Note: The following is a guest post by Tableau Zen Master Brit Cava.
Growing up, I never dreamt I would have a career in data analytics. I studied political science, thinking I’d go to work for NGOs.
After college, I worked for non-profits, helping students gain work experience through service learning. I then moved onto Human Resources as a recruiter for a tech company. I worked with data at each job, but it was never the focus of my work.
Then I came across the job description for an analyst role on a newly-formed BI team at Cigna. The requirements may as well have been in another language. I had no idea what Tableau, Hadoop, or Teradata meant.
When I started googling these terms, I was overcome with excitement over what I found! I was so impressed with Tableau. As a creative individual, I was thrilled at the prospect of combining my interest in data with art.
I researched these tools as much as possible. Then in my interviews, I conveyed my desire to learn. I felt fortunate that the hiring manager, a woman whom I still look up to, saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to learn more about business intelligence and Tableau.
Since then, I’ve realized that these moments aren’t strokes of luck; they’re direct consequences of our own actions. I’d gained experience as a data analyst before I even knew what that was in so many words. I’d also worked hard to find a career path.
This and other lessons I’ve learned along the way inspired me to start the Women in Data - SF community with Chloe Tseng. We’re building an incredible community of women who are engaging in an authentic way, learning from one another, and striving to be our best selves.
Here are three lessons I’ve learned through my own journey and through conversation with other women in tech.