A Day in the Life of
WHAT HE DOES AS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE
As the Business Planning and Strategy Manager at Group Digital Life (GDL), a division under Singtel Group, Terence assists the CEO with strategic and operational matters. On the strategic front, as Singtel looks to diversify into new areas, Terence gets involved in the strategy and planning of new investments to help grow Singtel to the next level. This means having to do market studies to think about which sectors are hot and growing that Singtel should move into as the next growth engine. On the operational front, he works closely with the businesses which report to the CEO to follow-up with them on operational matters and provide the support they need. Prior to his current role, Terence did his first rotation at DataSpark as a Data Science consultant. DataSpark is a data analytics startup under GDL that leverages the data that Singtel collects to provide solutions for government agencies and enterprises. For example, organisers of an event like the National Day Parade can leverage Singtel’s data on how people move around to determine how they can efficiently allocate manpower to direct and control the crowd.
HIS WORK EXPERIENCE AT SINGTEL
Starting out at DataSpark was a no brainer for Terence as he already knew he was interested in data analytics. As a Data Science consultant, Terence would met with clients to understand their needs and what they want to achieve. Client needs were then converted to specific features that need to be built for the client. This involves going through huge amounts of data – terabytes of data – to identify the insights that can be used to meet the clients’ needs. Other than a consultant role, Terence also took up a service engineering role which is more technical. Despite not having any prior experience, he had the opportunity to work on deployment of analytic solutions to the cloud. This meant he had to learn exceedingly fast on the job, guided by experienced analytics professionals who mentored him during his time there. Despite not having any relevant background or experience in data analytics, Terence was genuinely interested in data and actively sought out online courses to learn programming languages like Python & R. This gave him a very basic understanding of programming which he later used to create analytics solutions to solve a problem in his life: crowded gyms. With historic data on gym capacities from ActiveSG, he created a visualisation model to understand the trend of how people use the gym. To employers, this shows that Terence is someone who is a proactive learner and even built something of value from the limited analytics skills he picked up.
COMPANY CULTURE AT SINGTEL
As a large MNC, one way Singtel drives innovation is through startup subsidiaries that are actually run like a startup. DataSpark is one such example. Every morning, those involved in the project would have a stand-up meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Some teams will work on the front-end, others on the back-end, API and data science workstreams. After putting the different pieces together, they will then meet their clients to ask for feedback and the whole cycle repeats. We also found out that similar to school having CCAs, Singtel also has its very own Singtel Recreational Club where Terence joined the Singtel Dragon Boat team. This has given him the chance to make friends with people from different business units during trainings and competitions. They are brought closer by the goal to bring glory to Singtel in the Dragon Boat scene. A personal proud moment for him? Clinching Gold at one of the dragon boat events together.
ADVICE FOR JOB APPLICANTS
Building a portfolio of data analytics projects you’ve done is the most effective way to demonstrate your interest and competency to prospective employers. These projects can be as simple as looking for a problem in your life and trying to solve that problem with data analytics. The key to best leveraging this portfolio? Use these projects to highlight how you’ve demonstrated these three top qualities that’s required to thrive in data analytics: (1) Resourcefulness: Data is not always easy to get – How did source and collect data that you may not necessarily have? (2) Detail-oriented: What were the steps you took to clean the data? (3) Creativity: Data is often very messy – How did you creatively pull out the relevant value and insights in the data?