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Getting to know the ironForce: Ursula Stauder

Meet Ursula Stauder, our Business Intelligence Analyst in the US. Long interested in the world of data analytics and looking to join a company that prioritized the field, Ursula joined ironSource in March 2021. Keep reading to get to know Ursula and her role at ironSource a bit better. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Hi there! My name is Ursula Stauder and I’m a self-proclaimed data enthusiast. I’m a Business Intelligence Analyst based in Santa Cruz and I’m passionate about furthering the accessibility of data. 

I love what I do because I help people and companies gain insights from their business intelligence all while promoting empowerment and ownership of their collected information. When I’m not working, I’m tending to my plants, hiking, or contributing to an art project called @Dionyziuz (look us up on Facebook or Instagram!).

What brought you to ironSource?

The opportunity to work at an industry-leading company in a rapidly growing and transforming field. After my initial phone screening, it became clear to me that ironSource was the perfect place for me - a fast-paced company looking to expand its share of voice in the industry by leveraging data-driven insights.

In a few sentences, how would you describe the culture at ironSource? 

The culture at ironSource was exactly what I was looking for in my next position. The opportunities for growth and learning were apparent to me after just one interview. The passion and understanding of the importance of data is clear, while the excitement about progressing the use of data-driven insights throughout the company to further its goals is reinforced and affirmed every day I log into work.

What’s a typical day for you at ironSource?

I spend a majority of my days in the database writing SQL or in Excel turning results into clear, understandable visualizations. Currently, I’m helping the Marketplace team (the team that works with non-gaming advertisers) get the insights they need to help our clients make the most accurate business decisions. 

I am working on becoming a subject matter expert in their data sources so I can help the team feel more connected to their data, as well as perform deep analysis into the available information and produce actionable insights for ironSource.

You're in a field that is notoriously male-dominated. How has that impacted your experience as a data analyst? 

As with most endeavors, “... all efforts are pointless… if you don’t believe in yourself.”  My experience as a woman in technology has had its challenges, but I never stopped believing in myself and loving what I do. I’m proud to be working with cutting-edge technology in the most exciting technological time in history. I find my job extremely rewarding, especially in the sense that by being in this field, I am helping pave the way to make STEM more accessible and equitable for women and other underrepresented groups.

Being my authentic self and not changing myself in order to fit into a male-dominated culture has allowed me to feel confident and comfortable bringing my own perspectives and skills to the table. Facing obstacles regarding my perceived technical abilities has made me an extremely fast learner who is never willing to settle, an objective and composed worker ready to handle any stumbling block, and has driven me to teach myself multiple coding languages, and get 11 technical certifications all within 2 years of starting my career.

I also discovered the value of making connections and building relationships while in the field. Having a network has provided me with guidance and inspiration, and has given me great friends and mentors that I will carry with me for years to come. Three people who have had a significant positive impact on my life and career are Mishel Justesen, Adeline Cheam, and Jordan Hubbard. I hope that I can pay the guidance forward and support the future generations in tech in the ways you all have supported me.

What led you to be interested in data analytics?

During my junior year at UC Santa Cruz in my first econometrics course, I fell in love with the idea of using applied math to answer questions. I began chasing this interest through internships, multiple research positions, and enrolling in graduate-level courses in statistics and econometrics, which all strengthened my love for the field and assured me that this was the career path I was interested in.

Throughout all of my experience so far, I’ve realized that data is not accessible to everyone. Even within highly technical environments, there is still a disconnect between those who work with data every day and the rest of the company. As someone who is passionate about accessibility, I realized that this was something I wanted to pursue: helping people and businesses feel empowered by understanding their data. 

At a time where data is heavily collected and used at every given point in life, it seems that the most ethical way to continue down this track is to help every person and business become more data-driven through education about collected and available data, as well as to push for high standards of data visualizations and data quality. 

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