I am a Business Analyst and Team Lead at Accenture Analytics. In my current role, I am responsible for the delivery of reporting and data warehouse requirements for our clients—both of which are critical to perform effective analytics.
Through analytics, we help our clients gain a better understanding of their customers and their business performance, as well as enable them to more accurately predict outcomes. These outputs inform their planning and strategies, and helps improve their competitiveness. But to do analytics, we need to access their data. Data warehousing centralises client data and interactions, while data modelling techniques allow us to store, retrieve and analyse that data easily. The client’s reporting requirements guide our analytics efforts.
My role includes planning key items, such as sizing and estimation of client requirements throughout the systems development life cycle, for delivery. I arrange and attend meetings with clients to gather and clarify requirements, and then translate these requirements into technical specifications for our development team. My understanding of data warehousing, dimensional modelling and database languages are invaluable in this area. I also manage resource planning and coordination with an offshore development team that helps bring these solutions to life.
I generally begin my day by catching up on emails and reviewing a list of the items that I want to have completed by the end of the day. Thereafter, our team gets together for a 10-minute huddle to discuss the items completed the previous day and the items to target for that day. We also review any obstacles preventing the team from achieving success. Should there be any obstacles, I coordinate finding a solution with the client or escalate the issue to senior team members to obtain their support.
What I enjoy most about being at Accenture is that we are one global network. The value of this is that there is always someone, somewhere that can help you solve a problem. Our diverse teams help us to remain innovative, and our very different ways of thinking enable us to continually challenge one another.
In my work day I am faced with challenges, but great successes too. I’ve managed to lead a team of developers in the Philippines, working across language and culture barriers, as well as six-hour time zone differences. This success has resulted in recognition from senior business leaders both at Accenture and at the client, which is both satisfying and encouraging.
I do my best to keep up with the latest developments in the world of business and technology. I also have a keen interest in investments. I manage a small portfolio and am an active part of a small investment group. Besides finding it an interesting pursuit, I feel it’s a very necessary one. Based on recent statistics, only 6 percent of South Africans can afford to retire comfortably if they started saving around 15 percent of their salary from the age of 23. It’s thus really important to supplement and diversify your investments. Since I’m not a finance major, I’ve surrounded myself with people who are in the investment industry and learn first-hand from them.
I am also a member of Accenture Toastmasters, and was formerly the Treasurer for the Accenture Toastmasters Club. Since joining, my self-confidence and networking skills have improved tremendously. I am now much more at ease presenting to an audience of any size. Toastmasters has a great curriculum that helps you every step of the way and, with more than 300 000 toastmasters worldwide, there is a large network that can assist you without judging you.
Networking and relationship building can be really powerful. Invest time in building authentic relationships with your colleagues and supervisors. These relationships can be leveraged in times of need.
Always take the opportunity to ask for feedback, and do your best to incorporate that feedback where you can. This shows that you are serious about your career and new opportunities may come of it.
Be a team player. These are the words I heard when joining Accenture, and they are so true. You will never know everything, and a huge part of our success comes from our diverse teams. When you do not know how to approach a problem or where others need help with their problems, ask for help or help when asked.
Do not be afraid to show that you are interested in a particular area or industry, or to ask for more responsibility. Accenture has a great culture that encourages people to be proactive and helps them reach their career goals. While you may not always have the most interesting assignments, performing tasks to the best of your ability shows others your character and builds your credibility within the organisation. It’s helped me win recognition and be staffed on more exciting projects.