Life at Mekari
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Life at Mekari

#RealJob: Business Intelligence, Supporting Company’s Growth through Data

At Pekan Ristek 2019, held by Faculty of Computer Science — University of Indonesia, Cecilia Astrid, a Senior Lead Data Engineer at Mekari, shared her insights on interesting career prospects in Business Intelligence.

Astrid graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She first became interested in data when she got her first job as a Software Engineer at MyVest, a tech company in Silicon Valley, USA. From her first job, she found that working with data is enjoyable and something that keeps her challenged. She then decided to pursue a career as a Data Engineer.

“Most popular jobs for Computer Science graduates are still System Engineer or something related to User Experience. Business Intelligence, on the other hand, only became popular recently, and is a promising niche to focus on,” Astrid said.

“Opinions will always stay as opinions without data.”

Astrid opened her talk by explaining the definition of data and its importance for a company. “Without data, everything that you say will only stay as opinions because there is no reliable fact supporting them,” Astrid said. She also added that even though many people are aware of the importance of data to business growth, most of them only source and store the data without turning it into something useful.

“90% of all data in the world are created within the last 4 years. But, only 1% of the world’s data is ever actually analyzed.” Source: 10 Marketing Trends (IBM, 2017).

According to Astrid, while sourcing and storing the data can be useful, it will mean nothing for the company if they are not analyzed and put to use. “Here, Business Intelligence comes to the rescue. We can transform useless data into an invaluable resource for the company,” Astrid explained.

The main responsibility of a Business Intelligence professional is to filter and analyze captured data using advanced tech in order to extract reliable conclusions. These conclusions can be used later for business leaders and decision-makers to make well-informed business decisions. Astrid used a real case based on her experience in Mekari to explain this further.

“In Mekari, the data team is responsible for supporting other divisions. For example, if the sales team wants to know how many customers have renewed their subscriptions, the data team will work to provide the valid data,” Astrid said.

Another example of a Business Intelligence job is to create dashboards consisting of relevant data that are useful for each department. The dashboard should be easy to digest so each department can quickly get an overview of their current situations and act fast if something needs to be improved.

“Business Intelligence is the bridge between the product team and the business team.”

Astrid believes that there is an essential skill a Business Intelligence professional needs to have: excellent communication. “Business Intelligence must be able to bridge the product and business team in translating the technical language used by the product team into a more understandable language for the business team. It will help the business team to get the right information about the products and sell them well.”

Astrid shared some tips and advice for college students interested in pursuing a career in Business Intelligence. “Learning new things are so easy nowadays. There are a lot of free courses that you can take to learn about data and Business Intelligence. I also suggest to always put your best effort in college. That way, no matter how difficult the challenges are, you can always survive and adapt.”

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Stories from Mekarians on what it’s like working at Mekari, Indonesia’s biggest SaaS company.

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