Leap of Faith: Kickstarting my entrance into the world of Data at Ordina

 
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Author: Sonja Peters

I come from far:

I am innately a curious person, and I like to know how things work behind the scenes.

It is thus not surprising that I ended up in the world of theater and opera. I saw up close how stories are brought to life by storytellers, by artists. I saw tears of laughter and tears of emotion, swaying boredom to sleep and adrenaline from tension. In this way, in addition to communication and marketing strategies, I learned something about how you can let people in your story go along.

However, as time passed, the circumstances in which I worked began to change: analogue became digital. The file cabinet was replaced by digital folder structures, the mailbox took over from the fax machine. The story remains intact, but changed the way it is told; never so quickly, never so thoroughly. This digital evolution and change continues, daily: innumerable new apps every day, more powerful applications, new insights, new heroes, the world at our feet but just as many questions about what, when and how.

Now, with the necessary curiosity, with enthusiasm and experimentation, you can achieve some and the same in the 'Internet of Things', but in the infinity of possibilities you must be careful not to lose the thread of your story. And so, my curiosity drove me behind the scenes again: to the beating heart of digital communication. With a Master after master’s in marketing analytics (data analytics), I thought I would look at the radar of online communication.

Statistics: check! I had learned something from that during my study Pol & Soc.
Programming Languages: Hmm… SAS, yes, we also had that. Only: then we had to learn the code from outside and write it by hand on the exam, due to lack of computers.
Python, R: sounds adventurous.
Predictive analytics and algorithms: Are those not for geniuses?
Command-line: ah, that black screen with white letters. Have looked at it from very far.

It became a tough adventure! One that opened the gate to a new world. And so, I started at the beginning of August as Kickstarter at the VisionWorks unit of Ordina with a hands-on training of three months. A program where experienced colleagues shared their knowledge, right from the field, with us. A wide program, too, where you immediately got in touch with applications and possibilities after leaving the school desks. A program where you as a participant could also look at your own strengths and interests.

And finally, a program that you grew as part of a strong team.

 

I am regularly asked: 'Are you happy with the career switch you made?'

The answer is resoundingly, yes!