Alonso was born in Spain (Bilbao) and came to the Netherlands to study and work within the field of data analytics. In July, he started as a business developer in the EMIR team (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) at a major international bank. This team generates reports to the Financial Market Authority (AFM), European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and professional trading clients. Tasks include: building new IT & Data tooling, creating dashboards in Tableau, improving upstream data quality, integrating and utilizing data analytics, development and test automation. Next to this, Alonso is also the contact person for external clients regarding EMIR reporting. In this blog, he shares his experiences as a data hero and talks about the start of his data career in Amsterdam.
How did you experience the road to data hero?
‘My road to data hero has been very interesting. This is my first job ever since I graduated from University, so it was a very big change for me. In the beginning, I was a bit lost and intimidated by this environment. This was my first serious job, so I didn’t have that much experience. I didn’t complete an internship or worked in a business like this before. That’s why I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Now that some time has passed, I was able to improve myself and found support from Young Analytics and my colleagues. They have been guiding me the whole time. Because of that, I feel more relaxed and comfortable and I have actually been able to enjoy all of this. I really like my job and my team.’
What is the most valuable thing you have learned so far?
‘That’s a hard question haha. Apart from the skills in SQL that I’ve learned so far, which were very valuable of course, I have also learned to be more confident. My confidence really helped me to improve myself. At the beginning it took me some time to respond to people, because I wanted to make sure that I could give the right answer. Now, I am more confident about my knowledge and that increases my efficiency a lot. So, confidence is definitely a skill that improved and changed my work life the most.’
Are there any problems you encounter along the way?
‘I did encounter some problems. For example, it could be quite challenging for me to give quick answers to demanding clients sometimes. When you start as a junior at a company, you still have to learn a lot and process a lot of information in a short period of time. That means that my colleagues were, and still are, very important to me. However, a lot of colleagues are busy and not all colleagues are specialized in my function, so it could be hard to obtain the right answers to my questions. This could cause some delays. But in the end, I always found a person who could help me provide clear answers to the clients. Because of moments like these, I learn a lot every time.’
How do you see the future of data development within your team?
‘The first thing that came to my mind when you said data development is automation, because although everything is automated, there are still some manual processes. We are trying to decrease these processes as much as we can and I think that in the future almost everything will be computerized. Now, 95% of what we do is automated, but then there is always 5% that we can decrease for example to 1%. I think that’s a good thing, because the more there can be automated, the more time I can focus on other things like client questions. Let’s say that when it comes to the future of data development, I’m optimistic.’
When do you think you are a successful data hero and what advice would you give starters?
‘I think you’re successful when you can take ownership of your tasks and projects. Everyone fulfills a specific role in our team and I think it’s important to be proactive and have a good understanding of your own role. When you put the effort to gain in depth knowledge of the business where you work in, then you can eventually share your experience with colleagues in order to enhance team performance. My advice for the upcoming data heroes is to focus on something that they like. When you do what you love, you will improve yourself and become better and better in completing your own role and become valuable to the company you work for.’