David G. Graduate employment profile
About this profile
|Senior Manager, Data & Analytics|
|Bank of Nova Scotia|
|Finance and consultancy|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
About the job
What I do
Hired and am leading a team developing data-driven reporting and analytics to Shared Services Group Business Line in Scotiabank delivering insights and enabling Executive strategic decision making.
• Developed strategy for the delivery of KPIs that track the performance of the business and dynamic and interactive analysis to meet specific business needs.
• Aligned strategy and deliverables to Bank and Business Line objectives. This includes alignment with other optimization and automation initiatives in the enterprise and business line.
• Hired and built an analytics team with a diverse skill set capable of delivering analytical insight from source data to improve business performance.
• Overseeing the roll-out of a full program of reporting and analytics that transitions the Business to a data-driven mindset and aligns with a performance driven organizational culture shift.
• In partnership with Technology; overseeing the full project life from data sourcing to reporting and analysis delivery with measurable benefits which I personally presented to Executives.
Skills I use and how I developed them
Reporting and Analysis
Data Sourcing and Calculations
What I like most
Taking a business problem, exploring the data related to it and discovering through analysis that the original 'problem,' is not in fact the key opportunity to drive business value. Essentially I enjoy data investigation and analysis and delivering insight to the business that help them in ways that they did not previously identify as opportunities.
What I like least
Data preparation. Exploration and delivering insights is fun but the leg work to source and prepare the data can be tedious.
What surprised me most
The diversity of talent required to deliver on successful projects. I was not aware of the the breadth of roles available in the field.
Finding and applying for the job
My career goals when I graduated
Honestly? I really didn't know what I wanted to do when I left University.
My career history
British Army - 2002 - 2009
University of York - 2009 - 2012
Bank of Nova Scotia - 2012 - Present
What has helped my career to progress
- Volunteering for work outside of my role
- Networking across the organization
- Exploring options for career paths and actively pursuing those that interest me
- Keeping up with industry trends in areas that interest me - usually through professional social media such as Linked In or though research firms such as Gartner reports/magic quadrants
- Seeking out senior leaders that can mentor me and provide advice
Courses taken since graduation
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Courses - PDUs
- Tableau training
- Power BI Training
- People Management training
- Change Management training
How my studies have helped my career
I use skills acquired from my history degree every day. Critical source analysis, developing the evidence required to 'tell the story.' Often the missing link in large corporations is the individual that can link the Technology teams to the Business. Technology teams are often not very good at translating their work into language that makes it real for the Business side of operations.
Further to this, a skill that is essential to someone completing a degree in History is the ability to become an expert in a particular area very quickly. This directly ties into business analysis skills. Engaging with a business unit and understanding their operations in detail in a short space of time. In many ways this is very similar to going to the library and learning everything there is to know about a particular module/period/event and writing a 5,000 word essay on the subject.
What surprised me about my career so far
How skills can translate across industries and borders to be valuable to employers wherever you go and whatever you do.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
Director level at the Bank leading a multi-functional business unit, such as a Business Intelligence Unit (BIU).
My advice to students
My advice to students considering work
Many people will say "figure out what you want to do and then pursue it." But in your early 20's how are you supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life? The answer is that you don't need to. I would amend the previous statement to "figure out what you think you might enjoy most as a career and pursue it wholeheartedly." If it doesn't meet your expectations you can always change your mind later. I have been a Soldier, HR Administrator, Student, Survey Manager and Data & Analytics Manager; and I am only 32!
Secondly, try to figure out where you want to work. If you want to work overseas then do it now! Once you get to your 30's and 40's it may become much more difficult.
Overall, don't be afraid to take the risk and try!
My advice about working in my industry
If you think that what you will enjoy the most is a career in Business Intelligence or Data Science, then I would advise you to learn as much about the industry as possible. Use tools like Linked In to start following industry groups. Specialist recruitment companies like Harnham and industry research companies like Gartner offer free online information. This will tell you about the pain points and skills gaps in the industry.
Then make sure you have at least some of these skills. Companies like Microsoft have free versions of their analytics tools like Power BI. They also offer free online tutorials and training.
Finally, I would say try to get a mentor in the industry. They will help you to craft the language that you will need in job interviews. If you did a traditional academic subject degree rather than a business degree then it will be a learning curve for you to get into the language that recruiters are looking for.
Please get in touch if you are an BA student struggling to make their skills relevant in today's job market or if you are interested in a role in the Financial Services industry or specifically Business Intelligence and/or Data Science.