5 Questions With….Nikhil Phadnis & Alissa Deak, Data Scientists

1. Explain what you do in your role with On Deck.

NP: I develop and implement various lending policies and credit models that help On Deck provide small businesses with access to capital in an efficient and intelligent manner.

AD: I develop innovative ways to improve our credit policy so we can extend loan offers to more business owners. This includes assessing portfolio performance, looking at new data sources, building statistical models and sharing the analysis with the management team and our investors.

2. Why did you decide to join On Deck?

NP: When I was interviewing, the team promised me one thing above all else: if I had a good idea and I was enthusiastic about it, I wouldn’t get caught up in bureaucracy trying to make it happen. Happily, On Deck has not broken its promise.

AD: I wanted a chance to develop my analytical and coding skills while still working in a field where I’d be able to apply my field of study (economics and mathematics). This and the welcoming, positive environment I experienced during my interview is what made working at On Deck so appealing.

3. In your opinion, what is the best part about working at On Deck?

NP: While all finance shops are innovating in terms of their credit analytics, the inertia of old and proven methods make it harder for change to actually happen. Nothing could be further from the truth here at On Deck. The fact that we are a young company working in a rapidly evolving sector of lending means we are constantly discovering and utilizing new ways of doing business.

AD: Hard work pays off! Everyone is extremely receptive to new ideas and positive contributions never go unrecognized.

4. What advice would you give to someone looking to join the company?

NP: I would tell someone to really think about the needs and challenges of a small business you are familiar with. Looking at our loan products through our customers’ eyes is integral to what we do and that understanding will help you flourish at On Deck.

AD: If you’re looking to solve challenging problems alongside some really smart and creative people, then this is the place to be. Everyone here is truly dedicated to what they do, and working in an environment like this will inspire you to work harder and improve every single day.

5. What would someone be surprised to know about On Deck?

NP: The number of meetings we have is quite limited. Most of our conversations are informal and impromptu.

AD: We are very customer-oriented! Whether it be creating a new product, credit policy, or developing any new initiative, customer experience is always at the forefront of our decision-making.