|Student Experience Data Analyst|
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A day in the life of a Student Experience Data Analyst in the United Kingdom
Seize opportunities and don't restrict options
What I do
Coding of qualitative data.
Skills I use and how I developed them
Teamwork: I work closely with another analyst and with the Constantine college team
Leadership: I work closely with another full time intern and ensure that she has enough instruction to progress the project from one week to the next. I listen to her concerns and problems and help structure solutions.
Flexibility: Because I am on a part time contract i have had to structure my hours when my skills are best needed. This has meant spending more time in the office some weeks than on others. I was especially needed at the beginning and ends of the project as this was when most support and advice was required.
What I like most
Data handling: I really enjoy working with a large data set of both qualitative and quantitative information. I enjoy coding this into workable themes and then graphing to draw conclusions.
Report writing: This is highly satisfying as you can structure your findings around the needs of the funder and present complex information in ways accessible to all.
What I like least
The data I am working with is taken from a survey with a different purpose to the report which I am writing. This has been a real challenge as often the data needed to answer the funder's questions was simply not available. Instead we have to create a coding system which draws out the information from the data and allows us to indirectly answer the questions desired.
What surprised me most
Coding takes a very long time especially with a significant amount of qualitative data and a large sample size. I also learned that without the data having been collected for the purpose of the analysis, running statistics is surprisingly difficult as there is not a set research question to test against.
My career history
Primary School Teacher
Zoo Education Officer and Zoo Keeper
Tutor: Centre for Lifelong Learning
Research Officer CIRCLE
Contract survey designer, research lead and data analyst
Courses taken since graduation
Preparing Future Academics
Teaching and Learning Award AFHEA
How my studies have helped my career
My Natural Sciences (Zoology) and Education Studies Joint Honors degree has helped provide the foundation of my career in Zoo Visitor experience and learning. I also spent 6 years volunteering in the sector to get the job I wanted.
Where I hope to be in 5 years
I want to be an university lecturer in learning outside the classroom with a specialism in zoo research and visitor experience evaluation. I wish to maintain a volunteer role within the zoo sector so that my academic career is never far removed from reality.
Seize opportunities and don't restrict options. My most interesting employment has come when I have least expected it but I have been willing to change course at last minute, take risks and follow my heart.
Data analysis, R, contract work, sole trader employment
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