the jedi-power of making business decisions.
Daniel Castejon, Data Lead at Ubiqum, on how adding data analysis to your skill set will help you to make great business decisions.
Gone are the days that data-driven insights could only be generated by specialized professionals. With the latest tools, every professional – whether it’s a marketer, an entrepreneur, a business manager, HR specialist or consultant – can unlock the power of data to boost their professional impact. Daniel Castejon, co-COO and Head of Data at Ubiqum, who is the Lead Data Instructor for our Specialty Skill course, explains how he plans to help every professional make the best possible decision.
"Understanding data from a business perspective is very powerful and opens many new opportunities on every organizational level"
What was your own first encounter with data analytics?
Keeping track of five-hundred-thousand items in an online catalogue is brain-racking. I did not even know who my top ten clients were. I was completely overloaded with Excel files – think the size of thousands of transactions, purchases and sales, benefit per item et cetera. I found myself staring at heaps of information without the ability to extract what I need. I felt lost. Then I met Sebastian Barajas, founder of Ubiqum Code Academy. He told me he could help me get the practical knowledge to boost my analytical skills. I decided to enroll and the rest is history. Four years later, I successfully sold my first business, stopped giving piano lessons and devoted myself 100% to teaching. I want to share the power of analytics with everyone, whether they always had an interest or just wish to change to a career with more perspective. In only a few years’ time, I guided more than 200 graduates and led diverse consulting projects – from implementing Machine Learning algorithms in production to teaching over 80 professionals at SEAT.
Data analytics, data science, big data, machine learning, AI… There’s a lot of talk about data. What kind are we talking about?
Every company is sitting on top of a huge mountain of data: website usage, marketing analytics or CRM systems, just to name a few. ‘Data’ has become a very big field, with many different specialties. It is my aim to turn all this specialized knowledge into bite-sized learnings available to everyone. To me, it’s not about the label, but about how data can help you achieve business goals. Data analytics, for instance, is useful for mining, processing, analysing and visualising data, while machine learning can help you get even deeper insights by applying the right algorithms.
"All you need are the right tools and a basic understanding of the right processes to use this amazing analytical power to your own advantage"
Data analytics used to be a specialists’ job. Why is it a relevant skill for every professional?
Data analytics often seems like it’s just a technological process, but it’s actually a way to make better-informed business decisions. You will understand that this is not something that should be left to tech people only! Understanding data from a business perspective is very powerful and opens many new opportunities on every organizational level. If you’re a manager it will help you to be a better leader, because you’re able to really understand the data that drives your team. If you’re running complex projects, quantitative analysis will improve decision-making. It’s already proven that people who master this kind of hybrid skillset are in high demand and enjoy fast accelerations of their wage. And who knows – for some people it could turn out to be the first chapter of a great career.
Why do you like it so much?
To me, data holds unlimited potential for everyone. Unlocking this potential to help create immediate business impact has always fascinated me. Most people are not aware of this, but throughout human history analytics always played an important role. Just think of the impact Moore’s law had on the advancement of computing! Today we enter an era where computing capacity and data storage evolve to the next level. All you need are the right tools and a basic understanding of the right processes to use this amazing analytical power to your own advantage. I truly believe we are on the brink of a revolution in how we make business decisions.
Do you have a practical example of how data can improve your performance at work?
I can think of many examples. It can help online marketers to better understand the effectivity of their online campaigns and channels; it can help managers to cut through bullshit faster and better understand the analyses presented by their team; it can help HR-specialists to better understand the composition of the workforce; it can help entrepreneurs to find their most profitable customers – without having to hire an external consultant. Name me a business process, and I can tell you how data insights can improve it.
It sounds like a very complicated topic that requires you to learn a lot of new skills and knowledge. How can this be combined with a busy job?
We’ve studied the best ways to learn new skills. You learn most effective in a challenging environment that’s as close as possible to the real world. Our brains are meant to process experiences, not boring lectures. To us, the way to learn data analytics & machine learning in an effective way is by working on realistic projects – of course with the support of mentors, the right tools and a curated knowledge database.
I am excited to see how this initiative will help a varied group of people unlock their potential in the area of data analysis.
Learn how this course could improve your decision-making process during our open masterclass on May 16th. To sign up for this masterclass or to guarantee a spot for the course directly go to: b-amsterdam.com/specialtyskills.