Old i, LLC – an Oregon LLC, Portland, OR
This summer, I worked as a data analytics intern for Old i, a real estate advisory based in Portland, Oregon. My supervisor, Williams alumnus Noel Johnson ’01, is a real estate developer in Portland and wanted to increase transparency of housing regulations in the city. As his intern, I used a variety of tools, including R and Excel, to analyze large datasets and derive meaningful insights into Portland’s changing real estate landscape. My work involved translating these statistical understandings into language and visuals for local industry professionals, city policymakers, and community constituents.
Initially, my internship was primarily self-directed though I worked closely with another intern on a project involving a data-driven overview of Portland’s housing market and real estate landscape. We were encouraged to collaborate and brainstorm various directions that the project could go in. We had frequent check-ins with Noel and after about two weeks of discussion and feedback, we finalized an outline of the questions we were aiming to answer with our analysis, as well as the datasets we would use.
The next two weeks were spent gathering, cleaning, and verifying data regarding housing development and regulation in Portland. This involved intensive transcription and although it wasn’t the most engaging work, I was able to refine and develop my Excel skills. For example, I wrote several formulas to help us filter through data and extract the rows which were most relevant to our analysis.
Once we had a mostly completed database, we were ready to move on to visualization and in-depth analysis. For me, this work was the most interesting and intellectually stimulating. I was able to apply my skills in R, a functional programming language, to a real-world dataset. I realized that working with real-world data is always messier and more difficult than analyzing datasets in a classroom. However, this appealed to me because it forced me to work with and visualize the data in unique and interesting ways. The full analysis we’ve done this summer can be viewed on www.envisionpdxtrends.com.
As a result of this internship, I’m really interested in pursuing data science. In fact, this semester, I’m founding Datalab—a data science organization on campus—with the goal of making data science more accessible at Williams. I’m currently a prospective computer science major, and this internship has solidified those plans. I hope to continue to learn more about data science in the future.
I would like to end with a word of thanks to Don Carlson ’83 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for enabling this opportunity and allowing me to focus on my work and professional development this summer.