We sat down with Andy, one of our Business Intelligence (BI) consultants, to discuss the everyday life and culture of working in the fast-paced world of BI – from what the role of a Business Intelligence consultant involves, to the importance of emphasising ongoing personal development and training. Working in a fast-paced, rapidly evolving industry involves many challenges, from negotiating complex datasets to resolving client queries and questions. We discuss how these challenges are navigated, and how our approach reflects our ongoing commitment to quality. Read on to find out more.
What does the role of a Business Intelligence consultant involve?
My work as a BI consultant is usually split across two major sections. Firstly, there’s the face-to-face world of client engagement and project work. I work with new and pre-existing clients to establish their long-term BI goals, address any queries they may have, and establish a roadmap that outlines what our prospective involvement looks like.
The second part of my role is ensuring that our clients get the support and maintenance they need. From addressing any queries or concerns they may have, to consulting with support teams to aid in any potential issues or problems.
I really enjoy both aspects of my role, from handling the nuances and complications that come up to communicating a plan for the development of each client. It allows me to get a glimpse of how our work changes overall operations, and I’m passionate about ensuring that our involvement and delivery consistently adds value.
How we navigate a fast-paced and demanding market.
There are always challenges involved in such a fast-paced and evolving industry, from keeping up with the latest innovations in technology, to addressing client-side issues such as workflow confusion and process queries.
However, thanks to the wide and varied skillset of the entire DataShapa team, I never feel unsupported in tackling what’s thrown my way in any individual project. Although my expertise is in software such as Azure and the Microsoft Stack, I know that there’s advice and support just a phone call away if I encounter challenges that I’m not familiar with, and I can reciprocate when appropriate.
We are proud of the diverse community of expertise and skills we have developed here, and can freely lean on others when we need advice.
The internal culture and atmosphere of DataShapa
I think that our employment attitudes say a lot about our internal culture. We’ve been lucky enough to expand very quickly, and I think a lot of that has to do with the community that we’ve created. One of the core components of our hiring process is thinking about whether people will be a positive cultural fit, and this can often outweigh technical skill. DataShapa appreciates that, while technical experience can be learnt and developed, culture and attitudes can’t – so they often prioritise the stability and growth of the team as a whole.
We emphasise this community atmosphere outside of our work as well with regular social events and trips. This has obviously been more difficult lately with the pandemic, but the values remain. These events not only strengthen our team mentality but lets us relax and have a bit of fun as well. So far, I’ve been axe throwing, rally car driving, go-karting, even clay-pigeon shooting.
How the core values of DataShapa are reflected in everyday operations
We always position ourselves as a trusted partner to any client that we work with, rather than an outsourced department or service. A client will come to us with potential projects or strategies, and we’ll work alongside them to deliver this. If we think that it may not work or may not deliver the results we expect, we won’t deliver it. Instead, we’ll collaborate with our clients to find a better route through proof of concepts, experimentation, or presentations.
This approach builds trust and showcases our honesty and authenticity. We retain our clients on this trust, and it’s a core value visible throughout our entire methodology. We don’t hide behind anything and constantly engage with our clients, which is useful when negotiating specific challenges such as resistance to workflow change or mistrust of new software.
In these circumstances, we communicate and display the value of implementation. Often, when teams realise the full potential of our involvement, they become willing to get more involved and learn, which we really encourage.
How DataShapa demonstrates its commitment to ongoing quality
DataShapa heavily invests in its team as we’ve seen, ensuring that everyone that joins the team is just as passionate about delivering quality expertise as we are. This is how we’ve gained such a wide range of skillsets.
Ongoing development and training is also highly encouraged, and we’re all mindful and aware of the latest emerging technology and the impact it could make to maintain quality and improve our own knowledge. Although the last twelve months have been strange and unusual for conferences and in-person events, I was recently able to sit through the Microsoft Power Platform Online Conference, which is always worthwhile.
There are also regular Microsoft training sessions – from Azure fundamentals to more advanced topics, while our approach of shadowing more experienced team members on projects gives us first-hand experience. I really admire this approach and commitment to training and development. It means that we’re not only comfortable with the tech we use daily, but also aware of emerging developments.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about working at DataShapa?
I think that, to summarise, I really do enjoy both the culture and the work I get to do at DataShapa. I appreciate the focus on development and training, and feel supported in the challenges I face – from project management to tech delivery. This is an aspect I haven’t experienced in my previous roles, and admire and truly value the ongoing commitment to quality – as does the rest of the DataShapa team. Now I’m here, I really can’t imagine working anywhere else.