Interviews

Emmanuel O.'s review of the CoRise 4-week Analytics Engineering with dbt course | Census

Parker Rogers
Parker Rogers August 19, 2022

Parker is a data community advocate at Census with a background in data analytics. He's interested in finding the best and most efficient ways to make use of data, and help other data folks in the community grow their careers. Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

During our recent Summer of Data campaign, we launched a fun, little video series called the Stand Out Data Show, where I taught you bite-sized tips and tricks on how to improve your data career (and gave away some neat prizes along the way).

For Episode 4 of the Stand Out Data Show, we gave away a scholarship to CoRise’s Analytics Engineering with dbt course – which you know I had to scope out first (because I’ll jump at any opportunity to build my dbt knowledge). On June 3rd, we announced the lucky winner: A Wejo data analytics engineer named Emmanuel.

This four-week, hands-on course, was a game-changer for Emmanuel and me. We both learned tons of dbt best practices by transforming, testing, and maintaining datasets within the modern data stack – and we’ve both already applied our knowledge in our careers! 

Emmanuel was gracious enough to share some details about himself and his experience with the course (so y’all can learn a bit, too). Check out this interview to learn more about Emmanuel, what interested him in dbt, what he gained from the course, and how he plans to use this newfound knowledge in his data career.

Could you tell us a little bit more about who you are and what you do?

As of 2022, I’m a data analytics engineer at Wejo, a global leader in mobility intelligence data and software analytics. Specifically, I work within the BI and data warehousing team, where I leverage data analytics to facilitate smarter data-driven decisions for commercial departments within the business.  

Before this, my curiosity carried me through several industries that also heavily rely on data insights (like luxury high street fashion with Burberry and energy management and automation with Schneider Electric). While it might seem like these businesses are wildly different, they have one key factor in common: They need trustworthy and transparent data to support their key decisions – which they get only with a single source as the version of the truth.

What initially got you interested in dbt?

It’s the idea of a single source of truth that piqued my interest in analytics engineering in the first place. I  came across the concept of dbt associated with the analytics engineer’s role, particularly as it related to unicorn organizations that required their data analysts to dynamically execute tasks that traditionally belonged to data engineering functions. As an analytics engineer myself, I found myself in the same position, supporting the business more and more with engineering tasks, like moving data across systems to provide data sources for consumption. 

You’re in the data field, so you know that dbt gained traction because it allows data teams to work a little bit more like software engineering teams by bridging some of the gaps and challenges that these teams face on a daily basis. After hearing about its benefits and seeing it grow so quickly in popularity, I was curious to learn more about it, so I put it on my “to learn” list. Soon enough, I came across the CoRise dbt scholarship offered by Census. I watched the Stand Out Data Show episode, applied, and was selected as the winner!

The opportunity to learn best practices along with other professionals across the globe that were already using dbt in their organizations was too appealing to let pass by. Plus, having instructors like Emily Hawkins, Jake Hannan, and other leaders in the field was the cherry on top. Obviously, being an analytics engineer is tough work, but dbt makes it 10x easier by helping me organize, update, and model data according to my preferences.

What are 3 of the most important things you learned from the CoRise Analytics Engineering with dbt course?

One key and fundamental learning that was brilliant about the CoRise analytics engineering course for someone new to dbt like myself was understanding and being able to see scalable and clear data models with the help of dbt macros and jinja features. By the end of the course, I was even able to use these features to build my own data models!

The course also did a great job of blending a diverse mixture of sessions to facilitate the understanding of dbt conceptually. By outlining the vision that data teams with modern data stacks have while leveraging dbt in their respective organizations, I was able to identify key use cases that I could use in my own role. Also, having the opportunity to reinforce my learning through peer reviewing others’ work and getting feedback on my work from others on a weekly basis reinforced my knowledge and further boosted my understanding of the tool.

This CoRise course excels at providing a support system and a community that enjoys applied learning. Instructors went the extra mile to answer every question, supported us with real-world examples, and really immersed themselves in the learning process. That made a considerable difference in the learning outcome

How do you see these skills transforming your data career?

It’s clear that the unparalleled rate of changes in the modern data stack has led to open conversation about best approaches and how the same work that was done yesterday can be done today with better leverage of resources and more efficiently.

As an analytical thinker and professional, I recognize that it’s vital to not only my company’s success, but to my personal and professional success to stay up to date with best practices, so I plan to continue expanding my knowledge with the dbt community. In the pursuit of growth and professional development, working with dbt made me realize that standardization is more important than innovation.

If you want to connect with folks like Emmanuel, learn the skills you need to support the future of operational analytics, and get support for the tools powering the future of data… Join the Operational Analytics Club! ✨

📈 Want to level up your data career and take this (or another) CoRise course yourself? Enroll now!