Sparta's Media Hub

My Spartan story: Khizer Iqbal

Khizer Iqbal joined Sparta Global to further his learning and build upon his Mathematical skills for a career in tech. Read about his experience here....

Congratulations on your new full-time position! How does it feel?

I’ve been lucky to spend my two years with Sparta Global working as a consultant for the same healthcare provider, so I knew what to expect when I converted to a permanent employee here. While I have joined a new team with a different job role, it was as simple as waking up in the morning and logging in like nothing had really changed! It’s just more exciting!

In just two years, you have gone from Math graduate to Data Analyst for a transformative organisation. Did you expect your early career journey to look like this?

Reading Maths at University developed my desire for working with numbers, data and solving problems – and the field of technology is just that! Possessing the skills to analyse data and discover what it is telling us (using a variety of really powerful tools) has always fascinated me.

I joined Sparta Global’s Data programme because I knew that I would receive the training required to set up my career as an analyst, and that I would be able to start that career with a reputable client. I was open to exploring all options and felt that starting with Sparta was the right step to take.

With two years working in a data role under your belt, can you see how your data training prepared you for the workplace?

I’ve realised how much the Sparta Global training actually taught me! All the tools taught: SQL, python, Tableau, Excel, Git, APIs, etc are highly valued in the data analytics sphere, and the fact that we covered them all in a period of 8 weeks to a level that I was comfortable to continue using whist on client site, is very impressive. Not to forget the business skills too!

Do you have a practical example of using a lesson from your training in your day-to-day work?

I could provide many technical examples, but the one that I use almost every day is the two-minute rule we learnt during Business skills week; “If it [a task] takes two minutes to do, then do it now”. A simple yet effective way of narrowing down the to-do list and managing priorities.

And what are some of the jobs on your to-do list in your role? Can you tell us a bit about the projects you have worked on?

My first year consisted of helping the client migrate their reporting from Excel to a more recent data visualisation tool - Tableau. They had just invested in the tool to utilise the variety of visualisation techniques that Tableau offers and I also used Python to help with collating multiple Excel files.

My second year was when COVID hit. Given I was supporting a healthcare orgsanisation, it had a huge impact on how we worked. As the nation started to get vaccinated, it was our responsibility to report on vaccine uptake across the Midlands, vaccine stock held at vaccination sites, bookings, capacity at sites and much more. This period was very intense given the severity of the situation and with immediate deadlines meaning we simply had to work after hours. It was a massive learning experience.

You certainly experienced a lot on your assignment as a consultant, but now as a permanent employee, do you feel like you have found a career you want to pursue for many years to come?

My time working in healthcare and during Covid, has shown me the vast amounts of data that can be collected and how this data drives critical decision making. I find it all very intriguing and it is definitely something I want to continue doing!

What are you most excited to achieve in your future career?

Becoming an all-round data guru! I want to develop my skills in warehousing data, continue to develop my skills as an analyst and use my foundation in Math and statistics to perform some data science too.

You must be very proud of what you have achieved in such a small space of time! What would you say to Spartans just starting their tech careers?

It’s been a great experience and I’ve learned loads! All I’d say is to make your goals really clear, ensure this is something you love doing and are willing to put in the effort. Be willing to continuously learn and develop and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Best of luck!