Strategy Business Analyst – James

Career Journey

I joined Cartesian in January 2015 after graduating with a BA in History in July 2014. In the interim I interned at a think tank, and was a cover teacher at a secondary school. Coming from a non-technical or business background, I found the training resources at Cartesian invaluable in the beginning and throughout my time here. I joined Cartesian with an interest in the telecommunications sector, and a desire to develop my skills in analysis, communication and problem solving.

While at Cartesian I have learned so much, including how to use analytics and visualization tools such as Alteryx and Tableau, as well as more advanced use of more common tools like Microsoft Excel. My knowledge of the telco world has deepened immensely, as has my understanding of the world of business. Projects are varied and our clients diverse. Very few days are the same and there are always opportunities to learn something new. My project tasks have spanned analytics, desk and primary research, market analysis and more.

Cartesian operates in a fast moving and dynamic sector, and sometimes you can be under a lot of pressure to produce a significant amount of work in a short timeframe. This is all made much more pleasant by the strong company culture –a friendly, inviting and open office environment where nobody is afraid to ask for help– and a great group of colleagues who are a pleasure to spend time with. Cartesian’s team has a strong work ethic, but also a commitment to make work in the office enjoyable.

I have enjoyed my first seven months at Cartesian, and I look forward to learning and developing more in the future.

Strategy Business Analyst – Ben

A Day in the Life

9:00 AM: My day typically begins with reading and replying to any overnight emails. If nothing urgent has rolled in, I settle into the day by quickly browsing my favorite industry news sites (TechCrunch, Quartz etc.) over a cup of Nespresso.

9:30 AM: I sit down with my project team to discuss progress made yesterday and to agree priorities for today. It’s a very collaborative office, so all members of the team are involved in bouncing ideas off each other. Often we’ll be faced with a problem no-one has come across before so all perspectives are welcome!

10:00 AM: I’m working on a data analytics project modelling churn (subscribers who discontinue service) propensity for a leading pay TV provider. After the team discussion, I know which variables to prioritize for today’s analysis and I set about interrogating the data, producing summary statistics and graphs so we can quickly ascertain if the variable will be useful as a predictor or not. Over the past few weeks I’ve become somewhat of an expert user of ‘R’ (a statistical programming language), despite having never used it prior to the project.

12:30 PM: I feel hungry so I suggest to my team that we head out for lunch. Typically, most of the office will eat together at our lunch table. We natter about people’s weekends activities and discuss (argue) about topical tech issues that have cropped up in the news.

1:15 PM: After lunch, I resume my analytics work and later pop down to see some colleagues from the Managed Analytics team that is collaborating with the Strategy team on this project. I ask them to modify some of our existing data variables and draw in some more from new sources based on what I discovered from my work earlier in the day.

4:00 PM: I take a break from project work to present a short ‘brown bag’ session to the UK and US analysts about a past project I worked on. It’s really useful to share insights and learnings from projects amongst colleagues so that our collective knowledge grows as quickly as possible.

5:00 PM: I synthesize my key findings for the day onto some slides and circulate these to the project team. As part of the email, I outline a rough plan for tomorrow and call out any problem areas which I’ve come across so my manager can prioritize tasks for tomorrow. We will discuss these issues in greater detail in the morning and agree on a plan of action.

6:00 PM:  I finish the day with something a bit different by writing up a one-page company profile about our graduate career opportunities. It will feature in a brochure at a campus career fair that I have organized for Cartesian to attend in the Autumn. We are all encouraged to take on extra responsibilities in the office and I enjoy playing an active role in the recruitment of new analysts from my former university.

Strategy Business Analyst – Jacob

A Day in the Life

8:30 AM: As I walk to the office in the morning, I usually check my meeting schedule for the day and read any emails that may have come in overnight. I find it’s a good way to ground myself for the day ahead.

9:00 AM: We meet as a team for our daily sync up to discuss what we worked on the previous day and give a high-level summary of our upcoming assignments. Our client is a Fortune 20 tech company looking to grow their cloud business by partnering with service providers.

9:15 AM: I head back to my desk and start skimming my RSS feeds for interesting articles about cloud competitors. Part of my role on our project is to stay on top of market competition and this helps me build industry knowledge.

10:30 AM: Time for our first client call of the day. We meet as a team in the boardroom and my manager presents the latest slide deck to our client. He mentions that executive leadership is still not convinced that there is market demand for our proposed program. After the call, we compare notes and discuss edits to the deck. I’m responsible for the revenue & investment model so I take the edits related to those slide. And to address the executives concerns, I volunteer to create an additional slide to reinforce the market opportunity.

12:00 PM: I check with the analysts sitting around me to see who brought lunch. Some days we grab food from surrounding lunch spots: Chicken and Rice is my personal favorite! We gather in the lunch room to eat, watch a little TV and discuss current events.

1:00 PM: Back to work. Based on the feedback from our morning conversation, we need an additional slide on the total addressable market (TAM) for service providers building clouds. I start looking through analyst reports and gather relevant statistics in an Excel workbook.

5:30 PM: That was stressful! Once I feel good about the research I’ve gathered, it’s time for a break. It’s a quiet day in the office, so I toss a football (we have a lot of miscellaneous sports equipment lying around) with my friend in the cube next to me.

5:45 PM: Refocused, I finish off my TAM slide, along with smaller edits to my other slides and circulate them to my team for feedback. I pause to take stock of my remaining tasks. Some nights there are pressing deadlines and lots of work to finish. But tonight I’m in a good place with my work.

6:00 PM: I ask my manager if there’s anything else I can help with. He mentioned that he’s working on a pitch deck for a new client and ask if I can search our database of past projects for some relevant qualifications. Although we are usually staffed to one project at a time, there are always opportunities to help out with one-off requests, business development, and firm development.

7:30 PM: I head home, bringing my laptop with me in case our client has any urgent requests (this happens occasionally). Depending on the project and assignment, I’ll often finish my work from home if it starts to get late.