Rennie: My Data Analyst Career Journey

Rennie: My Data Analyst Career Journey

Today, we're bringing you an interview with Rennie - she's a marketing data analyst working on major campaigns and brand partnerships with professional sports programs and non-profit organizations

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Hi Rennie, please introduce yourself to our site’s readers.

My name is Rennie Lindo, I am a marketing data analyst with 8 years of experience in the financial services, sports and entertainment, education, and non-profit industries. My background is primarily marketing with various experience in public relations, SEO, brand and product strategy, community relations and marketing analytics.  
In my role I work on major campaigns and brand partnerships with professional sports programs and non-profit organizations to increase our membership growth and brand loyalty.  

Can you share with us how you entered the data analytics industry, and tell us about your first data analyst role?

Throughout my early career, I've always been interested in analytics but was unsure of how to start. During the COVID-19 pandemic, my company had a skills survey which highlighted the need for employees to upskill to move to the next level. I completed the survey and was selected for a partnership with General Assembly for their Data Science program. During that 10-week bootcamp, I learned Python programming and using the tool to create data visualizations.  
With my current newfound experience with SQL and Power BI, this bootcamp provided me with the necessary skillset to be successful to apply for my first data analyst role. Three years later, I still enjoy the career because I get to combine my love for marketing and analytics plus, I get to learn something new every day.

What is it that you're personally finding most exciting about being a data analyst?

Personally, I really enjoy the variety that being a data analyst offers. No two days are the same which is exciting because I get to collaborate on various projects and initiatives to increase our membership growth. I also enjoy collaborating with other stakeholders and partners such as data science, enterprise and risk to ensure we’re providing the best products for our members. 

In your current data analyst role, you’re working in the financial sector, as a marketing data analyst - could you tell us a bit more about what your day to day looks like, and share how what you do drives insights and business decisions in a financial organization? How are you using data in your marketing role, and what is the impact you’re able to achieve?

As a marketing data analyst, my team is using AI to understand member behavior. We’re able to use member insights to identify our member’s financial journeys and how to guide them to their financial wellness goals whether that means buying a home, car, saving for retirement, establishing credit, or just ways to get started. We’re able to use these insights and AI to create personalized member journeys to show our members we know them through data and want to provide them with the best products and services to help them succeed.  

How did you start improving your skillset as a data analyst? What are you currently doing to keep up with the ever changing data analytics industry?

I began improving my skillset by taking the skills I learned through the Data Science bootcamp and improving my SQL and Power BI skillset through creating reports and building dashboards. I believe in the principles of Kaizen, so I am continuously improving and learning every day. Recently I graduated with my MBA in business analytics and am already considering a new certificate. But I'm taking some time off to give myself a mental break before jumping into a new program.  

Can you share what factors are most important to you in a data-focused career and why? Do you have a vision of what you'd like your next career growth to look like?

For me, I need autonomy and variety from my career. I enjoy the freedom that my leadership trusts me to do my role without constantly worrying. Also, as you can see from my career, variety is very important to me. I enjoy working on different tasks, large datasets, having time to deep dive and research a problem but also have a career that allows me to stretch and improve processes in my department.  

Something that a lot of people are wondering and asking about - What recommendations would you give to someone who is looking to join the data industry and get their first full-time data analyst position?

My best advice for anyone interested in becoming a data analyst, I’d recommend a few things:

  • Learn SQL, most jobs will require some type of querying experience in your everyday role. There are a lot of free or low-cost resources available such as W3schools, Coursera, Datacamp, Udemy, YouTube, etc.  
  • Learn a type of data visualization tool such as Excel, Power BI or Tableau. Excel and Power BI are free and easy tools to get creative and test your data visualization skills. I believe Tableau is discounted if you’re a student.  
  • Learn a scripting language such as Python or R programming. Some roles may or may not require this skill, but it’s always a good thing to have more skills and experience with it.  

The big thing is practice, practice, practice. 😊  

Anything you'd like to highlight, or add? Something that not specified above but you hear a lot? Or would be helpful for people to know?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you must know everything in data analytics before you can apply to a role. I’m here to denounce that because there are hundreds of data analysts that use various tools while others don’t have any programming experience. I would recommend understanding the basics such as SQL, Excel, Power BI and having a curiosity for researching and learning. From there, you have a good foundation and curiosity to understand the ‘why’ behind a problem and identify solutions.   

An extra one: How do you see the increased availability of AI tools such as ChatGPT, Bard etc, impacting the typical data analyst role? Are you using AI tools to augment your thinking, analysis and overall work?

With the rise of AI, I am excited to see where we go with our analysis in the future. I know most organizations are adopting AI into their current infrastructure, but we must be cautious to ensure we’re adhering to risk and compliance and limiting biases as we progress. It’s an interesting tool and I’m looking forward to seeing how it transforms the industry in the future.

Thank you so much, Rennie - where can people reach you?

LinkedIn -  

Rennie - marketing data analyst working with professiona sports programs and non-profit organisations
Rennie Lindo - marketing data analyst working with professiona sports programs and non-profit organisations