From Chef to Data Analyst : Meet Luis

A sushi Chef running his own restaurant in his hometown of Santiago in Chile, the then 20-year-old Luis Vergara was looking for an escape from the hospitality industry. But for Luis, it was quite the transition to make into the world of business!

When Luis landed in Australia he commenced his studies with TAFE Queensland undertaking a dual-diploma in Business Management. In his first month he was successful at being offered two internships, one as a Marketing intern and the other being a TAFE WIL Project Based internship 13-week Business Analyst with Waterline, a Brisbane-based Engineering company. While excited to land both opportunities, he quickly realised that Waterline was where he wanted to be.

I was trying to find something different because I was bored. Trying to get out of the hospitality industry was difficult and with my basic level of English I didn’t think I stood much of a chance. In my downtime I started to teach myself interactive dashboards through Excel. Although it was an archaic platform, I started to see how versatile data could be to a company and how it could benefit many different industries.”

Thankfully for Luis, the opportunity paid off and it has been the step-change he was looking for out of the hospitality industry and over to business.  Now 23-years-old Luis has quickly proven himself to be an intuitive data analyst, and with his friendly disposition and keenness to learn he has become a vital part of the Waterline family.  In 2018 Waterline offered Luis a permanent position, where he is now a full-time Business Analyst.

I love analytics and coding, so I was attracted to taking on the data analysis role with Waterline and accepted the internship as my first preference. I was initially nervous about my interview because I was told to come prepared with some dashboards to show what I could do. But I didn’t have any at that point, so I spent the night before preparing some basic sales dashboards. Thankfully they were impressed and set me the task to transform and modify my prototype within two-months. I was so excited to accept the challenge that I actually quit my other job to make the most of the experience.”

Steve And Luis working through some client dashboards

Waterline’s Strategic Engagement Manager Steven Cheyne says Luis is directly driving better transparency and decision-making for Waterline and our clients.

“As a TAFE intern, Luis’ workplace project was to provide Waterline with better transparency within our business, to drive positive behaviour and informed decision making – through analysing our data and creating PowerBI “Business Strategy Dashboards”. Luis quickly proved his business analysis acumen, developing not one but 5 different dashboards for Waterline.  We now have the vital signs of our business in our line of sight at any tick of the clock.  This transparency has helped us grow from 12 to 28 employees within the last 12 months, while still meeting our business targets.  It allows us to swiftly respond to problems and opportunities. Waterline looks forward to seeing where Luis’ Analytics and Business Intelligence Dashboards take us in the future.”

An example of Luis’ work is taking 65,000 control room operator log events for an Underground Mine conveyor system, analysing the data and sorting into a dashboard. This gives the client the tools to make swift decisions on reliability issues for the system.

While TAFE Queensland was the perfect head start in the business realm for Luis, his advice to other students starting their own internship journey is to be proactive.

You need to push for these opportunities as hard as you can.  Don’t take a refusal as a fail. Once you get an internship, learn as much as you can!  It helped me to see Waterline as a giant game of Tetris.  A network of people that are vibrating at the same tone – and somehow it all seems to fall into place. Speak to people from all different areas of the business because for me this helped me do my job better – it allowed me to see how all the data I had at my fingertips fit together within the company, and allowed me to create the most relevant BI dashboards.”

TAFE Queensland’s ‘Business Project Based WIL Internships’ is a great initiative designed to link students to businesses like Waterline to gain first-hand relevant experience and genuinely make a difference. We are about to begin interviewing for our 2019 business intern and are proud to be supporting TAFE Queensland and their work integrated learning programs.

We sincerely encourage other businesses to take part in this fantastic initiative supporting the next generation of people in business.

 

Thanks for reading and all the best!
The Waterline Team

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