My day as a…Data & Analytics Consultant – Iwona Kamińska

29 April 2022

Hi! My name is Iwona and I have been working in Elitmind for almost four years – as a Business and System Analyst and on some projects as a Project Owner. From my beginnings in IT, i.e., for nearly 14 years, I have been walking the Tester – Analyst – Project Manager path. Depending on the project, I usually work as an Analyst and in additional roles.  

The ability to think analytically and inquisitiveness work great when I switch to the role of a Tester, while the ability to manage the scope and risk – when I assume the role of Project Owner. Did you think that an Analyst only deals with analysis? Then I will tell you what my day at work was like today. 

After the obligatory two green teas in the morning and breakfast, I walked a few steps and found myself in my home office. A quick reading of new mail, replying to the most urgent e-mails, and starting the project Daily meeting. My plan for the day includes a few call meetings (with the team and the client), followed by data mapping tests, which I love to do.  

The first meeting with the team is to discuss the technical solution for the new section in the existing application. In the application, the client creates projects to improve the work of his factories and bring savings. Apart from taking care of his finances, our client also wants to care for the environment.

Therefore, the new section that we will be adding is related to the organization’s sustainable development – the client will report, for example, how much less CO2 has been produced thanks to the implemented improvements. The business idea is 5+, so this must be the technical solution. We discuss changes to the data model and changes to the forms with the team. Our application solution is not the end of the story yet. Customer Data Analysts will use the data that users enter into the application to evaluate indicators (so-called KPIs) and make decisions about the further direction of the company’s development. So, as a “technical” team, we also plan to add new data to our BI solution – a cube (how lucky it is that at the beginning of the year, we rewrote it from OLAP to Tabular – it will be faster for us, and the client) and adding new indicators to the Dashboard in Power BI. Well, we have it. I also write down in my notes to ask for contextual help for the user at the next meeting with the client, which we will place in the new section. Thanks to this, the user (with high probability) will know what the new KPIs mean and why we want them to provide such data.  

I have half an hour until the next meeting. My cats remind me that it is a scandal that they have not eaten anything for 2 hours, so I open a can of delicious meat for them. There is still a moment to prepare for the meeting with the client, where we will discuss the backlog of project tasks and assign them priorities. Last touches in the presentation, and we begin the meeting…  

The customer team is in different countries in Europe, so I am switching to English. First, we go through the tasks planned for the next Sprint (no changes, phew!), And then we review the tasks for the next quarter and set their priorities. It does not go so smoothly here because two customer businesses try to give the highest priority to their assignments.

We assess which tasks will bring the most incredible business value and fit into the client’s development strategy. Even though the task of one of the businesses has been waiting since the previous quarter, I should have prioritized the tasks associated with tax settlements, which come into force in 2 months. The priorities for the next quarter are known, while our backlog has a long queue of tasks submitted by both the client and our project team.

This situation has been going on for a long time, so we suggest to the client that to accelerate the implementation of tasks, it would be worth considering expanding the team. Of course, this is related to the additional budget. Assignments for the client – raise this topic at the Steering Committee next Friday.

End of meetings for today… It’s time for a break. I take the delicious lasagna from the fridge and throw it into the oven. Sitting for a few hours has made me a bit tired, so I go out on the terrace to the fresh air, close my eyes and imagine how I will be hiking in my beloved Bieszczady next weekend. With friends, we booked a house in Wetlina. We will check the progress in the construction of the new “Chatka Puchatka” because we want to spend the night there next time. For now … lasagna was eaten, and it was time to go back to work.  

Instantly view e-mails in my inbox. There are a few more e-mails in the morning that I have not replied to, so I am sending replies before I sit down for tests.  

The last task for today is data mapping tests. I like to additionally verify such tasks as an analyst before handing them over to the testers.

We recently introduced a change to the client’s system in which project savings will be reported in a new way, which entailed a difference in the data model. The application is already prepared for the new data to be written according to the new assumptions. We still need to see historical data in the new model. In this task, we devoted most of our time to analysis.

First, the client suggested how he would like to map the data. I wrote a few SQL queries to get the data and check how much data would be mapped using the algorithm from the client. 70% of the data matches the algorithm.

It would be challenging to analyze the remaining cases individually because it is almost 10,000 records. We divided them into groups during several meetings with the client, focusing primarily on the most recent data from the last three years (older data is not so crucial for the client) and establishing a mapping for them.

Fortunately, writing the mapping script took less time than the analysis itself. So, I run the application on the test environment and SSMS. First, I write queries in the SSMS to see if we have any unmapped data. All data is mapped, so the time spent on preliminary analysis is paid back. Now check if the data has been mapped correctly, so another query. I also verify several projects from each group in the application. The data is almost well mapped. Almost, because two columns in the model have swapped data (the data is correct but assigned to the wrong columns…).

So, in DevOps for User Story for data mapping, I create a Bug for developers. I leave the cube tests to the testers when the bug in the mapping script is fixed. 

Work is over for today—time to spend time with the family and go for a walk and eat together...


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