All businesses create information digitally—what we know as data—but they don’t always know what to do with it.
In my role as a visual analytics developer, I take data and turn it into beautiful, insightful visualizations that help companies make more informed, data-driven business decisions.
Harnessing the power of analytics
What I love about working in Accenture Applied Intelligence is the cutting-edge nature of the work we do. It’s exciting and humbling to help massive organizations harness the power of analytics to become data-driven in the Information Age.
My current project is pretty exciting. We’re building a brand-new visual analytics solution that will give the client unprecedented insight into their financial data—what they spend, what they make—to the tune of billions of dollars. And this is just the start of their analytics journey.
We’re also having conversations about harnessing the flexibility of a data lake to build upon this work with predictive analytics capabilities, including machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Data is truly transforming their business, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.
Skills you need to succeed
In my time with Accenture, I’ve come to understand that there are distinct, transferrable characteristics that the strongest, most successful people in the company possess. They include:
An interest in all things tech.
I use the term “technology” in the broadest sense, encompassing everything from AI and chatbots to the cloud. We are immersed in technology and the ways it impacts our clients—and transforms the way the world lives and works. As a result, you’ll find that the people of Accenture are generally quite tuned in to the global tech landscape.
It’s hard to keep abreast of everything, but I think it’s important to have at least an understanding of major trends such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and automation.
Being comfortable with the unknown.
Do you need to know exactly where you will be a year from now, or are you comfortable with knowing that there’s not necessarily a set plan? One of the constants I’ve experienced during my time at Accenture is change.
Currently, I’m on a visual analytics project near London. Six months from now, I could be in a different location, working on a new (but still exciting) project. I’ll often walk into work with a structured to-do list for the day, only for it to go out the window because our project has pivoted to a new strategy.
Being cool with change is important here.
Possessing a proactive mindset.
Are you someone who likes to actively shape things in your life, or do you just go with the flow? Neither option is inherently better. But, in my opinion, taking charge of your own career path will help you succeed at Accenture. In the first few years of your career, Accenture gives you a fair amount of flexibility to actively shape what you want to do; you just need to be proactive enough to take advantage of it.
Take my story as an example. I graduated from university with a bachelor’s degree in geography, but I’ve now decided that I’d like to get involved in Accenture Analytics, where most people are from a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) background. I began studying data science and visualization tools on the side, such as Python, R, Tableau and PowerBI, and by adding those to my skillset, I managed to secure my role in Visual Analytics, which I now love.
A love of learning.
Do you love to learn?
You’ll consistently be placed into new environments and will always learn new things at Accenture. From what I’ve observed, it’s people who are intensely curious—who love to learn, to understand and to know—who really thrive in these situations.
Work at Accenture is characterized by continuous learning, which can make it challenging, but it also makes it a place of rapid career growth.
Strong communication skills.
Can you explain something in a sentence, or do you need a paragraph? Can you explain a complex problem simply enough for an eight-year-old to understand? Can you adapt the way you speak and/or write to suit your audience?
It’s important to be a strong, clear, concise communicator at Accenture, because a lot of what we do is, well, talking. We talk to clients to try and understand their problems, and then to explain our solutions. We talk to each other, debating complex issues and ensuring we’re all on the same page.
We spend a lot of time communicating—explaining, debating, persuading—so being able to do it well is critical.
Strong listening skills.
Do you truly listen when someone is talking to you, or are you just waiting for your turn to speak? Do you try to understand where the other person is coming from, or do you judge them through your lens of the world?
In my view, it is essential to be a good listener at Accenture. If you can speak and write clearly, great, but if you’re not connecting to your audience because you haven’t listened to them, and therefore don’t understand them, your words mean nothing.
We are required to solve problems for our clients. That entails listening to them, with empathy and understanding, so we truly understand the problem in their eyes—not ours.
We are also required to work in diverse teams, with colleagues from different backgrounds, with a variety of skillsets. Listening to each voice in the room, rather than trying to make yours the loudest, is essential to great teamwork.
Accenture’s a big place, and the work we’re doing is really making a difference in the world. Explore our career opportunities and find something you’re interested in that will make you excited to wake up in the morning and come to work.
Find me on LinkedIn if you have questions or need help applying.
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