Taylor Ourada, Principal Consultant at Ourete
“Some clients ask me, “What if, at the end of data analysis, we find that our program doesn’t work as well as we thought it did?” “I tell them, well, at least you know then, and you can do something productive with that information.
Meet Taylor Ourada. Taylor is a data-loving yogi and a (relatively) new New Yorker. She loves creating balance for herself by splitting time between solving technical problems and practicing mindfulness. While she has a degree in chemical engineering, she’s also very much a community builder. Through her experience working for large-scale IT implementation projects as well as mission-driven start-ups, Taylor has developed a passion for helping organizations unlock the value of their data. Taylor is currently consulting for a variety of organizations – including several working out of Civic Hall — to help them develop evidence-based programming (through high-quality data strategy & management) that support desired behavior change.
Taylor is a big traveler: “I’m always trying to book my next trip.” She is involved in the MoMA community, teaches yoga & meditation classes, and facilitates intentional networking sessions. Taylor is currently training for the upcoming New York City Marathon this November 3rd. And not just to win. She’s raising money for Back On My Feet, which addresses homelessness “through the power of running, community support and essential employment and housing resources.” Pledge here if you’d like to help her reach her goal. You can follow Taylor via Instagram and contact her via email or our Slack.
What Does She Do?
Taylor helps organizations with a variety of data and technical needs – anything from user-centric process design to data modeling to dashboard building. She’s a Certified AWS Solutions Architect and has spent much of her career designing and managing technical teams to build out analytics platforms. Her favorite tools are SQL & Tableau.
How Did She Get Into This Work?
“It wasn’t a conscious decision. I was just really good at math. I skipped a grade; tested into pre-calculus. But I wasn’t into computers and data until college, and then engineering.”
Taylor grew up in a comfortable Cincinnati, Ohio suburb. Her father was in sales and had an easy rapport with people. Her mother is a skincare consultant with whom Taylor can talk chemical compounds, as well as self-care and wellness.
Half-way through her Chemical Engineering degree, Taylor had the realization that there weren’t many chemical engineering jobs that interested her. She loved being around people and solving challenging problems with innovative solutions. At a career fair between sophomore and junior year, she found an internship that valued this perspective – joining the Business Intelligence Team of Limited Brands (Leslie Wexner, Victoria’s Secret). There she had her first experiences with data warehousing, tools like MicroStrategy. The work gave her a perspective which she carries to this day: “Breaking down a question into ways that I could answer that question – and interfacing with people who just had a question and didn’t know how to solve/where the answer existed.” This first foray sparked her love for data analytics, eventually leading her to join Accenture in Atlanta, where she worked in the healthcare/biopharma space. Ironically, it was the lack of work/life balance at the firm – and her own lack of self-care – that saw her contract bronchitis which morphed into a lingering viral cough. “This was my body telling me to slow down,” she recalls. Taylor listened. She began practicing yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.She relocated to NYC. And this past June, she set up Ourete Consulting.
Taylor during her yoga session.
What project is she working on?
Taylor is currently working with Lokyata, which leverages technology to foster greater financial inclusion. She is providing them with data modeling and technical architecture consultation to support their efforts to scale up their analytics platform to support banks that are using non-traditional data sources to provide credit scoring.
Taylor is also collaborating with Civic Hall-based Klaatch, to build out their data foundation to better capture the effectiveness of different social programming to help lonely older adults become more socially connected with their communities. (CEO/Founder Adam Greene will be our next profile.)
How Did She Come To Civic Hall?
“I loved the space & decided to start working here a few days of the week to stay engaged with socially-minded technologists.”
In September, Taylor shared a lunch and learn presentation on how to leverage data for members of the Civic Hall community. She also was key to bringing the Listening Lab to onsite for its first workshop. (Listening Lab will return to NYC every 1-2 months. Look for an announcement for their November event!)
What is She Reading?
What is her ask for Civic Hall?
Ask: “Take at least 20 minutes a day just for YOU. Don’t have every single moment scheduled. Go for a walk, use our Wellness room to meditate, or get a quick workout in. Let your brain meander and wander. Giving ourselves the time to re-ground and breathe allows us to be more present and available to those around us.”
Offer: “With the upcoming election, I haven’t yet really worked on voter education, voter registration, etc. I’m interested in helping track these behaviors and making them sustainable.”
Applying her skills as a data analyst, Taylor has some advice on how to assess the deep Democratic pool of 2020 candidates: “Start simple; it’s hard to go across all 50+ issues. What are your 2 or 3 most important issues? It’s almost like setting a rubric – just as an organization measures impact. Be consistent, not letting yourself be emotionally swayed by a speech or a t-shirt. Or maybe let yourself be swayed, but be self-aware about it.”