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A Day In The Life Of A Data Analyst

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In my HG career as a Data Analyst, the team has really invested in me to build my skill set over my time here.

My name is Lisa McCorkell and I’m a Data Analyst at HG Insights.

The team at HG Insights has really invested in me to build my skill set over my time here. The day-to-day working environment with the team is really casual, welcoming, and warm. The company values curiosity and innovation — I was supported in getting creative to develop a widget that helps the entire Data Operations team do their best work on a daily basis.

But first, here’s a little more about me.   

Growing Up Around Computers

I’ve always been captivated by stories. I love analyzing and dissecting things, especially the written word. Breaking it down, then, to answer a question, building it back up. This led me to pursue degrees in philosophy and literature — despite my background in tech. Actually, I used to hang out in our basement computer room with my dad who owned a mail-order software company and an Internet Service Provider (ISP) company, so I grew up around computers and server racks. He used to write custom games for me to play when I was younger, which helped me learn some programming when I was 12.

I was a little scared to get into tech. Especially when I went to college. The computer science students were mostly men, so I hung back and had a good time doing linguistic and textual analysis in the humanities, not knowing I was destined for data analysis! But even so, I still don’t look back because I pursued the mom route pretty hard!

A Career In Parenting 

My HG career still leaves plenty of family time.

For 11 years I had a great time as a stay-at-home parent. I decided that when my youngest went to kindergarten, I would look into going back to work. I researched what was going on in tech at the time — and everything was about data. So I said, what would it take to get into a job related to data? What skills do I need to get into that? I went to a data conference just before the pandemic, and decided I liked it! It was really exciting for me to join the dots using data in order to answer questions and figure out how to aggregate it in different ways.

I took a few courses on data analysis with Python and machine learning. They were hard, but really it was fine, I just had to do a lot of Googling and trial and error! 

I never tell myself I can’t do something, I just try until I figure it out! 

HG Hackathon: A Springboard For My HG Career

Even though I hadn’t really worked in tech, HG hired me for manual data curation, as a Data Integrity Specialist. HG valued my English degree and my part-time experience with using CRM software to help realtors create listing marketing material. Within six months I got knowledgeable about HG’s Technology Intelligence and Data Operations processes, learning many different strategies for curating data and getting important context, and I’m more comfortable each day. 

In my HG career as a Data Analyst, the team has really invested in me to build my skill set over my time here.

The annual HG Hackathon has employees from the entire company participating in a 24-hour event to create process improvements or develop new products. I formed a team that created an informative dashboard for client-facing teams and ultimately  I won an award for designing an internal process improvement. I was then promoted to Data Analyst! Looking back, I feel like leadership was helping to cultivate me, and my confidence, and it says a lot that they looked for an internal hire. The Hackathon was a springboard for my career! 

Because I’m naturally curious, once I got database credentials, I got in there! I used to go into internal databases and look at all the tables, so I could understand internal data, googling things such as  “how to filter an array in SQL” or “window functions with dates” —reading pages and pages of internal documentation long tail. I took time to learn and invest in myself which has helped grow my career at HG. 

HG values my curiosity and, in general, I feel like people value what I have to say!

HG On The Daily

Most of the projects we do are data governance — we make sure all the data that comes from Data Operations is high quality and accurate as it can be making sure it’s consistent and doesn’t have errors. We also triage and troubleshoot data quality issues, then perform final checks and quality assurance (QA). 

I do a little bit of data engineering, using Python to move data around, but mostly I’m supporting manual data curation teams. Actually, there are multiple data analyst sections, for example, Customer Solutions is the customer-facing team, and Internal Data Analytics works with source data and internal investigation projects. 

Why HG Is For Me

My favorite part of my HG career is all the interesting projects. I was supported to pursue a workaround that would help us be more efficient. For example, we curate URL relationships that are put into a database via the spreadsheet that the Data Operations team maintains. Well, we run checks on that data before it goes into the database. I used Python, the Google Sheets API, and Hex online notebook software to create widgets for the data operations team to use. We now use this proprietary widget I created with Python to help work more efficiently! HG encouraged me to find this, and other, creative solutions developed to solve team-wide problems.

Every day I like socializing with the people here. There’s a great team culture and I have a good time talking to people here—having lunch with everybody, talking with people from different departments and backgrounds. 

It’s funny—after 11 years as a stay-at-home parent—one of the things I was really excited about when I first started at HG was talking to adults. And even though I felt I didn’t have the “tech jargon” I never felt judged by the teams here because my coworkers are so understanding and are willing to help us all grow and develop. The teams I work with day-to-day are casual, welcoming, and warm.

That is why I joined HG. And you should too. 


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