My name is Katie Falle and I’m senior data consultant at Prosperity 24/7.
What my job involves
As a ‘data specialist’ (my favourite title), my job involves a lot of variety! One day I might be providing guidance to a client about how to collect, store or analyse their data and the next I might be matching large and complex datasets or designing a bespoke solution to help a client meet their compliance obligations under the Data Protection Law.
I also get involved in a variety of technical IT projects, carrying out data protection risk assessments at the beginning of a new system design and build to ensure the solution is following ‘privacy by design’ principles.
How I got into my profession
I started off as a researcher and statistician, working in government where I learnt from some fantastic data professionals. Statistics gave me a brilliant grounding in how to extract value from data but also taught me a lot about the importance of looking after it throughout its lifecycle.
Working with data involves far more than just modelling and analytics. From data strategy, big data management, data governance, data protection and cyber security there are so many areas to get involved in.
Skills and qualifications
The most important skill you need is being able to see the ‘big picture’; to be able to visualise (and often communicate) how all the pieces fit together i.e. how your data will be used, the problems you are trying to solve, the issues you are likely to face, etc. But it is equally as important to be able to drill down to the minute detail.
Often one small issue with data quality or a tiny error in your algorithm can throw your whole data project way off. You often need to put your detective hat on, and you certainly need to be a good problem solver!
Over the years I’ve done a range of academic and professional qualifications including a master’s degree in Statistics and certifications in data protection.
What is it like to be a woman in tech
It's fair to say I’ve faced some challenges over the years, especially finding a balance between my family life and a busy, demanding job. I’ve learnt that it's certainly possible to have everything. The key is finding a company that values the importance of a work / life balance and provides you with enough flexibility to excel in all areas of your life! A supportive team and happy working environment make a huge difference.
The best thing about my job
Variety and flexibility! Data is a huge and constantly evolving discipline so there is always something new to master. Also being a consultant means I generally have the flexibility to work from anywhere.
I’ve been involved in lots of exciting projects over the years, from transforming the data infrastructure for all schools and colleges on the island to drafting new laws for information management. No two days are the same and I look forward to the next big challenge!