This blog aims for a new data analyst to quickly adapt to the role of data analyst and have a guide on how to go about learning the role.
1. Tasks given for first four weeks
For the first month of my internship, I have been familiarizing myself with Vatico’s operational flows (mainly fulfillment and payment workflows) and the underlying data workflows beneath them. Along the way, I have also been documenting these processes on various modes of medium like tickets on git, blog posts and powerpoint slides. These tasks have helped train me to structure and present my thoughts in different forms and learn Vatico’s language of data through technical terminologies and documentation. I have also drafted and published blogs, consolidated manual payment records from different platforms and started to write queries and perform data transformation tasks.
2. Importance of establishing process
Throughout the four weeks in Vatico, I faced many problems. Besides using the problem solving framework to help resolve issues, I also learnt the importance of establishing a process when it came to problem-solving. This was crucial to solving issues big and small.
One example is when I was handed a transformation task to find the latest payment id for orders that are paid for Lazada through a query. However, I did not understand why there was a need to find the latest payment id by Lazada to automate the process of reconsolidating payment and how writing the query that was specified in the ticket would help find the latest payment id. It took me a while to realize that there was a need to first understand the manual process of reconsolidating payments on Lazada platform. Through this step, I realized that the statements containing paid orders as indicated by Lazada could not be found directly as the order and statement information were found in two separate locations. Finding the latest payment id was also a means of finding an endpoint so the process can be automated and maintained by the system. The manual process also allowed one to know where the data one needs can be found. Following which, one can then know the specific relevant columns of data that can be used to create the wireframe, yml file and subsequent query needed. Being able to write these steps out as action items were important as they helped establish a process to backtrack and identify the previous steps that needed to be done before executing the task.
There were also times when I was unable to do things or faced personal blockers and did not know how to move forward. I learnt that establishing a process for yourself by writing steps down and planning your action items help you move forward instead of simply struggling and not knowing where to begin solving the problem.
3. Understanding things from a data standpoint
Through these four weeks, I also learnt how to understand things from a data standpoint through the terminologies and documentation Vatico has. I learnt how claims can be verified and validated or invalidated through data points and success metrics. For example, there was a claim that automation led to faster fulfillment and would reduce cancellation rate. To verify this claim, cancellation rate was calculated by dividing the returned orders by the processed orders and a drop was checked for from the month fulfillment was automated. However, this claim was invalidated as the cancellation rate did not drop. Through this, I learnt that claims should be backed and proven by data as there is always a possibility that reality can differ from our expectations of how processes perform. Further investigation was then checked to verify if automated fulfillment could have led to more consistent fulfillment from the date order is created to the date order is shipped. This process allowed me to understand what it means to use metrics and measure impact quantitatively from a data standpoint.
4. What to learn and expect next
After learning about the general job scope and the tasks of data analyst, I would like to learn more on how to use data to analyze and measure success in the area of business strategy. I realise I enjoy understanding the big picture and the larger purpose and how workflows and processes are related to each other. Hence, in the short term, I would focus on being able to execute and carry out each individual task, like transformation tasks, writing blogs and making decks, independently and strive to be able to follow processes and complete things. Following which, I then hope to learn more about how business objectives inform data execution.