A day in the life of an Associate Data Engineer at a FTSE100 pharmaceutical company

Grayce Analyst, Melanie Hardiman shares how she’s making an impact at her FTSE100 pharmaceutical client as an Associate Data Engineer

My responsibilities

I’m currently working at a global pharmaceutical company as an Associate Data Engineer within the Data Engineering Team. Day-to-day, I’m helping to lead our Data Unification Team. This involves tracking project progressions, communicating with our customers, and helping to identify new use cases.

In addition to this, I lead up our Operational Excellence team, improving our processes and engagement. As part my role, I also facilitate governance forums for our Data Insights and DataOps capabilities. This allows us to review project submissions, highlight any risks, and raise any escalations.

As I work in an enabling IT function, I mainly deal with the customer-facing IT teams that feed into each of the business areas such as Commercial, Operations, and R&D. With larger projects, I get to interact with more senior customers. Within the Data Unification team, I get to collaborate with Software Shared Services (SSS) who work as our delivery partner for data unification projects.

Continuous development

Communication is one of the most important skills to have when working in a team. Since beginning my role I feel my communication skills have definitely improved. I’m more confident in voicing my opinion to others and have learned how to deal with the different personalities that I interact with most.

My technical skills have grown since joining the engineering team. I have received training in Collibra and Privitar, our tools used for Data Cataloguing and Data Protection. I’ve also gained my AWS Cloud Practitioner certification and my Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint Associate qualification.

I’m currently undertaking courses in Python, SQL and SAS, which I feel will be of great benefit to my current role. My line manager on client site was a great help in advising me on what training I could do to help advance my data engineering knowledge. I’ve found speaking to other Grayce Analysts about their learning journeys very helpful as it’s given me ideas for future training and development.

Tools and technology

Tamr is the tool we use within our Data Unification team. It is a cloud-native data mastering tool that uses machine learning models, rules and human feedback to achieve data unification, mastering and classification. This allows us to accelerate data-driven business outcomes and improve analytics. Customers who have used this capability have seen improvements in team capacity, cost savings and improved accuracy.

For our demand tracking, we currently use MS Lists. As we’re currently a small team we’re able to effectively use this to keep track of all our demand and project development. It integrates with MS Teams which allows us to keep our files and tracking all in the one place, reducing the need to juggle multiple tools. We’re also currently integrating our MS List with Power BI to create a dashboard that we can use to visualise and report metrics.

My successes

Leading up the Operational Excellence team has definitely been of benefit to my team. As part of this role, I introduced structure to our work by establishing an engagement model that we could use to help track our projects and our engagement process with customers.

By communicating with another Grayce Analyst based at the client, I was able to bring in a project to our Data Unification team. Collaborating with my colleague, I then identified how our tool could help him solve a data consistency issue that his team was having in their labs.

Grayce has opened up amazing opportunities for me! Since joining my client, I’ve been able to bring fresh knowledge and a new perspective to my team. I’ve definitely added value to my team as I’m hardworking, motivated to learn, and contribute to as many things as possible.

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