A day in the life of an Economist – Andrew Beattie

Andrew Beattie has recently joined the Infometrics Team.  This month we sit down to chat with Andrew about what he’s working on at Infometrics and what he sees in the future.

Crucial to all our futures is our treatment of plastic.  Andrew looks at how New Zealanders are addressing this issue in his article “Kiwis embrace a lower plastics life”  in our August newsletter. 

Bio – Andrew Beattie

Studied at: University of Otago
Resides in: Wellington

Jacqui: Can you describe a typical day at work?

Andrew: A typical day might consist of providing fast, punchy analysis of economic data within a matter of hours after its public release. This could relate to anything from the housing market, the labour market, to tourism. Otherwise, I may be preparing a client report or improving the way we gather, interpret or present our economic analysis.

Jacqui: What is the nature of your work at Infometrics and how do clients benefit from what you do?

Andrew: To provide material and insights that help clients make well informed decisions. The clients may be restructuring their enterprise, changing their market scope, or simply curious. Whatever the reason, having relevant, timely information gives our clients the confidence to make big decisions and be ahead of the curve.

Jacqui: What are you currently working on?

Andrew: I’m usually juggling a few things, but this morning I worked on a model that estimates the undersupply or oversupply of housing for different regions across the country. This will help inform our construction clients on where residential construction is needed the most.

Jacqui: What has been your most rewarding work experience?

Andrew: It’s hard to pin-point one experience as my projects differ so much and are rewarding in different ways, but broadly speaking it’s all the knowledge that I’ve gained in a short space of time.

Jacqui: What has been your most challenging work experience?

Andrew: Transitioning from an academic mindset to a commercial setting where I need to keep the client’s interests at heart. It’s easy to find yourself down a rabbit hole trying to answer questions that might not need answering. Often, it’s best to take a step back and ask what’s actually important here?

Jacqui: What is your background and how has this influenced your work at Infometrics?

Andrew: I come from an organic sheep and beef farm in Canterbury. In between studying at Otago and working at Infometrics I travelled to Europe and South America which gave me a perspective of where I think our economy does well and where it could do better.

Jacqui: What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

Andrew: Do the mahi, get the treats.

Jacqui: What changes or challenges do you see in the future?

Andrew: Markets are becoming increasingly globalised. It will be important to identify where a product came from and what process made it, so we can understand what effects our consumption and production have on the world. Also, automation and artificial intelligence will change employment demands. The challenges will be adapting education to these changes so people are prepared for the future workforce. Investing in technologies that improve the quality of life rather than just expanding the technological frontier is also important.

Jacqui: What are your other major interests?

Andrew: Any sort of adventure activity; rock climbing, skiing, surfing, and I’ve recently got into white-water kayaking. I also play the guitar and enjoy cooking.

Jacqui: What do you enjoy doing when not at work?

Andrew: Going on perilous journeys in the ocean, down a river or up a mountain. I also enjoy sampling the vast selection of hoppy, malty beverages that Wellington has to offer.

Jacqui: What is an intriguing fact about you?

Andrew: As a child I never crawled. I just went from sitting to walking.

Jacqui: Thank you for chatting to us Andrew.  We look forward to hearing more about your work in the future.

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