DataViz at the Workplace: An Industrial Perspective


Sintok, 9 January 2022 - Earlier this year, class of SQIT3083 Data Visualization under the tutelage of Ts. Dr. Fazillah Mohmad Kamal has organized an Industrial Talk in the Classroom Series with the alumna who enrolled in the course, Miss Lim Jia Qian from Dell Technologies. Also joining the session during the opening was SQS Dean, Associate Professor Dr. Mohd Kamal Mohd Nawawi. For almost a year Miss Lim has been working as an inventory control data analyst. According to Miss Lim, once she became a part of the data team, she is often provided with millions of data rows which are required to be pre-processed and later, she performs data crunching using the Microsoft Excel. Miss Lim disclosed that her department works closely with the IT department to develop the dashboard. She highlighted that the commonly employed visualizations include pivot table, pie chart, line chart and map that show the percentage and data values. She emphasized that the theories learned from data visualization course are indeed very useful in her job, in addition to other essential skills such as willingness to learn and effective communication which are very relevant to a data analyst. Apart from that, learning about the key performance indicators (KPIs) which are specific to particular departments, as well as data integration are essentials in carrying out her work. This indicates that most of the tasks need continuous monitoring of quantifiable measures of performance over time to address specific objectives decided at the outset.

Apart from that, Miss Lim also shared several interview questions including ‘What is the most challenging aspects of university life?’ and ‘Describe your experience of university life’ which were very unexpected according to the students. Interestingly, she shared some tips during the interview such as, be a good storyteller and consider the interviewer like an acquaintance so that the nervousness can be eliminated. Honesty is another important aspect that candidates should emphasize during the interview as employers appreciates honesty very much, as long as candidates are willing to learn. “Though English is not our mother tongue, don’t bother about making mistakes as we are human being! Keep practicing, guys!” Miss Lim added. Referring to her own interview session, she revealed that she was interviewed twice. In the first stage, she was interviewed by the top management regarding the hard skills on being a data analyst, whereas in the second stage, the company assessed her soft skills including communication skill. To fueled up the discussion, Miss Lim also shared other essential procedures and techniques during the interview.

In essence, Miss Lim has really given the audience true enlightenment about the realm of work environment particularly how exactly data visualization plays its role. The sharing of many interesting and firsthand experiences from real workplace with the students and alumni has elicited a lively and engaging discussion. All students hoped and suggested that such sharing session will be organized just before they start their internship in the future.

Prepared by: Tan Cheng Theng, Farra Deanna Binti Norais, Nur Aisyah Dayana Binti Ismail, Mazatul Izza Binti Mohd Ramli & Fazillah Mohmad Kamal