Let’s start with your name and what you do.
I’m Caroline Tai, Biostatistician at Evidation. I provide biostatistical and epidemiological support to inform study design decisions, data collection efforts, and data analyses across a wide range of activities (external and internal projects) while interacting with multiple groups at Evidation.
Tell us about home.
Bay Area native (South Bay) and grew up in Cupertino <1 mile from Apple headquarters. I went to UCSD for undergrad and Emory University for my MPH. After several years of living in San Diego, CA and Atlanta, GA I returned to the bay area to complete my PhD at UCSF. I will always be a California girl 🙂
How’d you end up at Evidation?
With previous stints working in biotech, public health, and clinical research I saw that in many ways the world of medical research is slow to incorporate new technologies, not due to a lack of desire but due to a lack of good examples and guidance. I wanted to join a company that would pioneer the path forward for healthcare companies and researchers to embrace the new technology culture we all already live in. It is also a big responsibility. Any pioneer is additionally tasked with developing best practices for incorporating innovations from the world of tech into the areas of healthcare and wellness. Therefore, having the right set of people with both the appropriate technical expertise and core values is key to addressing these challenges.
While I was at UCSF, a couple of my classmates worked as part-time consultants for Evidation and I was hearing great things about the company. So when I was getting ready to graduate and saw that Evidation was hiring a full-time Biostatistician, I did not hesitate to apply. Now after having had time to settle in, I’m even more inspired by the amazing leadership and the people here. We all come from a range of diverse expertise but are very much driven by the same goals and values.
What’s been your best day (so far) at Evidation?
During my first few months at Evidation, there was a day when I had a final results presentation for a client and several meetings with other teams at Evidation. The client project had a fairly exploratory and open-ended hypothesis. Part of me was worried that the summary I put together may not be completely aligned with their expectations. But my worries were unnecessary and they were very pleased with the work we had done. We had a rich discussion of the results and identified new questions that the data could not have answered but would be well-suited for a future study we could conduct for them. This was followed by a very productive meeting with members of the Commercial team where we discussed pros and cons of different approaches to resolve a recurring problem we had been having. Then I had a wonderfully helpful meeting with a member of the Data Science team where we shared best practices for data management, cleaning, and analysis.
This series of interactions confirmed for me that there is truly a collaborative spirit at Evidation with internal partners as well as external ones. And I soon discovered this was not an uncommon occurrence either. I have continued to have many more days similar to the one above.
In order to accomplish our (Evidation’s) mission of attaining better health outcomes, we will need everyone’s input and ideas. It is easy to say we will be collaborative in our work but the challenge is truly in the implementation of that vision. The process is not perfect or seamless, it can be challenging and seemingly inefficient, but I think that’s how we know we are doing it the right way.
Favorite TV show?
Game of Thrones
What’s your preferred approach to earning points on Achievement?
Research and studies!
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Instantaneous teleportation, I’ve been a trekkie since I was a kid and have a 1-1.5 hr daily commute, so I have had a lot of time to reflect on how much time this superpower would save me.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Have you ever gone skydiving or bungee jumping?
Do you have any fun (ok, weird) hobbies?
Is eating cheese a hobby? I eat a lot of cheese. However, I try to counteract my cheese hobby by staying physically active, and most recently I’ve taken up cycling. I learned how to ride a bike in my mid 20s so I’m not the most stable person on a bike but I enjoy getting outdoors and seeing the amazing views of the ocean and San Francisco from Marin County. It’s also fun to ride by all the gorgeous houses and through the quaint neighborhoods up there.