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Business Intelligence Careers

How Gerardo Launched an Analytics Career

7 min read
By John Pauler
Jun 17, 2021

Today, we are kicking off Student Success Days!

Over the next 3 weeks, we'll be sharing career success stories and advice from some of our students who are in the early to mid stages of their data careers, and thriving.

We hope that hearing their stories and listening to their advice may help you in your careers, and will inspire you to continue to grow.

First up, we have Gerardo Martínez González.

When Gerardo graduated from school, he didn't say "okay, my learning is complete". He said "I still have a lot to learn". I love it.

And learn he did! Below you'll hear about all the extra effort Gerardo put in, and how it paid off by making him more valuable and accelerating his career.

He offers some great advice, which I hope you'll enjoy!

Here we go...

Q: Professionally speaking, what do you do today? How important is data mastery to your current role?

My current role as a Logistics Supervisor involves doing a little bit of everything, from resolving complex problems to using our data to drive powerful insights and generate value for our customers.

As a team, we are always looking at how to improve processes, reports, and deliverables. In order to achieve these improvements, to exceed customers’ expectations and to act as resource to peers, it is a must to have business acumen as well as technical skills on different BI tools.

Data mastery is fundamental in my daily basis and being equipped to execute against any report/dashboard asked by the customer or by upper levels within the organization has helped me to be more successful in what I do, to be involved in global initiatives, to help other people and to feel more confident about my work.

Q: What do you think have been some of the key factors in your success?

Understanding my passion, knowing my strengths and weaknesses, and learning constantly have been some of the key factors in my success. Once you take an honest look in the mirror, identify where you want to go and what you need to learn/work to get there, it is a matter of building a Personal Development Plan and engaging with the milestones. Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds but you must be willing to put the work if you want to achieve your goals.

Keep learning, keep improving, keep working, but do not be so hard on yourself. Strive for progress, not for perfection.

Q: You mentioned Maven has made a positive impact on your career. Can you tell us more about that?

The knowledge and skills acquired in four courses imparted by Maven Analytics have helped me to get promoted four times in less than three years within a global company driven by People + Technology. Working hard but most importantly working smart has been key to my professional success. During my first months as an intern, I was putting in the long hours, but I was struggling with the second piece of the equation (working smart), I was having a hard time trying to use ‘simple’ formulas and functions that would help me to be more efficient. Although I was doing great, deep down I knew that in those long hours I could deliver better results in terms of quality and quantity.

By the time I graduated from college I was determined to start at least one Excel course to level up my technical skills. In a sea full of different online platforms offering courses of virtually anything, it may be difficult and overwhelming to choose the right one, so I asked for advice to a friend who is an Excel guru. His name? Enrique Ruiz, you may have heard of him since he is now one of Maven’s brilliant instructors. He knew my pain points, so he recommended to start with Maven’s Microsoft Excel – Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions, which was not what I expected…it was SO MUCH BETTER. I was immediately engaged and using the great tricks and tools learned in my daily work. Three weeks later, I completed the course, and I knew I was just scratching the surface of the powerful tool, so I added to the list two more of Maven’s Excel courses: Pivot Tables and Data Viz.

Long story short: these courses helped me to work smart. As a result, my customer, boss and co-workers were impressed about my work, so was I.

Q: Let's jump back in time. Think about yourself on the day you started your first Maven course. How long ago was that? What was your job at the time? How would you rank your data skills on a scale of 1-10 back then?

At the end of 2019 I graduated from college as an Industrial Engineer. After graduation, I was offered a promotion, and naturally, more responsibilities came with it. My boss asked me to redesign a complex Excel report which used to take a considerable amount of time and energy to build, and the truth is that I was not particularly good at Excel (~3 on a scale of 1-10). I did not know where to start but I did know that my immediate next step was to start an Excel course.

In early 2020, after some research and speaking with a SME (Enrique), I was introduced to Maven Analytics. Due to the pandemic, I came back home to work remotely in March, and started my first Maven course in April. The Advanced Formulas course got me so engaged that in three weeks I was done with it. Next on the list I had Data Analysis with Excel Pivot Tables which was a perfect fit for the report requested by my boss. After completing this course, I was confident that I was fully equipped to deliver the report fulfilling my boss’ and customer’s expectations. Nonetheless, I wanted to go the extra mile, so I started the Data Visualization, Excel Charts & Graphs, which was the icing on the cake for the report.

After completing the report (dashboard included), I received recognition from several people, including my customer and my boss’ boss’ boss: “…Powerful metrics, clean visuals – this is a fantastic example of using our data to drive powerful insights and generate value for our customers…”. This was just one example in which the skills acquired in the courses helped me exceed expectations from my team and customer.

Q: Which Maven courses have you taken? Do you have any particular favorites that you think have helped you the most?

I have taken four Maven Analytics courses (listed below), and all of these have helped me to (1) achieve professional success and to (2) build some personal dashboards to keep control of my budget.

  • Microsoft Excel - Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions
  • Microsoft Excel - Data Analysis with Excel Pivot Tables
  • Microsoft Excel - Data Visualization, Excel Charts & Graphs
  • Microsoft Power BI - Up & Running With Power BI Desktop

It is difficult to choose which one is my favorite because all of them are great (and fun), but the one that helped me the most was the Microsoft Excel - Data Analysis with Excel Pivot Tables. The balance between technical explanations and hands-on demos was extremely helpful to master Pivot Tables. Turning complex concepts into digestible information is one of Maven’s biggest strengths. Keeping this in mind, I am looking forward to taking some of Maven’s Power BI and SQL courses.

Q: Is there anything else you think would be valuable for our audience to hear about your career journey?

Something that I have learned along the way is the importance of ensuring that reports/dashboards are not ONLY built to look pretty, but rather to drive powerful insights and take accurate decisions. Do not get me wrong - clean and beautiful dashboards are great, just make sure these are aligned with what the end user is seeking.

Some additional thoughts:

  • Be patient but also be proactive. Opportunities are out there, but you need to look for them and be READY to take them.
  • Discover your passion and be vocal about it. It is not as easy as giving a wish list to your boss, but if you demonstrate that you have what it takes to execute against a role or a project that you are interested about, it may eventually happen.
  • Balance is key. Do not overwhelm yourself by trying to accomplish impossible milestones. Rather, embrace continuously learning as part of your routine and you will not burn out.
  • Choose priorities wisely. Work hard but keep in mind that work will always be there. Life is short so make sure to spend time with your family/friends/pets, travel, play sports, enjoy.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting their career in data, what would it be?

Start by mastering Excel.

As Chris mentioned in a podcast (Can E-Learning Translate to Job-Ready Skills?) hosted by Things Have Changed, Excel is a full-stacked development tool. It exposes the data layer, the logic layer, and the presentation layer inside a single user-friendly interface.

Keeping those facts in mind, it is fair to say that if you want to start your career in data, start by mastering the most popular data tool in the planet.

Q: If our readers are interested in getting in touch with you, what is the best way for them to connect or find more information?

If anyone is interested in getting in touch feel free to reach out.

LinkedIn: Gerardo Martínez González

Email: gerardo.martinez.g@outlook.com

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Gerardo really has an impressive story. He put in a lot of effort, and it helped him launch his data career!

Want to see more career success stories like this?

Follow Maven on LinkedIn and YouTube. We've got lots more of this coming over the next three weeks.

Want to launch your own career in data?

Check out Maven's new bootcamp offering, which is kicking off in September!

Full-Time Data Analyst Bootcamp

Author

John Pauler

John brings over a decade of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

John brings over a decade of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

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