Work

I am an economist with interests in econometrics and data science; and the economics of technology, innovation and growth. My background combines economics, statistics and computer science.

Currently: Data Scientist, World Bank

I currently work at the World Bank, in the Development Data Group, the group within the Chief Economist’s Vice Presidency that is responsible for data collection, analysis and dissemination. My team produces the World Development Indicators, as well as several publications based on this dataset. I also occasionally co-host the World Bank’s podcast about data and development, “Between Two Geeks”.


Andrew_Sitting

Previously I worked in Innovation Labs at the World Bank, on a program to advise and assist Bank project managers in using alternative data sources (“big data”) like cellphone records, satellite images, social/web data, etc. This work took me to diverse locations including Kosovo, Costa Rica, Colombia and Thailand. Our team worked with all kinds of data, up to the 10 terabyte scale. (Fun fact: the easiest way to move 4TB of data from most places on earth is an external drive, by Fedex. Actually moving the data is usually the easy part though…)

Previous roles

Unnamed startup attempt

For a brief few months at the end of 2014 I worked on a startup idea related to vertical search for events. This was a problem that had bugged me for years and took the chance to try to build a solution, using and learning fantastic tools like Elasticsearch, Amazon’s ElasticMapReduce, OpenStreetMap, the Common Crawl repository and Angular. It was ultimately derailed by (i) visa issues (ii) a job offer too good to refuse (see above) and (iii) relatively high fixed costs associated with search indexing.

Research Fellow, Nesta

Following my PhD, I worked as a Research Fellow (Creative and Digital Economy) at Nesta, an innovation think tank in London (formerly the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). I worked to established Nesta’s research using unconventional data (for example, web scraping for companies research) and also contributed to a program of research on how data science was and is changing businesses, interviewing dozens of top business analytics leaders in the UK and beyond.

Doctoral Research Student, University of Oxford

I completed my PhD research in the Department of Economics at the University of Oxford. My research was in time series econometrics, but I studied and continue to be interested in economics and statistics more broadly. My DPhil (Oxford for “PhD”) was awarded in 2013. While at Oxford, I taught econometrics and advanced econometrics to graduate students.

Economic Consultant, Allen Consulting Group

Before that I worked as an economic consultant at The Allen Consulting Group (now ACIL Allen Consulting) in Brisbane, Australia. There, I worked mainly on projects in social policy (health, education, disability, poverty) and economic regulation (gas, electricity, water, aviation/airports). Many of the projects I was involved with produced public reports, some of which can still be found online:

  • Health Economist Review for Queensland Health [PDF] and response from the Minister for Health
  • Business for Poverty Relief for the Business for Poverty Relief Alliance [PDF]
  • World Class Skills for World Class Industries for the Australian Industry Group [PDF]

 

I have also worked at AccentureNERA, the iLab technology incubator and the Distributed Systems Technology Centre.