Who needs my Data Skills?

Mel O'Sullivan - June 30, 2020

A few ideas about searching for industries to work in.

So you are just discharging and you are wondering what industries have a need for your Data Analysis skills. You don’t want to be a part of selling a bunch of stuff to people who don’t need it. So which industry uses data?

Answer: all of them.

I used to work in concrete manufacturing. If you cold call and walk into a concrete manufacturing plant, you’ll see a lot of blokes operating machinery and pouring liquid concrete into great big steel containers called moulds. They’ll be a bunch of blokes that look like they work hard, and they mostly do. The women will mostly be in the office doing the real work 😉. Its a dirty, dusty, greasy, noisy job - with a big chunk of manual labour.

Making concrete products is basically cake making on an industrial scale. You put ingredients into a mix, which goes into a mould, gets cooked for a while and broken out of the mould to cure/cool. You don’t need data to fill a cake tin and see that it’s full – right? Wrong!

Let me run you through the presence of data in this process.

1. People are employed to do the job – HR Data, Payroll Data
2. Raw materials are purchased and stocked – Procurement Data, Inventory/Stock Data and Logistics Data
3. Machines are used to handle raw materials, in production, and handle finished product – Maintenance Data
4. Is the product made to the Australian Construction Standard? And can you prove it? – Quality Control Data
5. What does it cost us to make? – Material & Labour Cost Tracking Data
6. Are we making the required product on time for delivery to the customer? – Production Planning Data
7. Are we making a profit? – Sales Data
8. Are we meeting minimum standards of output/performance? – Key Performance Indicator/Benchmarking Data
9. How much is our Plant/Asset costing us to maintain? Asset Management Data
and (most important)
10. Are we doing all of this safely? – Workplace Health and Safety Data.

In reality a lot of data sets serve more than one purpose and are collected concurrently.

Concrete Manufacturing is actually a heavy data environment.

Be wary of making assumptions on where your skills will be useful - Be Fierce and ask the question.

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