Junior Analytics Development Experience

Ogonna is just getting started

2019-02-21 Ogonna AnaekweTelus Digital

The Background

A wise man once said ‘The key question to ask at a job is not what you are getting. The key question to ask is what you are becoming. Cal Newport wrote a book titled So Good They Can’t Ignore You. If Telus had a mission statement for hiring Junior Analytics Developers under the JADE program, it will be exactly this: Become so good they can’t ignore you. Telus can take you from knowing basically nothing about analytics to becoming one of the best in the field. And all this in a short span of time.

I am Ogonna, and this is my analytics story and JADE experience:

I grew up on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria. And migrated to Canada in the Fall of 2015 for my masters in Economics at McGill University, Montreal. My studies equipped me with good theoretical foundations in abstract mathematics, statistics, and econometrics. After my masters, it was time to pick a career path. In doing this, I wanted something that would leverage my skills and interests. But more than that, I wanted something that was relevant and useful to the economy not just today, but for the foreseeable future.

Enter data analytics. The more I looked into data analytics, the more convinced I was that this was the right path for me both now and for the future. What better path to take than one that remains relevant even in the future? I took data analytics tutorials on EdX, DataCamp, Khan Academy, and Coursera and gained some familiarity with tools like R, Python, SQL, and DOMO. And I moved to Toronto to explore opportunities in the data analytics space.

The Role

One nice afternoon in April 2018, I got an email from a talent hunter for Telus. This email would turn out making the afternoon even nicer. However, when I looked at the job description, I was not quite sure if this was the right job for me as some of the requirements (like JavaScript, DOM manipulation, and the like) were completely foreign to me.

Up until then, I had written some scripts in Python, but had never quite dabbled into JavaScript world. I didn’t even know what the DOM was, what it meant, why it was useful, and what role JavaScript played in DOM manipulation.

I decided to pursue the opportunity regardless. Taking on challenges is how we grow; our best versions live outside our comfort zones. We scheduled a call, I got invited for a round of interviews, and a few days later (speaking less than 1 week), Telus made me an offer.

The recruitment process was very efficient, and I have yet to see a more efficient process anywhere. In deciding to join any company, there are a lot of things I take into consideration, and the key one for me has been what am I becoming? Essentially, my goal is to optimize for challenges, growth, and learning while adding value to the company.

After 6 months at Telus, at least two things are clear: first, I have become better at data analytics and second, I still have a long way to go. All this is both encouraging and humbling, and I am glad to be part of an organization that helps me stay hungry and foolish at the same time.

When you look at analytics, you may think numbers, numbers, and more numbers. But it is way beyond that. Telus initiates you into looking beyond the obvious: where do these numbers come from? How do we capture these numbers? What can we do with these numbers? And what do they mean? This takes us deeper into data analytics and more specifically into Data Implementation and Data Engineering.

I want to be able to build end-to-end data pipelines and generate insights from the data to help Telus make better decisions in its dealings with its customers and the broader Canadian economy. If the customers and the broader economy succeed, Telus succeeds, and if Telus succeeds, we all succeed.

The Experience

The first few weeks of my role were not as overwhelming as I anticipated. This is not because the work is easy. Far from that; the work is anything but easy and the stakes are high. There is a ton of information flowing into your brain in a short span of time such that it might be hard to keep up with all the moving pieces.

But not to worry. At Telus, you can rest assured of a great work culture and strong support system. Got a problem whose solution eludes you time and time again? Someone at Telus knows the answer. And best, everyone is easy to speak with and freely shares knowledge and information. Everyone wants you to succeed! Not once have I witnessed any toxic work culture here.

I started out as the analytics lead for Telus sites like Telus Labs/Blogs, Digital, About, and Support. I also became the analytics lead for customer feedback/surveys. My role typically involves building reports on Adobe Analytics and DOMO, and providing insights to the product managers for the sites under my care. This has helped improve my analytical, reporting, and communication skills among other things.

Six months ago, I knew nothing about web analytics having never previously done any serious web analytics projects. Today, I am knowledgeable about digital analytics, all thanks to Telus. Matter of fact, one area Telus shines is hiring for potential. The team sees potential in me, and encourages me to stay hungry and keep learning.

Seeing I have an interest in data implementation and engineering, I brought it up with the team. You can guess what happened: they encouraged it! So I started learning to code in JavaScript on Code Academy and Udemy. Six months ago, I knew nothing about JavaScript. Today, I am able to build front-end web applications using JavaScript. And I will be moving into Data Implementation in the coming weeks.

Some days ago, I was speaking with one of my teammates about how great he is at coding, data analytics, and data engineering. He smiled, and said The goal is to get you there through the JADE program. I am sold on that and I am looking forward to building robust and scalable applications that leverage data to impact millions of Canadians. Want to be part of this? Apply to join the JADE program at Telus today!