Curious about our data analytics experts and the work they do? We asked Reeve Waugh, Analyst, five quick questions about his work, career and life.
What is your background?
I grew up in Brisbane on the south side and studied a Bachelor of Information Technology majoring in Computer Science at Queensland University of Technology.
During my final year, I engaged in a capstone subject as part of a team where we developed a document classification product that derives topics from a set of text for a company in Brisbane. This was my first opportunity to experience working in a team on a complex project that was to be delivered to an industry client. This is where my journey really started—without even knowing it I absorbed a lot of knowledge about analytics that I am now putting into practice.
What excites me about analytics is that it’s big. Whether it’s the concept of big data, or big in terms of the number of organisations wanting to use data to drive insights, it makes analytics an exciting and fulfilling field to work in.
What are you working on right now?
We have been working to change the data conversion process from its current implementation, where data is converted from its flat text format after loading it into the database, to having the data converted while it is still loading.
This requires us to set up complete conversion rules that account for all unexpected values—even for fields we don’t currently use. We have our own reporting tools that measure what works and what doesn't, allowing us to quantify our progress and strategically plan out our approach. The end result of this would hopefully shorten the time between receiving data and having it ready in the dashboard.
What’s a common question people ask about your job?
The most common question would be, ‘what does your job actually involve?’.
I monitor and troubleshoot our data load process, provide ad hoc requests for specialised data from what we receive (for example, purchase orders or employee master data), and develop scripts or tools (heavily in SQL) that makes all this work quicker. My favourite component would be this latter development side of things.
In my role I am able, and even encouraged, to automate as many things as possible, allowing us to get things done quicker.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve been interested in technology for a long time. I knew I wanted to work in that sector in some way, but was entirely open to any area within it.
Late last year, when I was finishing up university, a friend who had worked in a similar role here recommended me when he left. I saw this as an opportunity to explore what working in data and analytics would be like. I’ve been here for about seven months so far, and I’m really enjoying it.
What are three things on your bucket list?
- Travel to Europe—the variety of different countries and cultures within a relatively small area puts this at the top of my travel list.
- Go skydiving—freefalling seems like fun.
- Go on a cruise—I’m thinking a Mediterranean one, possibly combined with a trip to Europe.