How do you turn reams of data into valuable insights?
Vaibhav Bishnoi. Image: Aon

How do you turn reams of data into valuable insights?

5 Mar 2019513 Views

We spoke to Vaibhav Bishnoi, a business analyst at the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics.

In this digital age, incredible amounts of data are produced daily. Contained within them are insights that can prove invaluable to any business – that is, if you can find them.

Without being carefully refined, data is just an impenetrable wall of information; a towering pile of deadweight that won’t do anything to help an organisation. To make this data useful, you need people such as Vaibhav Bishnoi, a business analyst at the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA).

We caught up with Bishnoi to hear what a typical day in his role entails.

What is your role within Aon?

I am working as a business analyst at the Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics (ACIA) in Dublin.

I was well equipped to start my journey with ACIA in January 2018, having both a recent master’s from University College Dublin and relevant working background in technology consulting and data analytics.

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in the job?

In ACIA, we follow the Agile manifesto so only a few elements in a typical day are known and fixed, such as our daily scrum stand-up. A scrum stand-up is a great way of starting the day. You basically talk about what you did yesterday, what you will do today, what is blocking your progress and how the team can help.

My typical day-to-day includes loads of requirement gathering and engagement with business product owners across the globe. I need to understand their requirements and transmute them into SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-boxed) goals for the development team.

ACIA is a fast-paced environment offering a variety of projects and opportunities to work with different people, which in turn helps me gain more knowledge to complete these projects at a high standard.

What types of project do you work on?

I am currently working on a suite of dashboards providing key analytical insights to Aon’s commercial risk account executives and brokers across the globe. These insights help them to better manage their client portfolio by analysing industry-relevant peer benchmarks, trends and predictive analytics around their respective client pricing strategies. ACIA is filled with creative and innovative people who have developed their own unique ways of working to tackle various tasks.

I am also working on a side project focusing on knowledge management and best practices within ACIA. The projects I work on require a lot of hours of work, but there is a huge sense of reward at the end knowing that I contributed to something so important.

What skills do you use on a daily basis?

I use fine amalgamation of IT, analytics and project management skills on a daily basis. In Aon, we deal with copious amounts of data, and turning this data into valuable insights requires technology as well as analytical skills.

For my specific role, business analysis and project management skills are required to convert business requests into tangible and achievable goals, spread over a realistic timeline meeting business expectations.

What is the hardest part of your working day?

Getting the right people at the right time on the right platform! The stakeholders that I engage daily are literally scattered across the globe. Within the limited working hours available, it can be a challenge to get to them, but I do enjoy challenges and always find a solution that works for everyone.

Each stakeholder has their own unique way of working and their own set of expectations. It is imperative to adapt, change and respond to your immediate environment to meet their expectations promptly.

Every day has its ups and downs, but the tools provided to me here at ACIA help me get through many hurdles. My fantastic skilled colleagues are also always there to lend a helping hand.

Do you have any productivity tips that help you through the working day?

Success rarely happens overnight and mostly never in isolation – except for a few exceptions! I feel that it is best to work as a team rather than tackle a project individually. I become more productive when I am exposed to innovative thinking and a wide array of technical skills, which all my colleagues in ACIA have.

When you first started this job, what were you most surprised to learn was important in the role?

ACIA is essentially an amalgamation of Aon’s professional services world, innovation, and data and analytics. I presumed that I would be working in a very busy, workaholic team where my work-life balance would be skewed in due course. However, I am happy to say ACIA offers brilliant work-life balance. There are plenty of social events, and everyone is approachable and willing to lend a helping hand no matter how much they have on their plate.

What do you enjoy most about the job?

ACIA has a strong learning and development team, ensuring all employees have the opportunity to upscale their skillset with the ever-growing industry standards.

How has this role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

The role of a business analyst in ACIA has changed rapidly with the prolific growth in our firm. Data is continuously evolving and, in order for each role within data to keep up, we constantly upskill.

This classic notion about the job profile is gradually eroding away with time. The concept of hybrid business analyst is already on the rise, with the aim of inducing more lean and flexible functionality.

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