Meet Dipak, Graduate Data Analyst

Joined: 2021 Studied: BSc Chemistry at Loughborough University with Placement Year

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Dipak Patel

Graduate Data Analyst

Experian

What made you consider this career path following your studies?

Whilst studying chemistry at University I really enjoyed the analytical aspect as I felt it focussed more on data handling using statistics more than other disciplines. With that in mind, it meant that when I went looking for a placement in my second year my tutors advised me to not just focus on the scientific field, but to look further for analyst work as well. This led me to securing my placement role as an associate data analyst. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it because I would be “further from the science”, and I turned out to be completely wrong! The analysis I was doing was a science, and I found it really fascinating. I really enjoyed that year in industry and decided that was the path I wanted to follow after I got my degree.

What does your day-to-day role involve?

My typical day is usually split into two aspects, project work and non-project work. Project work takes the majority of the day, but there are exceptions for example when we have full day training sessions.

My project work is a mix of different things: analysis, meetings, documentation, presentations. The balance varies based on the stage of the project. For example, earlier in the project, I’d be doing more exploratory analysis and likely have more meetings with the team, so we understand the data and the documentation. Midway through a project is mostly analysis using Python or SQL, with regular check ins to check targets. Towards the end of the project the analysis is complete, so it’s important to make sure the work is documented and archived properly. If there is an external client involved then you would have meetings throughout the project, with some form of presentation for those specific calls.

The non-project work is mostly attending meetings, which include company wide webinars, extra-curricular committees/projects, assisting with ad-hoc tasks and general administration. Experian really encourages knowledge sharing, so there are weekly and monthly webinars where you can learn about different parts of the business. This really helps with contextualising the work you do and understanding what is going on at a regional, national and global level.

What stood out about Experian/Why did you apply?

I didn’t know very much about Experian when I found the role that was advertised, all I knew was that you could get your credit score on an app they made. So, I did some research and quickly realised that it is a huge company that is a technology company as much as it is a credit bureau. It has so many employees and so many roles that I had no idea existed.

I also looked at employee satisfaction and spoke to some of my former colleagues and was told that it is a great place to work, with lots of internal opportunities and support. That was very important to me, because I’m just starting out in my career and wanted to work somewhere that would value me and help me develop further.

How do you feel the EC Development Programme has helped with your learning journey so far?

The development programme has some useful training sessions on soft skills that I’ve been able to put to use in my day-to-day work. For example, giving or requesting feedback is a normal part of any job, be it focussed on strengths or opportunities for improvement. The difficult part can sometimes be giving helpful feedback which is actionable. As someone who doesn’t have much experience giving feedback in the work environment, which could impact someone’s work or delivery, the provided feedback sessions were helpful. I learnt not just how to give helpful feedback, but how to ask for it as well, which is something that I will be doing a lot of as a graduate data analyst.

What has been a key achievement/stand out moment so far? Soft Skill or Technical or Project you have been involved in?

My first project was a pseudo proof of concept, where we were using a specific programme to optimise a model for a client. This hadn’t been done in this manner before and was going to be a big challenge.

Over the course of a month, I learnt how to use the programme, its strengths, its limitations, how to prepare input data and how to manipulate the output data. It was a very steep learning curve, but I got to terms with it quickly and became the go-to person in my team for that programme. My project team were very supportive, but they also trusted me, which was empowering. In fact, they trusted me enough to lead a client call despite the fact I’d been in role for only 4 months. It was a great learning opportunity, though nervy at times!

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