Updated: Aug 30, 2022
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Today we are talking with Quinn MacLean about his career as a Data and Analytics Consultant.
Before we get started, I have to brag on Quinn for just a minute. Over 5 years ago, Quinn was assigned the arduous task of getting me up to speed on all reporting for a team we previously worked on together. (Thanks for your patience, Quinn!) After that task, we both got to work redesigning the reporting capabilities of the department.
The thing that impressed me the most about Quinn was his creativity and drive. Any vision I had for the team he figured out a way to capture it in data. No ask was too complicated! Since that time Quinn has completed a master's degree, changed companies, and has taken his career to the next level. If you ever get the opportunity to work with Quinn - you will have one stellar teammate in your corner!
Now let's learn more about Quinn...
Name: Quinn MacLean
Data and Analytics Consultant at Slalom
Time in Current Position: 4 months
Where Can You Connect with Quinn?
(See samples of his work!)
What does a day in the life of a Data and Analytics Consultant look like?
It depends on the project, but typically I am placed at a company as an added resource. My main objective is to provide subject matter expertise and deliver high quality analytics work. The work I deliver ranges from data visualization products (like dashboards and data applications), engineering a table used for analysis, or providing data analysis to drive action for business users.
On top of the client work, I meet regularly with other consultants to trade ideas or learn about a topic they have expertise in. I also work on a lot of sports analytics projects outside of work! (See Github For My Portfolio: https://github.com/qmaclean)
What roles did you have prior to your current role?
I’ve been working in business analytics or data engineering-based roles for close to 8 years now. I’ve been exposed to data/analytics in the following industries: Telecommunications, Financial Services, Banking, Fitness, and Retail.
How did your experience in previous roles help you succeed in your current position?
My previous experience has provided a lot of value as I have had the opportunity to work with individuals of varying backgrounds. Through these experiences I have learned there are 3 themes to success in Data and Analytics: Active Listening, Translating, and Setting Expectations.
In order to excel (ha pun intended!) at data & analytics, you need to get really good at requirements gathering, which basically means understanding the “why” behind someone’s ask. Take as many notes as possible, ask follow up questions, and indicate you understand their ask before you begin a project.
From there you have to translate that information into a solution. It's important to always remember that you will only talk about a portion of the information during requirements gathering. I always remind myself that the average person buys cars or houses on only 20% of known information. It's my job to translate, or fill in the missing information, to make sense of the ask.