Life as a … BI Analyst – Salar Rabbani
The majority of our Tobania world (called “the galaxy” according to our Tobians) is populated by our consultants. Each with their own expertise strapped to their backpacks, they head out to our client’s workplace to deliver targeted projects. Perhaps at yours as well? Well, time to get to know them personally! Featured in this edition: Salar Rabbani, BI Analyst.
What makes working as a BI Analyst so unique?
As a BI Analyst, I provide customers with data insights that they themselves can hardly anticipate. For them, it is a challenge to know exactly what can be visualised from it and what cannot. That’s why, as consultants, we are offering our expertise. And in order to do so successfully, you need to be able to adapt to the company culture and, above all, be able to work with the people you meet.
I am currently working on four projects. Each project is different and deals with different elements within BI, from Management Dashboarding to Self Service BI. The interesting thing is that I learn something different in each and every one of them. For instance, at one project I’m learning about the depth of data warehousing implementation for Self Service BI enablement. Another one I’ m currently working on is visualising the customer lifecycle in a dashboard, exploring new BI tools like Google Data Studio and creating views in Big Query to load and visualise the data in Power BI.
How would your colleagues describe you?
A true team player, someone who is always enthusiastic to support and share ideas.
Who inspires you?
I am particularly inspired by professional athletes, especially Kobe Bryant. This basketball player showed that there is no substitute for hard work, as he was always improving himself in different areas to be the best he could be. This inspired me to do the same in my personal life and in my professional career.
What is your go-to productivity trick?
As my wife says, my life is based on my to-do lists. I always try to plan as much as possible. For example, I am currently using Notion to keep track of all my work-related projects. I create to-do lists, Kanban boards and timelines for each project I am assigned to. The tool gives a nice overview of what needs to be done.
“”Educating yourself in your area of interest will take you far and bring out creativity and fun in your work flow.””
How can you stand out as a BI analyst?
Be curious about ways you can analyse and visualise a dashboard that can meet the client’s requirement. I always try to learn as much as possible from the tools I use, the customers’ environment and their industry. Educating yourself in your area of interest will take you far and bring out creativity and fun in your work flow.
How did your career path look like?
That is definitely nothing linear. As a car enthusiast, I started my studies as a Car Mechanic, but I soon found out that I did not like getting my hands dirty.
I soon realised that my passion involved business and marketing, so I spent many years studying and gaining experience in the field from operational and strategic marketing to campaign-based marketing and CRM marketing. This opened the door for me to Data and BI and eventually got me to Tobania.
As a Tobian, I concentrate mainly on BI projects in different industries. In addition, my first client is actually an automotive one, so that worked out well as I am now working on projects that I am passionate about.
If you could go back in time. What would you say to yourself at the beginning of your career?
Not much, because it was my curiosity and drive that got me so far in my career. I never had the ultimate goal of becoming a BI Analyst. Every year, my aim was to get one step further on my growth path and career and this is exactly what happened.
“You have to enjoy the process to achieve successful results and customer satisfaction.”
What gives you a professional high?
To achieve a successful end result of a project, whether individually or in a team context, you have to enjoy the process. In my opinion, this is the route to customer satisfaction. Friday evenings, pouring myself a fine Belgian beer, looking in my calendar at all the tasks I have managed to complete and what I have learned in a busy week, that sets me on a professional high and gives me extraordinary satisfaction!
Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
Yes, in our data team each person has a coach who guides him/her on his/her growth path. As my first project is related to data warehousing, I wanted to learn more about this area and also gain other technical skills such as SQL.
Therefore, I chose Data Engineer Nicolas as my coach to assist me in achieving my goals.
I meet with Nicolas fortnightly to discuss which skills I want to acquire in the short term and in the long term. During this moment we also discuss what is currently holding me back from achieving a certain goal.
I believe that a coach is essential for an employee’s growth path, regardless of whether you are a junior or a senior.
Do you aspire to be a mentor for others?
Definitely! I think each of us has valuable skills to share. I like to share mine, but also support each team member to achieve his/her own.
What skill did you develop during your career that was worth all the effort?
Being able to adapt easily to various company cultures and the people I meet and work with. I have traveled and lived in many countries and worked in various international companies with different company cultures. This helped me to develop my business communication skills.
What does your desired future look like?
I tend not to look far ahead, but my short-term future lies in building our BI competence centre within Tobania .Data and delivering customer satisfaction through the completion of successful projects. This will hopefully result in a well-formed team of BI experts capable of handling all types of projects in the BI field.
Why should fellow BI Analysts join you at Tobania? Why is working as a BI Analyst extra special at Tobania?
You might think that as a consultant you often work alone on a project, receiving only limited support from your colleagues. However, the emphasis is on working as a team to ensure personal and business growth. All colleagues are willing to help you reach your goals and objectives. This is extremely valuable.
At Tobania .Data we often share our skills and interests to inform team members about the industries, skills or domains we are interested in and have experience in. This ensures that you create your own career path by developing skills and experience in your area of interest.