#WeAreTOMRA: Meet Olav Johan, Data Scientist / Big Data Developer
What do you do at TOMRA?
At TOMRA, I work with data analytics and big data, in a six-person team called Data Solutions. We’re looking for patterns in how people return their containers for recycling around the world. Every time you return a container, it generates a huge amount of data, such as the number of containers, container types, refund value for the session, etc. The data also tells us what’s going on inside the reverse vending machine, from the sensors to the software, and if there are things that need fixing. So I work on preparing all the data for analysis and processing, and I have quite a variety of tasks to do that.
Why did you apply to be part of the TOMRA team?
I joined the company in January 2018. I started my career in the oil and gas industry, and had some very exciting areas of work there. But the day came when I asked myself why I was working here, and in this job? I said to myself, there is a central question for me: “How do my work and my workplace allow me to contribute to making the Earth a better place to live? And in 20 years, what that I will tell my children what I have used my abilities for.” I saw the profile of TOMRA, and that the company’s ambition for sustainable development corresponded exactly to my internal values and the way I wanted to develop professionally. So, it was a choice for my ethics, and it means that I can enjoy my tasks in a completely new way.
I also enjoyed that TOMRA was very strategic, competitive, technologically innovative and very exciting challenges where I could apply my data analysis skills to a new and dynamic field. It always happens that if you come up with an idea in the business, there is a real opportunity to get a green light and bring that idea to life.
What kind of things do you like to do outside of work?
I am quite active with cycling. I have the ability to ride a mountain bike right outside my door and I live close to the office. So I take an off-road cycling route as part of my daily commute to TOMRA. Twenty minutes on the bike, a shower at the office, and I’m ready to start the day! In winter, I switch and take the ski slopes to go to work, I can often go door to door. I like cross-country skiing and downhill skiing, although unfortunately there are no downhill ski slopes directly at the office!
What are your passions?
Participating and saying “yes” to new things is very important to me. I decided to always offer my help and to always accept that others offer to help me. It’s great to see the good that can come from doing it over time: getting to know new people, trying new activities, or having conversations you might not otherwise have had.
I’m not afraid to raise my hand at work, which has allowed me to participate in video shoots and even dress up as Santa Claus to help explain data concepts when presenting to colleagues – from this way I try different things off my daily to-do list. One of the most exciting things I did at TOMRA, as part of my onboarding, was visit Infinitum (Norway’s central system administrator for their deposit systems) to see how they handle containers beverages that TOMRA collects and get an overview of the entire deposit system.
My personal motto is “Your best memories are in front of you”. And what we are working towards at TOMRA is towards a better future. I hope TOMRA will continue to innovate and lead the resource revolution!