About Paul

For Dutch: Over Paul van der Laken

I like to mess with data.

PVDL14

I’ve always been fond of puzzles and computers and, over time, this developed into a passion for programming and statistics. I particularly like to develop programs that leverage statistics to automate or optimize decision-making processes and thereby prevent the human biases observed by Ariely, Kahneman, Tetlock, and their colleagues.

In line with these interests, I have been applying data analytics and machine learning professionally as a data scientist for the past six years. My career started out in the domain of Human Resources. Here, I strongly believe data-driven decision-making can help organizations to attract, develop, motivate, and retain their people more effectively and efficiently. I actually wrote a PhD dissertation on the topic (i.e., People Analytics).

Currently, I am working as data scientist in the income insurance branch of Achmea. Next to this, I teach data-driven management, statistical programming, and data visualization. I am an executive trainer at Erasmus University, Tilburg University, and the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, and develop e-learnings for the Academy to Innovate HR. And I host this blog of course!

I blog mostly about programming, statistics, data visualization, and machine learning. I feel data visualizations are such an effective tool for communicating the enormous heaps of information generated these days. Particularly the interactive ones, where users can freely explore patterns, unhampered by the intentions and biases of the original creators. Regarding machine learning, I write about neural network applications in particular. We are truly at the dawn of a new age, with computer algorithms simultaneously solving global issues at an ever-increasing pace as well as causing ethical challenges on a daily basis.