This interview was conducted by Erica Freedman, Content Specialist at SwitchUp.
SwitchUp sat down with Neus Montserrat, an alumni of Ubiqum Code Academy to discuss data and analytics. Neus has always worked with data, but found that her educational background wasn’t paving the career path she truly wanted. With degrees in Business Management and Research and Marketing, she wanted to further develop her data skill sets and enter the world of Business Analysis. In search of a full-time program, she found the Ubiqum Code Academy Data Analyst, Machine Learning and Big Data program, and was able to fully immerse herself in project-based learning. After extensive training and career support, Ubiqum helped Neus land a job where she feels like a key decision maker and integral part of the team. Read more about her journey below:
What is your educational background in and how did you decide to attend Ubiqum Code Academy’s data program?
I studied Business Management at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona) and Research and Marketing Techniques at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (online).
I was working as a Project Manager and Analyst in a marketing agency when I found out about Ubiqum’s bootcamps. What I liked most about the program was the “Learn by Doing” methodology, the topics looked at on the program and the tools that you learn to use, which all focused on preparing the student to be hired and making them highly employable.
I had an interview with the bootcamp Director, Sebastián Barajas, to see if it could be the right course for me. After the interview I was totally convinced that it was the professional change I was looking for and decided to quit my job so that I could start the course and find a new job related to data analysis.
Do you feel your original background and data analysis are related? If so, how?
Yes, they are.
In my previous jobs I had always worked with data: financial data, marketing campaign data, sales data… However, I had never used any kind of specific tool or algorithm to analyse it, instead, I used Excel to do my analysis. I have always been involved in projects that required data analysis but I didn’t have the knowledge to do with the right tools, and therefore efficiently.
My previous experience in marketing and business helped me a lot. In data analysis you first need to formulate the business questions, then analyse the data to get insights and finally go back to the question with a non-technical response (most of the time), so I was quite good at that!
How did you decide to attend Ubiqum? What made it the right program for you?
I was looking for a full-time program (9 to 5) with a focus on working on real business cases, not only equipping you with the technical skills but also putting you in real scenarios as a Data Analyst. We did a lot of role playing, worked on our presentation skills, learned the importance of storytelling when doing presentations and how to take a business question, gather insights from data and return with a business recommendation based on our findings.
I liked the fact that other students came from different backgrounds (engineering, physics, sales…) as this enriched my experience; I could see different ways to approach the same dataset or problem through the many perspectives my colleagues offered.
You currently work as a Business Analyst at Sogeti and give service to HP. What does this title mean and what does a normal day at work look like for you?
I’m working on a project for HP large format printing in the Customer Success team. It means working with very different kinds of data in order to provide useful reports to, for instance, the Account Managers, so they can help their customers to understand how they are performing with their printers.
Some of the data projects I’ve worked on:
I’ve been testing different tools that apply natural language processing and sentiment analysis to customer feedback to choose the best option and implement it in HP.
I’ve created dashboards in Power BI, automatised analysis with R scripts, and created reports containing metrics related to efficiency. I’ve also done a revenue and profitability analysis for some of our customers and predicted future profitability.
Have you faced any challenges trying to become a Data Analyst?
For a profile like mine, one of the main challenges has been to learn to program in R. My mind was not used to working with code so this was the part I had to dedicate most of my time to.
Has Ubiqum helped you to get a job as a Data Analyst? If so, how?
We had several sessions related to job placement. Every week, we worked on improving our CVs or would practise interview techniques, like working on the elevator pitch. Their career counselling process is very useful for people who feel insecure about the interview process, because you can share experiences between colleagues and become more confident.
Where do you see your career heading in the next 5–10 years?
I will continue studying on my own and learning about what the market needs. I plan to specialise in Big Data or become a Data Scientist.
What makes you most passionate about the world of data analysis?
I have been fortunate enough to enter a newly created department and the need for data is very large, so any insight we can contribute is used and serves as a great decision maker. You feel that you are a key part of the team and are involved in many of the important decisions.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before pursuing this career track, what would it be?
Maybe not to wait so long in deciding whether to start the course at Ubiqum Code Academy, since it was a very good decision and it allowed me to make the professional change I was looking for.
Want to learn what other alumni have said about our Data Analytics program?