How I broke into data a decade ago

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12th Jul 2023

Hi, my name is Adrian, I am a data analytics and business passionate and i would like to welcome you to my blog.

If you are going to read this post it is maybe because you might wonder how is it to break into data, so I am going to tell you my experience about 10 years ago. 

My beginnings

First of all, I have to say that it is a very rewarding experience, but 10 years ago when I started there was just a few data job positions, and I am referring to the job market in Spain, where I am from originally. But nowadays , there are plenty of opportunities to get a job in data as data roles are in high demand because businesses need to get the most out of their data in order to take more informed decisions and gain in competitive advantages, and here is where data roles come into scene. I have to say that the data field is mature by now, it is not something new.

The data field is mature by now, it is not something new 

The importance of data roles

Well, I guess you already know about the main different data roles. Data analyst, data scientist and data engineer. Basically the difference between them is that a data analyst work by analyzing data in order to find patterns or trends for providing insights that allow stakeholders take more informed decisions. A data scientist is a profession in which the data scientist generally use machine learning models to predict future outcomes based on historical data, for example the do clustering and classification of customers, or even calculate the probability of the churn of a customer in a sales process. And data engineers gather the different data sources and prepare the data in a useful way so data analyst and data scientists can work with this data.

How I did it

Nowadays, data roles are in high demand but 10 years ago it was not like that. My experience is that I started working as sales report after studying a professional course in sales and marketing, but I realized that I liked a lot to work using excel and analyzing data so I wanted a change in my life so I decided to upgrade myself and I ended up studying a degree in business and administration in the university, where I learnt a lot about marketing, management, accounting, finanze, etc, but at same time I was able to study a lot of different subjects about statistics and finally machine learning, and I liked so much that I decided I wanted to work in data. But I have to say that after finishing my studies i suffered the impost syndrome, I learn SQL by my own with different resources that i found in the web, so i was thinking if that was enough for being ready to work in a real scenario like a company, so after that I enrolled in a professional course in business intelligence that allowed me to gain in confidence so after that I started applying to all potential job opportunities that I found.

At some point i got my first opportunity after passing different technical interviews and a home based project. I was so happy. My first data job was for working as business intelligence analyst, and i learnt a lot from that. It allowed me to improve my skills and confidence using SQL, developing and automatizing reports or even analyzing data. 

Advice for freshers

My advice for freshers is that if you are looking for a data job don't look for the perfect job position, just try to found just your first data job, it will allow you to learn lot of different things  in a real scenario for improving you abilities and probability it will allow you to jump into another better positions in order to improve you career.

My advice for freshers is that if you are looking for a data job don't look for the perfect job position, just try to found just your first data job.

This is a profession in which you will be learning continuously because every now and then new technologies and approaches come into scene so you it is a never ending process. The projects and data you may end up working might differ depending on the type of the company, the industry, so over the years you will be working with lots of different types of data. 

Data opportunities outlook

At this point you might wonder that this profession is not exclusive of people with a computer science background, i know there are many different people who transitioned from non technical backgrounds, like economists, teachers even therapists. This is like that because even if it is needed to being able to manage the different tools and programming languages other non technical skills are important as well, like having a domain knowledge for understanding the business so you can provide your own analytical solutions for them to take better decisions as well as being able to communicate effectively among others. 

This profession is not exclusive of people with a computer science background

Another important thing I would like to tell is that the data profession is not attached to any country, you can find data analysts, data scientists and data engineers working all over around the world. So if someday you decide to migrate probably you could find another data job in your new locations. 


So in summary, I would like to say that the data profession is a very rewarding one, you will never get bored and you can learn a lot as well as improve your career a lot. 

About me
Adrian Rodriguez

Spaniard working in the data field since 2013 in different industries as BI developer, Data Analyst as well as Data Scientist. I consider myself a data analytics passionate.