You’ve only got a few minutes to explain what you do to someone you’ve just met. What do you tell them, including your title and what it means? Think of this as your elevator pitch!
In a nutshell, I analyse data and extract relevant information from it. I guess you could think of me as a conductor and the data as the orchestra. It’s my job to ‘harmonise’ the data, and structure it into the solution to a problem. I’m essentially the middle man; I facilitate between the business world and technology, and understand each sector’s needs.
How long have you been at Capitec?
It’s been two years and a few days since I joined Capitec, and it’s been a great experience so far. I’ve discovered a lot about myself during my time here. I’ve been exposed to many elements that have helped me figure out who am I in technology. If I were to summarise my journey with Capitec in a couple of words, I would say: continuous growth. And not just growth in the career sense but also on a personal and academic level. I’ve been challenged to do better and to figure out how I want to add value to my life.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
I make a cup of tea!
Tell us about a typical day at the office.
That’s a difficult one to answer! I can never predict how my day is going to unfold, and no two days are the same. I was a graduate when I started at Capitec, which meant I rotated through different departments and teams. When I moved out of the graduate programme, I became part of a team that has four subsidiary teams. I float between all of them and have never had the same role. Do I love the unpredictable nature of my days? Oddly enough, I do! It’s contradictory to my personality because I love structure, but I have learned that in order to be truly creative you have to embrace innovation and strategy with fluidity.
Where do you fit in within Capitec? And who do you report to?
I sit in the analytics team and I am a Business Intelligence Business Analyst for the innovation and strategy team. In essence, I report into whoever is running the project I’m working on.
What are your go-to tools for getting your job done efficiently and effectively?
My colleagues tease me about my old school habits. I have sticky notes all over my laptop. I can’t work until I can see exactly what I need to do. Although I am an ambassador for technology, I’m also aware that technology has disabled us to a certain degree. We have reminders on our phones and reminders in our calendars… practical, sure, but it also makes us less able to rely on our memory. I’m more effective if I can use all my senses. If I can touch, smell, see information, I am more likely to address it. An alert on my phone can pop up at the same time as a Whatsapp message or a reminder about my mother’s birthday. I find that distracting.
What type of skills do you need to be good at what you do?
You need to be a problem solver. And to be a problem solver, you need to be creative. Sometimes it’s impossible to solve a problem through process and procedure, sometimes you need to get creative and think outside of the box. You also need to be able to adapt to change real quick. Change is constant in the technology world. And remain cool under fire! If you can’t remain calm in a stressful situation, then this is not the job for you.
What are you most excited about in your role?
I worked as a Business Analyst for about a year before I was appointed as a Business Intelligence Business Analyst in the innovations team, within the data and analytics space. What excites me the most is that I’m still discovering who I am in my role. I’m also excited about how I can add value to Capitec.
What did you study?
I studied a BSC in Information Technology at the North-West University. I’m currently doing my honours in BSC Computer Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. My research focuses on ontology engineering, which is essentially the topic of artificial intelligence, and tries to explain why things exist using technology. The field of technology is constantly evolving so you cannot get comfortable and believe that’s what you’ll be doing for the next 20 years. I don’t think I’ll ever stop studying!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A medical doctor. Sadly I wasn’t accepted at UCT or Wits. But when the North-West University offered me a place to study IT, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I soon discovered it was something I was good at and really enjoyed. I have no regrets.