Team Q&A: Zack Storms – Data Scientist
Our very own Data scientist Zack Storms has a history of helping create robust forecasting tools that can help operations better plan today for tomorrow. Join us in formally welcoming Zack to the Virtual Peaker team!
How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?
I’ve served in a variety of technical roles over the past eight years that have centered on analytics and predictive modeling. My experience as a data analyst taught me how to gather data, organize it, and derive meaningful conclusions. Although my current job revolves around making inferences about future events, it’s critical for me to understand historical trends in the exploratory phase of projects, so that I can use the right inputs for my predictive models.
Prior to joining the team, I worked as a Data Scientist for a Louisville-based commodity and energy markets data provider. Developing proprietary forecasting tools for utility customers directly translates to the work I now do for Virtual Peaker, and provided a baseline knowledge of the US electrical grid and the various interconnected regions that comprise it.
Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.
I’m a Data Scientist here at Virtual Peaker. In layman’s terms, I analyze data to identify trends and patterns and deliver actionable insights for customers. Since joining the Virtual Peaker team earlier this year, I have been focused on building & improving our new Envision forecasting tool, which ensures our utility customers have a reliable supply of power at the best price via load forecasting. The load forecasts inform utilities when to expect elevated levels of demand for power, so they can adjust their operations accordingly. On a day-to-day basis, I use machine learning approaches to make our forecasts more accurate and reliable.
How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts?
I spend quite a bit of time working on my lawn, and I decided to switch to electric yard equipment for my mower, weedeater, and leaf blower a few years ago. More recently, my SUV reached the end of its usable life, so I opted to purchase a hybrid vehicle this time around. I’ve since doubled the number of miles I can travel per gallon, and reduced my overall emissions in the process. I also try to buy items second-hand or refurbish home furnishings as much as possible. It saves me money and prevents additional waste in the long run.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I’m a native Kentuckian and have lived here the vast majority of my life. Originally, I’m from the Rough River Lake area, but I’ve resided in Louisville for the past six years. In the summer, I spend the vast majority of my free time with family and friends at the lake.
When I’m not at the lake, I enjoy spending time outside with my dog Jack, taking photos of sunsets and landscapes, and checking out new restaurants & attractions here in town. Community service is important to me, which is why I chose to become a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana about three years ago. Long story short, I appreciate the simpler things in life and try my best to help people when I can.