Diving Deep into the Power of Analytical Thinking
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Diving Deep into the Power of Analytical Thinking

We sat down and had an interview with Czarina, a data analyst and expert in the field. She shared her insights on the current state of data processing in the industry, as well as what trends she’s seeing on the horizon. Data analysis requires strong analytical thinking and problem-solving skills, which is what she loves most about the job. As she puts it, it's an ever-evolving field and it's incredibly exciting to be a part of that.

Interview by Meg Ruiz, Junior Content Designer at Eskwelabs

In this rapidly changing world, Eskwelabs introduces "Skills of the Future," a content category that features interviews and conversations with leading experts in technology, data, education, and business. We believe it is critical to keep up with the latest trends and developments in these areas and understand the skills that will be in high demand in the future of work years.

In the future, I envision individuals being empowered to generate their own reports, while also automating the process in the background. They know when and how the data will be updated as they have established the report and its pipeline.

Can you tell us about your background and experience in learning data analytics?

I graduated from the University of Santo Tomas and took up BS Information Systems with a major in Business Analytics. I was a Microsoft Student Ambassador back then when they launched Power BI. During those times I have already got a glimpse of analytics as it was my chosen track college. While learning data analytics, I became a scholar of one of the conglomerates in the country which allowed me to make a food company as our capstone client on deepening my knowledge in Analytics. I was then hired to become a Data Analytics Associate first, and then a Data Engineer and Data Automation Specialist in the the said conglomerate later. It was hard back then especially when people would rely on a data analyst for most of the reports. But through reading and deepening my knowledge on it, it became a fun learning curve and it made me look forward to sharing whatever I've learned through it. Currently, I am a Project Lead of a Transformation team.

Fig. 1 - Energy Consumption of the Philippines Dashboard by Czarina Jollyn Bastasa

Why are these skills important for companies and teams?

Data Analytics has three aspects, the math/statistics, the technology or programming language, and the business acumen. You’re a unicorn if you’re good with all three. But the most important skill is understanding the business and communicating it in a way the audience would understand. Communication starts by understanding who your audience is and interpreting it in a way that would align your objectives to their expectations.

Can you walk us through the most exciting project you have worked on where you utilized those skills?

The most exciting project I worked on was on data scraping—projects that needed to be scraped from the government. The project I got excited about was scraping facebook data and trying to offer products that could be beneficial within a group. I've learned the skill of web scraping through various articles and sooner, I learned how to automate it using Robotics Process Automation.

Another project I’ve worked on that excited me was the reverse mentoring project. I get to teach whatever I learned in Data Analytics to supervisors, managers, and the like. I utilized this skill when I became a Microsoft ambassador way back in college and I wanna continue doing it even in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. 

I also made the dashboards to tell the story of the Philippines' gold medals over the years. This article was prompted by Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic win last 2021.

What is something that excites you the most about your current professional development right now? 

Data is important in every part of the business. I am excited to use the data generated from my current project and apply various modeling techniques to predict its potential impact. 

Czarina is currently exploring a green technology that could greatly help the marine ecosystem. As a certified freediver, she experienced swimming in an ocean full of trash and it is without a doubt that this problem will persist in the years to come as the Philippines is the third largest contributor of plastic worldwide.

The project I'm doing is very aligned to my personal advocacy—making sure that the marine ecosystem is safe for the years to come. I have seen how my hobby was affected by climate change and how the plastic pollution affected the marine ecosystem. This time, I wanna wear my data analyst hat and apply this project to help save lives underwater.  

What are you currently learning? What's a learning resource you can recommend?

I'm currently learning project management, business economics, financial investments, and venture capital. It is a bit different from data analytics, but I know these foundations will help me in the project I'm building. 

If you're a newbie to Data Analytics, like my friends out there who were curious when I started, you can check out Udemy for technical knowledge, Coursera for math and theories of Data Science, and of course Eskwelabs if you want to have a classroom setup learning. Eskwelabs will guide you in your career towards data analytics, data engineering, and data science. Good luck and always find passion in whatever you do!