Analytical Lead, Google
I was born/grew up in: Guelph but grew up in Waterloo, ON, Canada
I now live in: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I completed my training/education at: Queen's University - Bachelor of Commerce
Describe what you do at work.
As the analyst on the team my days consist of mining our datasets for nuggets of insight. I also attend meetings with clients and with teammates, research new tools for analysis, and respond to emails. I use a lot of statistical skills and technology skills. I do coding in SQL and do a lot of data work creating charts, etc. The problems that I solve are usually finding ways to help businesses measure their success using statistics. The companies we work with have many different definitions of success so we try to find a way to use data to prove the success of their advertising efforts. Google has a lot of specialized coding languages and tools that we use, but I also use Excel and Tableau, as well as SQL, R and other data tools.
My background with math and computer science (I took several computer science courses in high school and through university) has made learning new tools and language relatively easy for me. I'm not an engineer - we have a full team of people who are more technical than I am - but I get to use these skills in a very specific way, while still getting out and communicating with clients. I have a team of 10 that I work with. I'm one of two people on the team who support all of them so my time is in short supply and high demand. I speak French and use it occasionally for our clients in Quebec but would like to use it more.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect peoples lives?
My work is fulfilling because I get to help some of Canada's most important companies become smarter advertisers. Working with the government we can help use data and advertising to improve the lives of Canadians. For example, helping raise awareness of issues like opioid addiction, or communicating cannabis policy.
What motivates you in your career?
I get excited about problem solving in my job. We get presented with a lot of really interesting challenges and the ability to brainstorm with other smart people and come up with creative solutions is something I really value. I like the fact that I get to be a part of a sales team but also get to put my analytical skills to the test. Sales is something that I've always taken an interest in - the feeling of making sales is equivalent to scoring goals in hockey. But being the analyst means that I still get to write code and conduct analysis which makes me an important part of the team. I sometimes get treated like a superhero because of my skill, which can be pretty gratifying ☺
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
Analytics wasn't really a thing when I was in high school, but I knew that I was good with math. I went to business school because I liked the idea of working a corporate job, but didn't know what discipline I wanted to follow. In university I realized that even though I was really good at finance and accounting, they didn't interest me and it was marketing that I found most interesting. But I still really liked numbers and math so had to find a way to bridge the two. I wound up working at a marketing analytics company as a summer student the year before I graduated and the rest is history!
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I have a lot of interests. I love sports: I play organized ice hockey, softball, volleyball and curling. I also play tennis, golf and like to snowboard. Music: I play guitar and sing. I also go to a lot of concerts - either rock/punk or hip hop. Games: When I have the time I like to fire up my Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. When I'm with friends I often like to play board games.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Your dream job may not yet exist. Pursue courses that you are truly interested in and you will naturally excel in them. The opportunities will then begin to present themselves.