest.
“I was reluctant at first,” she said. “I politely reminded Ethan that because of all the work he had me doing, it would be almost impossible to complete an entry in three days. But I decided to jump in anyway.”
Her first challenge was to find a data set that was interesting. As it turns out, the City of Cincinnati maintains a world-class data portal. Called CincyInsights, the portal includes simple, clean and informative data sets. More importantly, the City encourages analysts to work with their data and visualize it in meaningful ways.
Dinushki decided to focus her viz on the City of Cincinnati’s workforce-specifically, how female employees fared compared to their male counterparts.
The winning viz, which you can access below, has had over 27,000 views on Tableau Public and was selected as the Viz-of-the-Week
Dinushki’s viz revealed something interesting. Despite representing only 35% of Cincinnati’s workforce, women employees earn 84% of what their male counterparts earn in average salary. As the viz shows, this is driven by the fact that there are many more part-time, female employees… and that many of these part-time positions pay higher wages.
With the Women in Analytics Data Viz trophy on her desk, Dinushki De Livera now has her sights on the 2018 Tableau Conference, this coming October in New Orleans. She’s planning to compete for entry into the Iron Viz competition. Tableau hosts three feeder competitions throughout the year. The winners are then invited to compete for the Iron Viz, live, and on-stage in New Orleans.
Dinushki is confident in her ability to make a strong showing in the Iron Viz feeder competition. “I learned a lot in the Women in Analytics competition,” she said. “And I’m lucky to have the encouragement and support of both Jeff and Ethan.