Richard Podkolinski

Data Scientist // Statistician // Mathemagician

+31 (0) 63 08 47 292 // LinkedIn // Blog // Tasmanstraat 206, 2518VT Den Haag, The Netherlands, Earth


Highly adaptive scientist, analyst, developer and designer. Adept at interacting with complex unstructured data for the construction of statistical products, including descriptive or predictive models, interactive visualizations and infographics. Skilled at training non-technical coworkers in best-practices for reproducible analysis, data management and visual communication.



  • Administered research & analytical projects on a wide range of economic, political and scientific topics.
  • Employed diverse statistical and machine learning methods for the development of analytical products.
  • Developed creative research methods for statistical modeling and analysis in difficult environments.
  • Connected technical audiences with non-technical administrators and content producers.


  • Directed a company-wide design process from project concept to final output.
  • Developed infographics & online interactive visualizations in support of projects.
  • Taught theoretical and practical perspectives on visual communication.
  • Designed branding, promotional material, reports, magazines and books for external publication.


  • Developed statistical models for handling unique analytical tasks
  • Constructed information extraction methods for dealing with large quantities of qualitative data.
  • Generated innovative solutions for data processing and feature extraction.
  • Assembled databases from online data for analytical projects.



Data Scientist
    Enabling IKEA's development toward a data-driven ecosystem. This includes:
  1. The design of a proof of concept for data science activities within the company, including requirements for system infrastructure, software tooling and professional competence profiles.
  2. The development of functional prototypes that make use of statistical analysis and machine learning to translate data into improved decision making, including customer segmentation modeling, impact analysis and offer optimization.
  3. Training coworkers to leverage open-source tools for automation and enriched analysis.


Data Analyst
    Part-time analyst during my Master program, with several tasks including:
  1. Clustering of agricultural data with the aim of improving production yields
  2. Developing of models for quantifying returns of various marketing investments


Data Scientist

The development of analytical methods for dealing with 'big data'.

  1. Collecting open-source tools to allow for input, manipulation, exploration, modeling and interpretation of online marketing data.
  2. The creation of time-series forecasting models.
  3. Development of probabilistic models for customer exploration and stratification.
  4. Reverse engineering and upgrading bid management solutions.


Freelance Designer & Developer

Met the needs of social scientists requiring access to design and/or development skills. This included the creation of interactive data visualizations, the development of tools that facilitate or automate open-source research and data mining as well as more traditional design activities.

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Instructor of Visual Communication

Developed and executed a course on visual communication specifically aimed at PhD’s in social science. The course covered three primary areas:

  1. data management of quantitative and qualitative information;
  2. design and cognitive theory for effective communication;
  3. summary of the existing tools for visualization.

The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Policy Analyst

Produced analysis for the NATO, the EU, Various Dutch Ministries, large corporations and private clients.

Directed the company-wide visual design process, assisting analysts with resources and developing infographics and visualizations.

Contributed to foresight studies on the security implications of technological and scientific trends.

Administrated broad multinational collaborative projects.


KU Leuven

Msc, Statistics

My educational strategy: "I've had a few jobs where people ask me to make an apple pie from scratch, so I want to know how to make the universe"

Primary focus on two broad categories:

  • Linear Models
  • Generalized and Mixed Models
  • Survival and Time-to-Event Analysis
  • Robust Statistics
  • Probabilistic Graphical Models

    Machine Learning
  • Trees
  • Artificial Neural Networks
  • Support Vector Machines
  • Kernel Learning
  • Genetic Algorithms
  • Optimization

Thesis Topic: Predictive Maintenance in the Sustainable Energy Domain

Universiteit Leiden & Clingendael Institute

MA, International Relations & Diplomacy

Graduated Cum Laude from a joint program between the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael and Leiden University.

Completed a comprehensive data analysis and interactive presentation on the effectiveness of American counterinsurgency operations in Iraq.

University of Calgary

BA/BA, Political Science & Sociology

Dual Major, Political Science concentrated in International Relations, Sociology concentrated in Structured Inequalities.



  • R
  • Pydata
  • Ruby
  • jQuery
  • Javascript


  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Flash
  • SVG Graphics


  • Windows/Linux/Mac
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Wordpress CMS
  • MySQL & SQLite3
  • Version Control (Git)


Digital Presentations




I have worked with Richard both as a colleague and as a customer. Throughout the course of several projects, whether it involved designing graphs, compiling and synthesizing large amounts of data, or building visualizations, from start to finish Richard’s work has been characterized by a commitment to quality and detail. His dedication to finding new, smarter and more insightful ways to make sense out of large amounts of unstructured data is truly impressive. He has a strong ability to visualize data quickly, clearly and convincingly. In addition I have come to know him as a person who is passionate about his work, who combines the valuable qualities of understanding the dynamics of contemporary international affairs as well as having in-depth IT-skills, and has demonstrated a continuous commitment to learning. Besides, he’s a very entertaining and pleasant individual.
- Rem Korteweg
Richard is the perfect example of how one should not judge a book by its cover. On the outside Richard may appear to be odd, even aloof. But don’t be fooled. Richard is exceptionally intelligent and possesses an infinite desire to learn and overcome challenges. His creativity and ability to process complex data into coherent, easy to read, visually attractive models is superb.
- Erin (Normile) Elzinga
Richard is an exceptional thinker and incredibly creative mind. Like few others Richard is able to make juggle data and make complex relationships visibly attractive and easy to understand. Dedicated and determined, Richard is never afraid to walk the extra mile! Would definitely work with him in the future again.
- Jaakko Kooroshy
Richard is an exceptionally creative designer and always meticulous in his preparation. In any project he engages in, he brings a great eye for detail and thinks through what the specific requirements are for the data. This I already knew from our previous working relationship at HCSS.
To the course on Visual Communication at the UVA Richard designed (and I organized) he brought a great deal of knowledge on aesthetics, data management, software and especially on discarding the extraneous to get to the core of the message.
- Paul van Hooft
Over the past eight months, I have tasked Richard with a wide-variety of design projects. At every turn, Richard surpassed my expectations. Richard’s combination of raw talent, passion for design, and tremendous pride in his work drove him to deliver the highest quality results. In addition to his production contributions, Richard also proved quite invaluable in the concept development process, relating technical design concepts in an easily understood manner. He challenged me to move beyond “pretty picture” requests and come up with ideas that conveyed my desired message on multiple levels.
- George Boone