Women In GIS: Zainul Nurani

By Directions Staff

What is your position in your company?

I am the Director of Site Analytics at Claritas / National Decision Systems in San Diego.I have been here for 5 years.My primary responsibility is to help our clients with solutions and tools related to real estate expansion, from helping them prioritize and rank large markets for expansion opportunity to providing sales forecast models for site evaluation.When I joined NDS I had not had any significant experience in GIS.

Zainul Nurani
What is your background?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Wales, U.K.and a Masters degree in Statistics from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.I have worked in many diverse fields that include teaching university level Mathematics and Statistics, software development, and, for a short period in my life, running a specialty coffee shop! My first introduction to demographic/psychographic analysis was at Readers Digest, Canada in 1970's where I analyzed their subscriber database for marketing applications.

Would you recommend GIS to other women?

I believe that women can do and be anything they want to be so , yes, a woman in GIS is not an anomaly! Anybody with an aptitude for pattern recognition, be it patterns in raw data or patterns in spatially distributed data, can be a GIS analyst.Being able to take this a step further and formalize this into a deployable solution requires some training in Statistics.There are numerous Wesites related to GIS and I would recomment that this a good place to start learning what GIS is and its diverse applcations.

What is the accomplishment of which you are most proud.

At this point in my life, I tend to be more philosophical and assess my life in terms of personal rather than professional achievements so it is difficult for me to name ONE accomplishment that I am especially proud of.

What does your typical day or week look like?

My typical day is divided between participating in conference calls with clients, listening to their goals and objectives, brainstorming with my peers to find the best solution, writing proposals outlining the solution, The majority of my time is spent in doing research and developing models, presenting the finding verbally and in written document.

Why is GIS an exciting industry in which to participate?

Technology and the power of desktop systems has made it possible to harness the power of GIS for a great variety of applications in government, business and industry and scientific research.GIS technology and the availability of digital data on regional and global scales will help greatly in the management and analysis of these large volumes of data, allowing for better understanding of terrestrial processes and better management of human activities to maintain world economic vitality and environmental quality.

What is the most important "next thing" that will happen in GIS?

Through a function known as visualization, a GIS can be used to produce images - not just maps, but drawings, animations, and other cartographic products.These images allow researchers to view their subjects in ways that literally never have been seen before.The images often are equally helpful in conveying the technical concepts of GIS study subjects to non-scientists.

Before you came to GIS, what did you think your career would be in?

With my statistics background my original career choice was to be an Actuary.

Email: Zainul Nurani
URL: http://claritas.com

More Women in GIS

Published Saturday, February 5th, 2000

Written by Directions Staff

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