2019 started with a bang for me, as I began my role as a Data & Analytics Executive at iProspect in Brisbane. Although Marketing isn’t an industry I’d considered before, it’s turning out to be a bit of a dream role for me.
My interest in technology was sparked when I started studying Information Systems and Data Science during my Masters. This refreshing idea of telling a story via empirical data piqued my interest and helped me find what I think is my true calling: I realised I wanted to work in the field of Data. Getting a role at iProspect that allows me to follow this passion is a big cherry on top!
Detail, data, intuition and repetition
Several years of training as a Statutory Auditor under the CA program helped me gain a keen eye for detail, while my experience dealing with a barrage of responsibilities during my time at a tele-medicine preventative healthcare start-up also helped me learn how communication was key for creating change.
And if there’s any industry that’s out there trying to create change, it’s marketing. What I love about marketing is that technology is right at the centre, driving all this change.
Conversations with data science professionals during with my studies helped me understand that the key to gaining insights from data is to build intuition. Whether it’s building intuition or gaining expertise in one’s field, I believe this is possible if one finds the will to stop all moving parts and learn by repetition in a fixed area of work.
After juggling the various responsibilities of managing client accounts, business development, and of course accounting and finance in previous jobs, my role at iProspect is now finally giving me the opportunity to settle and fix my focus on one single area. This aligns perfectly with my desire to become a thought leader in the field of analytics.
What the first month has been like
In the first month of my role, I’ve been able to equip myself with tools to extract and analyse data and report key insights to clients to enhance their marketing efforts. I would define my role as comprehending the needs of a business and highlighting the areas of waste and opportunities identified through sophisticated data collection and analysis.
Through the exceptional training and guidance from my peers at iProspect, I’m getting better at using the various analytical tools at our disposal, especially those provided by Google.
The automation of monthly reporting through dashboards created via Data Studio is one small example of how technology is advancing at a rapid pace and allowing us to spend more time doing things like brainstorming instead of getting bogged down in menial tasks like data entry, as was common in the past.
Before I started this role, I was working on a project devising autoencoders a means of unsupervised deep learning to detect anomalies in time-series data. The fact that my role allows me to even consider the possibility of using the techniques I am so passionate about is a sign that there is immense opportunity for me to grow here.
Academia vs. real life
My studies taught me how to work with vast amounts of data, but academic learning rarely covers the reality in a true sense. For example, in digital marketing, with countless variables and factors in play, predictive modelling through the analysis of panel data would not be worthwhile.
On the other hand, a lot of companies seem to be looking for solutions based on neural networks (a.k.a. “deep learning”) when in fact these problems are solvable by existing, well-proven machine learning models. It’s important to realise that the tools at hand already possess a lot of power – we don’t always need to chase the fanciest tech.
This industry is also exciting for me as it helps me understand the psyche of consumers, through data. It’s allowing me to use my creativity to communicate my findings to clients through presentations and reports. Unlike accounting, at least being creative in the field of digital marketing wont land me in prison… 😊