About me

David G.
History
History
BA
Derwent
2012
United Kingdom

About this profile

Senior Manager, Data & Analytics
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canada
Finance and consultancy
Large business (250+ employees)
2012

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

Tableau

Power BI

Data Sourcing and Calculations

Data Visualizations

Business Intelligence

Management

Leadership

Business Analysis

Project Management

Coaching

Recruiting

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

How I looked for work

Recruitment Agencies
Monster.ca
LinkedIn Premium
Harnham Staffing & Recruiting
Manpower Staffing & Recruiting
OfficeTeam Staffing & Recruiting
Directly on Corporation Websites

How I found out about the job

Already worked there

The recruitment process

Hired on a temporary contract for 3 months and then subsequently hired (to a different position) on a permanent contract.

Subsequent to being hired I have had 3 further roles related to 3 promotions.

Roles were:
1. Project Co-ordinator
2. Survey & Registrations Manager
3. Manager, Management Information Systems (MIS)
4. Senior Manager, MIS, Data & Analytics

My career

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

Technical:
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Courses - PDUs
- Tableau training
- Power BI Training
People/Leadership:
- 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.

Contacting me

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.


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