Gad Ganir - Data Manager

He’s been living and breathing gadgets for years and he writes  a weekly gadgets column in Haaretz. We haven’t checked, but he might have used a record-breaking number of items from eBay’s catalog. We are happy to introduce Gad Ganir, our on site Data Manager.

Name: Gad Ganir
Position: Data Manager
You should know: He’s been a gadget freak since he was young, has a successful technology blog called “Hafitzim” and he writes a weekly column in Haaretz.
Has been working in eBay: 8 (!) years.

Hey Gad, tell us what do you do in eBay?

I am a Data Manager. We are the people who go through the product catalog, and we are responsible for content-related projects, from data gathering through organizing it to writing and optimizing it.

What does that mean? Give us an example.

Right now I am working on a project. It’s purpose is to go through the different categories in the website, and define IDentity set for each category. This way, we can identity the products in the category. For example, if a seller publishes a phone for sale, or when a buyer looks for one to buy, we can identify the phone by its brand and model, but that’s not enough. In order to identify a specific phone, we need more information, like color, storage, compatibility to different operators and more. By identifying these sets of data and making them accessible to sellers, we make the uploading process shorter and more efficient, and we cut down on item labeling mistakes. When a seller chooses a model from a predefined list, he’s less likely to make a mistake.

Sounds interesting. How did you end up on eBay?

I’ve loved gadgets all my life, and I also enjoyed buying and trying new technological inventions. Before eBay, I worked in a price comparison company. I was a content manager, and wrote reviews for products. I decided I wanted to go out to the “big world” and started looking for a job. eBay were looking for Data Managers and I applied. I came here with great passion to the field of products and consumerism, and with a good mileage and understanding of products, but it was only when I started working here that I began to learn and understand the world of Structured Data, on the scale that eBay deals with.

I was interested in the job from the get-go, but on my first year here I started missing the actual gadgets, the ability to play with them and review them. That’s why, on 2013, I started my blog, Hafitzim (Gadgets), in which I review new technological products. I cooperated with Haaretz and starting writing a review column there. It’s been five years since I’ve started that. I really enjoy what I do, on eBay and on my blog. It’s very satisfying professionally and I come to work with a smile every day.

What are the challenges you face on the job?

For me, the challenge is the tension between human-knowledge-based research and manual work, and wanting to make a tool automatic. I am a bit old school, and as a person who gets to physically handle some of the products, I have a point of view that makes it harder to let go and let machines do my job. I want to succeed in making these things and my knowledge of these products accessible to users on eBay. My challenge is to live with the balance between the manual research and these automatic processes. It’s an everyday challenge.

Why eBay?

Because it’s a very very good place to work at! Really, the conditions are excellent and the people are great. I really appreciate my managers and it’s fun to come to work in the morning. Other than that, eBay is very progressive when it come to work-life balance. I get to see my daughters every day, and not just to tuck them in. eBay encourages parents and parenting. The best indicator is that people stick around. A lot of employees have been with eBay for many years.

How are you dealing with the challenges of the coronavirus?

Personally and professionally I have no problem with working from home. Work goes on as usual, we deliver and everything is running smoothly. That’s also the feedback we get from management. Of course, it’s not always easy. At the peak of the lockdown it was very challenging to work when everybody is at home, but we got used to it. I am happy to say eBay is an output focused organization, it’s not about the amount of hours but on what we deliver. Naturally, after everyone got back to their routine, it was easier. While I miss the social aspect of working in the office, working from home has its own advantages.

Thanks for sharing, Gad. We hope you continue to enjoy your work, and we will continue to enjoy your blog.
Hopefully, we’ll go back to chatting in the open space soon.