Behind the Scenes with Josh Collins

Life at Metromile: Data Analyst

Mesa, Arizona native Josh Collins isn’t wasting any time. Starting as a claims investigator in 2019, he’s already on his second career at Metromile as a data analyst. We talked to Josh about what originally brought him to Metromile, his exciting new role, and what he loves most about his work.

What was your career like prior to Metromile?

When I graduated college, I fell into a role as a claims adjuster for an auto insurance company and worked there for a few years then I went back to school while working to get a master’s in data analytics. At that same time, I had a friend who was working in claims for Metromile. In talking with my friend, I came to understand that Metromile was a company that highly values data science and data analytics, so that was my first inkling that it might be a good fit. It was clearly a place that had a lot of opportunities. 

What was your first role at Metromile?

Initially, I interviewed for a claims position since I already had that experience. I got the job and started out doing claims investigations in the special handling unit (SHU), which specifically investigates claims with a higher risk for fraud. I worked in claims for over two years while also working on finishing my master’s degree.

While I was working in claims, my manager allowed me to take on several side projects so I could learn more about the company and gather experience that I could later pull from.

Eventually, he connected me with the data analytics team, where I received a hands-on mentorship that helped me learn what it takes to be a successful data analyst. I just started my new role in data analytics this month!  

What does your new role as a data analyst entail?

I’m on the Insights team, which provides data support for all the various departments here at Metromile. For example, say the Claims team requests a report to understand trends within their scope of the business. My job would be to write the query that pulls the data, analyze the data, create any relevant visualizations, and then present my work to the claims team in a medium that best suits the request, whether that’s a dashboard (i.e., a visual presentation of requested data), a spreadsheet, or a written report. 

What else do you do besides provide support for various departments?

Though the bulk of our work involves supporting other teams, we also continually monitor health metrics for the company. That might include anything that’s crucial to the business, for example, how many policies are in force at any one time. 

We also assign a team member every week to follow health metrics for our existing dashboards. That usually entails checking in on the dashboards regularly throughout the day to make sure there are no anomalies. If anything pops up that’s out of the ordinary, that person lets the rest of our team know so we can decide who to notify, how to investigate the issue, and what needs to be done to address it.

 It’s also our job to monitor customer service ratings, to ensure our customers are satisfied with the services we provide. A lot of people may not necessarily think of customer satisfaction when they think of data analysis, but it’s a huge component of what we do. It always comes down to the customer.

What do you like most about working at Metromile?

For me, the biggest strength of working at Metromile is its culture. Everybody really cares about each other here, and people get pretty emotionally invested in everything that goes on. I’m not someone who usually says “ Oh, the workplace is like a family.” But Metromile really is as close as you could get to that. As I mentioned, management on my claims team knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do next. Though it was no immediate benefit to them, they still did everything they could to help me grow as a professional and get me over to the team that I wanted to be on. There really aren’t any selfish people at Metromile. It’s a very supportive and nurturing environment, where everybody wants everyone else to succeed. We all set each other up for success, whether that means staying in the same role or moving on.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

We have one value here we call “invent the future.” It’s all about looking at what we can do that pushes the envelope in the industry, regardless of which department you’re in. So we love people who are very creative in their thought process and in the way that they approach their work—people with unique mindsets and ideas.

We’re also dedicated to creating fiercely loyal customers, so we want people who will always put the customer first. As a data analyst, sometimes my “customer” is other departments here at Metromile. I treat an internal customer with as much care and attention as a customer buying an insurance policy. We’re really looking for people like that, who already have that customer-first mindset.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I play ice hockey and I also enjoy mountain biking. I have a hard time committing to going to the gym every day so I try to do fun outdoor activities that keep me active. I also have four dogs, so my wife and I spend a lot of our free time with them. It’s a zoo, but I love it!