I made the decision to change my career path in January 2022 after many months of considering the what, when and how questions. It was a tough decision to make for these reasons;
i. what do I really want to do? ii. where do I start from? iii. how long do I have to learn a skill?
However, I quickly reminded myself how badly I wanted to acquire a skill that is more in demand and also do what I enjoy for once. I’ve never worked as a data analyst to know if I would enjoy it in case you’re wondering, but one thing is certain: I do not enjoy my current job.
About my current Job
I. What do I currently do?
I work as a technical consultant in one of the leading fin-tech companies in Nigeria. Simply put, I deploy a core-banking system called Temenos T24 for financial institutions around Nigeria and Africa.
I have worked for financial institutions such as Keystone Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria, Primera Microfinance Bank Ltd, Lotus Bank, to mention a few.
II. My current skill set
Don’t get it twisted, my job has exposed me to a lot of technical skills such as data cleansing and manipulation, system report generation, ETL operation for data migration, implementation of specific T24 modules such as Arrangements Architect, routine compilation and debugging, versions and enquiries development, process scoping and documentation, UAT, etc.
Soft skills such as stakeholder management, presentation, client engagement, etc. However, it seem as though I was always yearning for more and wanted some form of visibility.
III. The issues
Aside from the obvious reasons like been under paid, poor work-life balance and heavy work load, I decided I wanted to continue my career outside of banking and finance.
Secondly, Temenos seems like a closed company that only serves financial institutions which I think is restricting for me.
Thirdly, it is required of a T24 consultant like me to upgrade my skills often by writing temenos examinations for different modules of the software I handle. However, the effort put into writing and passing those exams are never rewarded with an actual certificate. This is because Temenos as an organization sees the cumulative passed exams from the consultant of their partners (like my current work place) as a unit.
That is, the number of exams passed for a particular module equates to how capable the partner is in implementing that certain module.
Therefore, my work place pushes us to write these exams basically for its own growth, this isn’t bad in itself but I dislike that my effort is not being rewarded. For context, I have written over 17 temenos exams but have no certificates to show for them.
Most importantly, I wanted a skill that is transferable across different industries that if I choose to move to the aviation, health or the movie industry, I could still function and apply my skills and knowledge fully.
How do I conclude it was going to be Data Analyst?
At my current job, implementing the core banking software mostly requires migrating the client’s data. Before migration, the data for the different aspects of the business operations such as customers, accounts, loans, assets, etc., have to be extracted and transformed before loading.
These data are always cumbersome and quite tasking to analyze as you might have guessed. Ironically, I absolutely enjoyed that part of my job. Thus, I paused to reflect on the skills I possess that I utilize on a daily basis: at the core, they revolve around data.
I realized I love the data, numbers and figuring out how to arrange them in a more presentable way on a spread sheet. I enjoy the process of analyzing them. Realizing this, I thought I may want to look into Data Science.
Where it all Began.
I went on Google and read up a lot of articles regarding Data Science. Before then, I already have some basic knowledge of SQL and advanced excel skills.
Incidentally, I got an invitation to a school’s webinar where they discussed about data science and how I could acquire the necessary skills in the field following a structured road map. Upon completing the webinar, I decided to make an investment and enrolled myself for their advertised 6 months course.
“When a person really desire a thing, all the universe conspires to help realize their dreams” — Paulo Coelho
How is it going?
The deeper I dive into the world of data, the more I find myself loving it and daily thirsty for new knowledge around MS Excel, SQL, Power BI and python.
I am currently 2 months into the Data Science course I enrolled in and its been fantastic. After each month, we are made to work on capstone projects which must be submitted. In addition to that, I have completed a free Excel course on Udemy and I’m currently going through another udemy course on PowerBi.
Further more, I made sure to solve some SQL exercises I could find on sites like SQLZOO, w3schools, HackerRank, etc. Check out some of the exercise solution I compiled here.
In 2 weeks time from now, I would be writing a data fundamental certification exam, wish me luck!
I am very excited about the nearest future because my competence level as a data analyst has gone beyond intermediate. I will continue learning and sharing my journey on this path I have chosen.
My current goal is to secure a good paying job. I am open to working remotely or relocating as the case may be.
Thank you for reading
If I inspire you to take the bull of your career by the horn, then follow me on Twitter. I know what you’re going through and hope my journey would be helpful to you in a productive way.
Also, if you happen to be a recruiter who came across this post, please do well to recommend me for data analyst roles. Not only am I dedicated and passionate about my new career, I am also a great team player with good work ethics. See what my colleagues say about me.
I will keep documenting my journey. Thank you for reading.