Becoming a data analyst: three students share their experience

Becoming a data analyst: three students share their experience

As our Train 100 Data Analysts (T100) project nears completion, we caught up with one recent graduate and two current students about their experience acquiring new digital skills.

Designed to test innovative solutions for sourcing, training, and securing Data Analysts into employment, our first pilot took significant steps forward in meeting the digital workforce needs of tomorrow. Congratulations to all the recent graduates and those completing their training!

Q&A with Gina Daco

How did you become involved in the DSO's Train 100 Analysts initiative?

I have a few different email alerts for jobs in the IT and digital space and the Goanna course appeared in one of those alerts. I was previously working as a junior level data analyst with an SME. Unfortunately, I was made redundant in October 2020. Losing my job made me realise I needed to upskill.

What were your expectations going into it?

My main objective was to get trained, upskill and reskill. Ultimately, I was looking to re-enter the workforce.

How challenging was the actual learning experience?

It is a six-month programme and very full-on. We learn the theory and then do exercises and case studies across different platforms like Excel, Python, Database and TSQL, and Power BI. It is a full-time programme, and we are all kept busy with case studies and learning new skills and technologies.

Can you see yourself using these skills in your previous job?

I could have used the skills I have now in my previous job, absolutely. When I was made redundant last year, my previous employer informed me that they didn't need an analyst anymore.

That employer was a smaller business owner owned by a major Australian cooperation. They did not offer to upskill or reskill me. My role as an analyst was considered a business function, not an IT function. I have worked in IT before and upskilling and reskilling is traditionally part of that function in a company. But I was on the business side, where on-the-job training wasn't really a thing.

How would you apply the digital skills you have acquired in the world today?

There are practical applications everywhere because data capture is exploding. But businesses and other organisations need data analysts to understand, interpret and use data effectively. It needs to be brought to life. I am excited about what I can do with data to drive companies to become more successful.

Have you managed to secure a job as a data analyst?

I hope so! I am in the final stages of interviewing for a job as an entry-level data analyst. Goanna facilitated the process and suggested I apply for the role. I am very grateful to them and the DSO for the opportunity. I can't wait to get back into work and use the new skills I have learned.

Q&A with Pravin Shetty

How did you become involved in the DSO's Train 100 Analysts initiative?

I was interested in upskilling myself and learning programmes like Microsoft Azure and Power BI. I was applying for a job opening when I was hit with a pop-up ad from Goanna. I applied for the course and did a 40-minute interview and was accepted.

My background is in ICT solutions and project management for the airport industry, so I already had some digital skills experience.

What were your expectations going into it?

I was looking forward to deep learning, case studies, team building and hearing from industry leaders on various methods and applications.

How challenging was the actual learning experience?

We had multiple challenges as part of our assignments. Getting into new complex areas of data and solving problems was challenging but very interesting and rewarding.

Which skills are you interested in pursuing?

There is an AWS course coming up through Goanna that I'd be very interested in doing. I'm eager to learn more about artificial intelligence and machine learning.

If you could have any job, in any industry, what would it be?

I'd like to return to the airport industry because I can already see how data analytics can be used to streamline operations and make people's lives much easier.

I have more than 12 years of experience as an ICT professional working in airports and can see many challenges that can be solved with data, such as improving cloud-based software and platform-based data integration (Saas, PAAs or iPaas), an integrated dashboard for key stakeholders. I've used dashboards that aren't fed the right information and are not cloud-based. By using a programme like Power BI, I can already see how those problems can be solved.

Q&A with Kseniya Juby

How did you become involved in the DSO's Train 100 Analysts initiative?

I visited the Goanna website and applied for the course. I attended an interview and there were a few steps to go through. It was quite a spontaneous decision.

How challenging was the actual learning experience?

It is an intensive course, but I like to challenge myself. I'm really grateful for this opportunity and have learnt a lot in a short space of time. There is also plenty of support which has been great. The educators take the time to explain things, even during break time, which is helpful. They have inspired me to keep learning and looking for work in the digital sector.

Which skills are you interested in pursuing?

I have completed Information Technology courses in Network Security and IT Networking.

If you could have any job, in any industry, what would it be?

I would love an internship or apprenticeship opportunity as a Data Analyst or Cyber Security Analyst to get some professional experience in the industry and see where it leads.

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