Case study

Data+ analyst — George Thomas

After achieving the BSc in Mathematics at the University of Bath, George gained some work experience and spent a year travelling before joining Grayce's Data+ graduate development programme, completing his first placement working as a Data+ analyst at Metro Bank

How did you get onto Grayce's Data+ graduate development programme?

I applied to the programme after seeing it advertised on a graduate jobs board.

The interview process consisted of four parts:

  1. A telephone interview discussing my prior experience and some competency questions.
  2. A 30-minute video call discussing my skills and why I thought I was right for the role.
  3. I was given a dataset to analyse and was expected to deliver a PowerPoint presentation giving specific insights that the data showed.
  4. A final video call with a different member of the management team to discuss my values and ambitions.

What's a typical day like as a Data+ analyst?

While at Metro Bank we worked in an Agile environment so our day started with a daily stand up to discuss the work we completed the previous day, what we were working on currently and any new tasks we could start.

After this, senior developers would explain in a follow-up call further details of any new tasks and their priority. The tasks that were assigned to me, could range from creating a brand new package and making changes to existing tables in Oracle SQL Developer to creating mappings, scenarios or load plans to transfer data in Oracle Data Integrator.

Throughout my day, depending on the task given, I would work through the task using Metro Bank resources, researching online and collaborating with other developers and another Data+ analyst in my team where we would discuss how we would approach certain problems and how to fix any errors our code was generating. At the end of the day, I would update the ticket of the task I worked on with the progress made.

Also, I typically spend time focusing on my own learning and development to make me a more well-rounded Data+ analyst. This includes upskilling in Python on DataQuest, courses on LinkedIn Learning and attending Data+ study groups each week where we're currently working on a group Python project.

What part of your job gives you the most satisfaction?

I most enjoy the constant learning and upskilling of different languages, programmes as well as gaining knowledge and experience in different areas. When I first started at Grayce, we spent the first two weeks learning a variety of different programmes such as PowerBI and SQL which I had no previous experience in. I also gained qualifications in Agile and Cloud Essentials, which expanded my knowledge on the different ways of working and helped me when beginning a new client. The learning continued for me on client site where I was required to grasp how to use and implement Oracle Data Integrator, how to develop packages in Oracle SQL Developer and the ways Metro Bank used their data.

What are the challenges?

When I started at Metro Bank, I was involved in completing work on applications that were completely new to me such as Oracle Data Integrator and Oracle SQL Developer. This was a steep learning curve as I was thrown straight in at the deep end to develop packages on both these applications.

For me this is the best way to learn, and it was helped by collaborating with other Data+ analysts, speaking to senior developers as well as researching online, studying previous resources and most importantly, learning from my mistakes.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

The tasks I initially received consisted of basic packages in Oracle Data Integrator and making changes to existing tables in Oracle SQL Developer. Once I showed I was comfortable in using both applications I was then assigned more complex work. For example, I was assigned the task of creating a package from scratch in Oracle that would automate certain data checks every month. I've now completed my assignment at Metro Bank and am looking forward to starting with my new client.

At the moment, my aim is to work in a variety of data roles and to experience working in different industries and environments to see what I enjoy the most. Grayce gives me a good opportunity to do this as I can focus on my own learning and skills as a Data+ analyst as well as experiencing new industries and roles at the same time, which will help my development even further.

What advice would you give to other aspiring analysts?

My first tip to analysts is to not be scared of making mistakes. A big part of being on a development programme is making mistakes and then learning from them.

I'd also advise throwing yourself into new challenges to gain experience in dealing with a range of situations and scenarios.

Lastly, ensure you find an application, industry or role that you enjoy and feel passionate about.

Find out more

  • Explore the role of a data analyst.
  • Get an overview of IT courses to expand your skillset.
  • Consider the graduate development programmes at Grayce.

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