1. Book your trip
The first step in planning a getaway is to book your flights and accommodation, and there are loads of websites to help. Some even aggregate listings from multiple sources so you can compare prices and flight durations.
The job: Data analyst Ben Smith worked on one of these websites, HotelsCombined.com, for almost three years. His role was to run experiments to see how changing tiny elements on the site, such as the position of a photo, could influence the number of bookings. “As soon as you land on the website, you’re probably involved in four or five different experiments,” Ben says. “There’s not really one single version of the website.”
Skills required: Analysing the results of these experiments requires statistical skills and algorithms are used to determine the ordering of search results. However Ben always keeps his users in mind. “You’re looking at numbers all day, but you’ve got to remember these numbers represent real people.”