When picking a career, think passion not gender

8th of March is an important day, it marks the celebration of Women’s Day – belated Happy Women’s Day!!!

This day means a lot to me, it encourages us as women to think about our skills and experience. It helps us see role models and highlights other women’s achievements so we can learn from one another.

In February I had the honour to be part of an amazing successful Women at the Wheel panel that was speaking about Data Analytics in Automotive, Women at the Wheel is a brilliant group of inspiring men and women working in the automotive industry that I am personally a big fan of.

Celebrating Women’s Day made me think about a question I was asked on the panel and thought to share with you in my blog.

The question was, What is one of the challenges I faced when I started in analytics and what would be my advice to someone in the same place now?

As many of you know I came to data analytics from the other side so kind of faced the technical challenge when I first started.

My journey with analytics started in my MBA, I was doing a consulting internship and my client asked how to utilise big data. Have to admit, had no idea what they were speaking about at that time, I went to research it and literally didn’t sleep that night. Started reading about analytics and got completely hooked on it. Changed my MBA focus, dropped subjects and decided to do a dissertation instead…I built a framework for Strategic Big Data Implementation in companies. Moved to London and contacted multinationals to understand their journey. Interviewed executives and directors to understand their careers too.  It was kind of a different way of getting to understand Data Analytics compared to the normal technical route.

Coming to Data Analytics from the strategic side helped me understand that analytics as a word is often confused with Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, Blockchain, you name it. Some of those areas are part of the data analytics function in companies, while you can find them as their own function in others. This adds to the confusion when people think about having analytics as a career. Yeah, there are many new fancy terms out there, so my suggestion as a first step would be to actually go and speak to people working in those areas and understand what they do. This will give you the understanding of what your options are. 

Ask them questions like: What their day is like, How did they have this career path, Why do they have passion for their area, What are the challenges they face, How do they continuously learn and what are the resources out there 

There are so many areas within Data Analytics, make sure to find what you are passionate about and it will not be an issue to commit. If you have passion for it, you will easily commit the time and effort. The field requires continuous development, reading and being always up to date. Passion definitely helps!

When looking for a career, think passion. Everyone’s journey is different and there isn’t a one size fits all. I am still learning and will continue to learn from the inspiring people I have the privilege to know and from inspiring people who share their stories on different platforms. It is through sharing our challenges and journey we can learn from one another.

Happy Women’s Day!!!

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