National Coding Week: Hear from our Analysts
As part of National Coding Week, we asked some of our analysts about their interaction with coding in their everyday jobs and if they have any advice for those looking to learn coding themselves. Here Marc, Senior Analyst in Performance Insight and Analytics, shares his journey into coding from our contact centre and some useful top tips.
Tell us a little bit about your role at Vanquis.
I’m a Senior Analyst in the newly established Performance Insight and Analytics team. As the name suggests, our role within Operations will be analysing operations activities to identify efficiency opportunities and provide operations with further insight into colleague performance to help understand where we can improve customer experience. I work closely with the Quality and Complaints teams to drive process workflow optimisation, data tools and solutions as well as supporting opportunity sizing to help instigate change within the areas.
How do you use coding in your role at Vanquis?
Whether building data driven tools to help fulfil customer needs, enhancing visibility of customer and colleague behaviour through developing MI or diving into data to support budget planning to understand how many people we need within certain functions, there isn’t a day that passes where I’m not coding.
What led you into a job in coding?
Having started in New Business almost 12 years ago, I moved into Collections less than a year later as felt it would be more challenging. Seeking to further my experience within the bank, I moved into the Customer Data Quality team, which used various data sources to find customers who’d lost contact with the business. It was there that my passion for data began as I started to identify that there were better ways to use the data we had to improve how we operate. I started learning SQL in my spare time, being up until midnight most nights of the week over a few months. I began developing dashboards to improve visibility of data retention within Collections, highlighting multiple changes that would improve customer engagement. I soon found myself delivering training across operations in the UK, and in Cape Town, on best practice when dealing with Customer data. From there I managed the Case Management team building various customer management tools, communication strategies and KPI dashboards to support the team’s performance. After a few other management roles within Vanquis, it was apparent that my skillset and experience leaned towards data and that it was time to make the leap from people management into data, putting my career on a new path by joining the Performance Insight and Analytics team.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Problem solving. In every task I set out to complete, there are obstacles and challenges along the way. Having my knowledge and assumptions constantly tested, as the assumed solutions quite frequently don’t work, there are always learning opportunities.
What was the hardest part about learning?
Having real world scenarios and problems to solve. For anyone starting on the learning journey you can read books, do courses and watch as many videos as you want but without actual experience in applying what you’re learning, constantly, it’s unlikely to stick. The best way to learn is to do it and learn as you go.
Are there any tools or resources you would recommend?
For SQL: This has everything needed to get you started with SQL, and other coding languages! https://www.w3schools.com/
For SAS: There are multiple free online courses and exercises provided by SAS: https://www.sas.com/en_gb/training/offers/free-training.html
- Use it or Lose it : The best way to learn is by doing it!
- Draw before: It’s a lot easier to finish a task when you have the whole design in mind. Write, draw and plan whatever you’re aiming to do on paper before starting it.
- Google is your friend: Whatever you’re doing, someone has done it before. The code is usually out there, you just need to look.
- Get Help: Don’t get stuck, there are bound to be many individuals both within the business and online who are able to help.