At GirlBoss NZ, we know Data Analytics is awesome. So we sat down with two very cool Data Analysts from Datamine to get the inside scoop on what a career in Data Analytics is all about!
Tell us about what you two do at Datamine?
Sarah: I am a technical lead and also ‘geek’, which is what Datamine (lovingly) calls the members of our technical teams. We work with the sales consultants to come up with solutions for clients’ problems, then work with the team to implement these solutions.
Sara: I’m a Technical Graduate at Datamine, so I’m part of the geek team as well – at the moment I’m currently working closely with the analyst team to examine data and communicate the findings, but I’ll also get to move around to different technical teams as part of the programme.
What makes being a Data Analyst so awesome?
Sarah: We get to look at so many different types of data and types of problems/challenges, which ends up being really exciting. Businesses have data where they didn’t before, so people who know what to do with it are in high demand! The opportunities are pretty much endless, and you can move around in the field, which means that you can look for what you particularly enjoy.
Sara: Data analysts rarely get bored. Your options are very open because you’ve got an abstract skill that’s applicable to so many different industries, from using data to understand human behaviour and health, to predicting who will win an upcoming sports game, or even where to build a new store. When you think about it, it’s quite powerful that you don’t need to necessarily be an industry expert to provide recommendations or insight into a specific problem – and of course this means if you become really good at it, you have the chance to go really far and be successful.
What is Datamine's outlook on (and goals for) gender diversity in the workplace?
Sarah: Datamine recognises that, particularly in the technical space, we have to take a more targeted approach to hire females and achieve that gender balance. At the moment, we’ve actually got more female analysts than male, but we’re working on diversifying our development team upstairs. In terms of the way gender is approached at Datamine, I personally have not felt any pressure at all as a female or a mother to act a certain way. Perhaps that’s unusual in the workplace, but I would like to think these days it’s not.
Sara: From what I can tell, I think ultimately Datamine wants to get to the point where we’re at a 50/50 split and we can then completely factor out the gender of any employee when hiring. In my experience (and not just at Datamine), the roles of men and women are becoming quite similar at work and home, which we definitely see at Datamine with our gender split across most teams.
If someone reading this is now excited about Data Analytics, how would they get involved and learn more?
Sarah: Stick with maths, science and computer studies, but be well-rounded. Almost as important as your analytical skills are your communication skills – there is no benefit in doing amazing analytics if you can’t tell anyone about it! In my experience your greatest resource is the people around you who are already in these fields. Talk to your teachers, careers advisors, family and friends, because they will have ideas of what is out there (perhaps areas which you don’t even know exist yet).
Sara: I agree with Sarah – I have also found it helpful watching videos on YouTube where people talk about their data analyst career experiences (e.g. Real talk with Instagram Data Scientist). You realise that people have come into this field from such a variety of backgrounds, but if you are interested in it, can logically think using numbers or symbols and have strong communication skills then you’ll probably do well and enjoy it.
Thank you so much to our incredible Data Analysts!