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The Many Faces of Pivotal: A Conversation with Hassan Dibadj, Senior Data Engineer

Written by: Sylvia Marten

In this blog series, we’ll introduce you to the people behind the great work that Pivotal Analytics delivers for healthcare systems, developers, brokers, and others who are as committed as we are to improving healthcare investment decisions that lead to higher ROI and better care access.

Hassan Dibadj first began working with Pivotal as a data engineer on a contract basis in February 2022. It quickly became evident that he’d make a strong, valuable addition to our permanent team. He’s now a full-time in-house senior data engineer—part of the highly experienced group that works with the data that’s at the heart of what Pivotal delivers for clients across the healthcare industry.

Why Hassan Chose Pivotal

What attracted Hassan to Pivotal was the combination of a strong fit with his background and the opportunity to grow and thrive in a culture that facilitates and values learning.

“Pivotal deals with a variety of data I have experience working with, including healthcare and demographic data,” says Hassan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a graduate degree in analytics and decision sciences. His work with Alberta Health Systems is a prime example: As a data scientist there, he designed solutions that improved quality of care by connecting medical faculties and practicing physicians with decision support systems.

“I learned that healthcare data is well documented, yet it’s also vast and complex enough to create all kinds of knowledge gaps,” he says. “It really takes a team to understand what the data means.” That experience prepared him for what he calls “the investigative work” his role at Pivotal will entail.

“Having worked with healthcare data, I know the right questions to ask and I’m not afraid to ask them,” he says.

Beyond the technical fit, Hassan felt that Pivotal offered a great culture fit—the kind of environment he wants to be a part of. As opposed to some of the larger companies he’s worked with—where task assignments can be rigid—he was eager to join a smaller team that offers lots of flexibility and opportunities to learn and grow.

“In larger companies, if you have ideas for improvement, it can be hard to implement them,” he explains. He was drawn to Pivotal’s collaborative culture and the open lines of communication that enable everyone to learn from each other.

Hassan also acknowledges that all small teams aren’t created equal. “At Pivotal, I know I can reach out to others, ask questions, and tap all the great knowledge we have here,” he says. He also appreciates that Pivotal’s leadership is approachable, available, and open to new ideas and better ways to work.

How Hassan Spends His Day at Pivotal

“I’m the guy in the basement,” is how Hassan jokingly describes the behind-the-scenes work he does to support the deliverables that Pivotal provides to clients across the healthcare spectrum. “I do the work that our clients don’t necessarily see.” That involves tasks like serving as the custodian of the data we maintain in the cloud via Microsoft Azure, ensuring it’s always updated, documented, and ready for our teams to use as they analyze healthcare real estate investment opportunities for healthcare systems, brokers, and developers.

He likens his data engineering and database work to the underlying structure that fuels search engines.

“If you’re looking for an area restaurant and you get a list of choices, you don’t think about the databases that are feeding that information and generating those results,” he says. Similarly, Hassan ensures Pivotal has the robust, complete data we need to help clients answer crucial questions, like “Where are our best market opportunities?” and “What kind of healthcare facilities will enable us to best capitalize on those opportunities?” He says, “It’s not exciting to describe my work, but it’s the foundation for what we do for our clients.”

Looking ahead, Hassan is eager to continually push the envelope on using the most advanced database technology, like Azure Data Bricks, to deliver ever-improving services to our clients. And he’s excited about what the future holds for solutions like Pivotal.

“Any time there is a new way of combining and using data to provide better insights, it can be very promising,” he says. “We’re tapping data that hasn’t been explored or taken advantage of before to deliver insights on healthcare real estate investments and create value.”

On the Personal Front…

With an upbringing that took him from Iran to Canada to upstate New York, Hassan is the kind of person everyone counts on to interject his unique dry wit every now and then, which is especially appreciated when the work gets a little stressful. Clients often tell Hassan that they’re thankful he does the thinking for them—a testament to the fact that he’s always thinking one step ahead. But they’re just as likely to encourage him to take some time off!

When Hassan does step away from work, he enjoys spending time on the water. If money was no object, he’d own and operate his own yacht as opposed to having to hire a captain and crew. While he doesn’t single out any one individual who’s had the greatest influence on his life, he believes he would have done much better financially if he did let other people influence him more. And if he was a superhero, Hassan believes his special superpower would be curing insomnia—something the books he gravitates toward tend to do for him!

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