Meet Applied AI Lead Consultant Wido
Throughout his career path, Wido van Heemstra has always focused on Data and AI. In June 2021, he joined our team. His role is right in the middle of data science and business, “That is the sweet spot where I can shine best and bring value to our clients”. As an Applied AI Lead Consultant, Wido enjoys bringing all the innovative puzzle pieces together with the professionals of Eraneos.
On the one hand, Wido is a data science consultant. “A large part of the job is working together with the clients to truly pinpoint what they want, and what they need,” Wido says. Once a solution has been found and will be implemented, Wido takes the role of technical lead in the project. He works closely with the client, the project management team, and the professionals. On the other hand, Wido is responsible for several verticals within our Data and A.I. team. “One of them is the banking & finance market, and the other is our Applied AI solution”, two very different aspects of the team.
The banking industry as background
Wido is also in the lead of our AI arm. “Applied AI is our approach towards guiding our clients on their AI journey,” Wido explains, “We take organizations through all the stages of leveraging Artificial Intelligence, from analyzing use cases to developing AI-driven solutions, so we can help them realize their AI ambitions”. With applied AI, we can find specific solutions that can help solve a client’s challenges and set up specialized implementations of the technology. “Right now, I am focusing on shaping this new service,” Wido mentions, “to make it very clear for the clients, but also our employees, what exactly is meant with Applied AI”. Wido mentions the importance of employees linking this new branch of the organization to tasks they enjoy and topics they find interesting. “I strive to make it an interesting and inspiring part of Eraneos that will attract new talent to become part of our team”. Our focus has always been on innovation, research, and development.
Before working for Eraneos, Wido was employed in the banking industry. “At the bank I was working at, I was in charge of setting up the entire data science team,” Wido describes. He was able to create a team of 34 members within a corporate organization. “We touched upon many different aspects: HR, compliance, legal, processes, communication and everything else”. This experience also helps him with his role as a consultant in the banking and finance industry.
Although Wido started during the pandemic, we arranged face-to-face meetings during his first few weeks. “There was a lot of emphasis on settling properly within the organization,” Wido remembers. They even paid attention to setting up the right workspace. “Everyone has been very friendly from the very beginning”. As Wido started during the summer period, he had time in between his smaller projects to get to know the company and the people better. Everyone is very approachable, regardless of their position within the organization. He quickly learned that, at Eraneos, we work with highly skilled people who have the opportunity to do cool, innovative projects. “We are way more than ‘just a group of data scientists’,” Wido laughs, “Every professional we have, is truly a professional”. Because we work with the best, we get to be the best. We are opportunists: if you want something, you can get it done. “There is always room for improving your skills in the way you want”.
And outside Eraneos?
Wido lives in Bussum, close to the woods. “When you’re married and have two sons, a lot of your free time is already planned,” Wido chuckles, “but working from home makes it all a bit more flexible”. Wido stays active by playing field hockey. One of the ways he loves spending his time is listening to- and making music. “I play keyboard and listen to a lot of different genres when it comes to music, but my go-to music for focusing during work is Nightwish, a symphonic metal band”.