Transitioning to Data Analytics

Harfourlarke Baiyewu Simbeeat
5 min readDec 22, 2020

My academic journey started off with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and now, a Master’s degree in data analytics. During my academic journey, especially in the phase when I was changing my major, it was very difficult. However, I am so honored and grateful for the path that I have chosen. This has by far been the most memorable journey of my life with so many ups and downs. I hope that with this journey I am sharing, every beginner in data analysis, and everyone who plans to change majors can find something to learn or something to relate to.

The journey was transitioning from a career in business (Business Administration) to a career in technology (Data Analyst) wasn’t as easy as it seems. In a short span of three months, I had to learn computer science algorithms and syntaxes. It is a long road to reach a place where you have a comfortable understanding of the subject. I am still not an expert and believe that the learning process is continuous. I learn every day.
During this journey, a lot of times I felt like giving up, I felt like I was not good enough or that I could not make it. However, an inner voice in my heart urged me to keep going, and kept saying to myself in times of deepest despair, “You can do this!”

My friends were a great source of motivation for me. I would like to thank Fahd for always keeping me on my toes. Thank you for always being there, calling me out, pushing me, and reminding me when deadlines needed to be met.

I found a lot of difficulty in compiling data, detecting errors, and getting insights from it. Although from the outside it looked like I was confidently exploring and learning, very few knew that I was struggling and had very difficult moments, moments when I felt like giving up. I was nervous and afraid of not being able to learn and understand everything.

Oh! should I talk about the times I started as a beginner, learning R markdown and python language. While learning basic algorithms, I tried to assimilate various syntax without mixing up terms. I often called upon Bode, Tomisin, Victor, and Tayo to solve statistical problems using various programming languages. Toheeb, my database friend in SQL helped me tremendously by ensuring that all database projects were completed. Fatima, thank you for the connections and for always being willing to help. Those sleepless nights were difficult but fruitful. I am a bit relieved that those are over now.

Despite having these selfless friends, I have also had funny moments with strangers. Meeting new people on various social platforms was just crazy. Some were there to help for mutual benefits, some were there to obtain finances from you while some others were just there to learn.

Looking back at the difficult times, there were many instances when I felt totally hopeless. I was drained and tired to the point I thought that maybe I should give up on my technical career. It felt like there was no one left in this world. During those instances, I tried hard not to be overwhelmed by discouragement and negative emotions. While feeling down, I said to myself “You can do it, Google is your friend”. After all, most of them had left footsteps as trails. During these moments I promised to push myself harder instead of giving up. I took a deep breath and envisioned myself on the day I was ready to start my career in data science. I relieved the moment of excitement, hope, and determination. I thought about how much I wanted this. After that, I opened my eyes with a new zeal for learning and I felt that extraordinary energy in me which thrilled me to learn and tackle the challenges of handling data to gain insight.

How about when the journey became blurry? I had recommendations. A brother, Fadahunsi played a big role during this journey. His videos on LinkedIn placed me back on track. I could pick the steps I needed to apply to move on. He was there to guide me through it all.
Every day I worked on every data telling myself it is now or never. Then, slowly but surely, I started to understand how to tackle technical problems.
Often, during difficult times when I was low, I shut myself from friends and loved ones because I felt the need to refocus. Some thought that I was weird. Some made fun of me for joining certain social platforms. But I refused to give in to the ridicule. I knew where my priorities lied and the goal that I had set my sight on. Now, I am really glad it paid off. Now, I can talk about handling data and using it to gain insights alongside the various tools needed to achieve this. Therefore, nothing is impossible in anyone’s life, not even data mining, and making reports, it only requires critical thinking to comprehend and explore your power to the world.

“Hamoye”! is a great platform that hosted data science interns. It is very difficult to understand and learn theory without applications. Hamoye solved this. By exposing students to real-life data and ensuring interns can provide knowledgeable results from such data, Hamoye was a great platform to provide practical supplication and mold our knowledge. I remember moments when I wanted to give up because it was very difficult to apply theory to practice. Being surrounded by members who were experts was not only challenging but also intimidating. However, I said to myself, no one knows it all and this is the best opportunity for me to train myself and be qualified when I apply for jobs. With this determination, I grew and learned a lot.

However, learning has no ending point. With technological advancements and changes, we learn new facts every day. Every day is an opportunity to learn, to make positive changes, and grow a little more. The purpose of narrating my story is to encourage others that everything is feasible. Anyone can become a specialist and a skillful person just by expanding curiosity at every level. Whether it is changing majors or trying to succeed on what you are already doing, nothing is impossible if you have the determination, drive, and discipline. Before succeeding, there will always be trials and failures. But, getting back on track quickly and dusting off the dirt is what actually matters.

The ups and downs, high and lows I went through during this journey made me who I am today and now I am filled with nothing with gratitude. People now call me a data analyst but they don’t know from what phases of life I have passed through to earn this “Analyst” term in front of my name. Only a few will.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh.

…and remember,

“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart