Mid-year resolutions

“You’re in the middle of an interesting online course. You just started reading a fascinating new book. You stayed up all night watching a series of talks by a provocative lecturer. Nobody knows. It’s a secret between you and your brain.”

T.K. - Three reasons why you should learn out loud”

Catching up

Almost six months ago, I started working as a data analyst for a marketing engineering agency.

The first couple of weeks were somehow slow. I started working mid-December, and three-quarters of the staff were on vacations, even the clients were taking time off. During the first couple of weeks, I spent about eight hours a day reading and watching videos, learning and taking exams. I got Google Analytics certified, Google AdWords certified, and I took courses on Facebook Advertisement and Search Engine Optimization.

Then, one day a client requested a report for that same day, and in less than six hours I had to learn how to pull data from Appnexus, how to analyze it, and present my findings using Excel. Until that moment, I hadn’t had time to review Appnexus documentation, and I hadn’t touched Excel for five years. Nothing like the thrill of running behind the clock to accelerate learning!

The next day I was asked to report on top performing creatives. And the following day I was setting up events with Google Tag Manager, and creating Google Analytics dashboards for other clients.

In the past three months, I became an expert at gathering and analyzing data, and preparing client-facing reports.

I mastered the use of pivot tables in Excel. I automated reports for clients using Google Data Studio. I collaborated with my colleagues writing scripts that connect Google Data Studio to other data providers.

I re-learned how to use R for data analysis, and ggplot became my best friend when creating visualizations. I started moving my dashboards from Google Data Studio to R using the flexdashboards package and Shiny.

I’ve worked with a wide variety of clients, from small-medium companies (Weleda, NJOY, BroadwayHD), to big ones (Scott’s Miracle-Gro and IGS).

And I’m continually learning new tricks about both: data analytics and marketing.

I am a lucky girl. I’m paid to do exactly what I love to do. But guess what. All those wonderful things I learned at work, all of them, they are a secret. A secret kept between me and my brain.

Setting up goals

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from T.K., with an invitation to look ahead to the next 6-12 months of my life, and evaluate the three most important things that I’d like to be, do, or have by the end of that period.

Here is a summary of my three long-term goals:

  1. Six to twelve months from now, I’d like to have a thorough understanding of digital marketing concepts.
  2. I want to transition from the data analysis path to the data scientist one.
  3. I want to have an updated website/portfolio that reflects my skills and knowledge.

I firmly believe that learning out loud, by creating this site, and putting my work out there, is what got me the job I have right now. Somehow, I stopped updating this site a few months ago, that’s changing right now.

June Personal Development Project (PDP)

My June PDP is the following one:

PDP Summary: For June, I’ll focus on getting into the habit of learning something new about digital marketing every day. Every weekend, I’ll share what I’ve learned during the week. Those two activities will be concrete steps to reach the long-term goals #1 and #3.

PDP Deliverables: 5 blog posts documenting my journey as a data analyst.

PDP Activities:

  • Every day: Read one marketing/data analysis related article. Take notes. Explain what I’ve learned to a friend/colleague.
  • Every weekend: Publish a blog post summarizing learnings (or most significant learning) for the week.

It’s said that writing out goals makes them feel more tangible, more concrete. I agree.

Cheers to mid-year resolutions!