SAS Academy for Data Science creates top-rate analytical professionals

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SAS Academy for Data Science

Franck Mortagne, SAS Academy for Data Science Graduate

Do a quick search on “data scientist” on any of the popular job boards and there’s no denying the global shortage of data scientists is a real one. And, whether you’re looking for the salary commensurate with the prestigious title, a fast pass to the C-suite, or simply want to use analytics to make a difference in your business or the world, there’s one sure way to formalize your standing as a top-rate analytical professional – attend the SAS Academy for Data Science. That’s the decision Franck Mortagne, a graduate of the Academy made and it’s already paying real dividends in his career.

Mortagne always had a goal of a career in business analytics and data science. He held multiple positions in marketing and sales before he decided it was time to make that dream a reality. Franck attended the SAS Academy for Data Science and is now a consultant at EY working on data mining projects in Geneva. Keep reading to learn more about Franck’s journey.

Tell us about yourself. What were you doing prior to coming to the SAS Academy for Data ?
I am originally from France and passionate about outdoor sports and of course business analytics among other things. Prior to joining the Academy, I held several marketing and sales positions for leading asset management firms based in Paris, London, Zurich and Geneva.

Why did you decide to join the SAS Academy for Data Science?
I was interested in a career change towards business analytics and data science. Then luck came into play, really. During a conference I met the chairman of Dogus Group. Through that experience, I learned about integrated CRM, analytics, cross-marketing and customer experience services. This confirmed my high interest in the field and introduced me to SAS.

Following comprehensive research about data science program offerings, I decided to enroll in the SAS Academy for Data Science. The fact that the program was comprehensive and delivered at SAS world HQ in Cary were the main factors behind my final decision. The recognition of SAS certifications was also an important differentiator compared to other programs.

How did attending this Academy change your career opportunities? Can you tell us more about your current job?
The Academy provided me with the necessary tools to apply advanced business analytics in SAS environment and served as foundation to keep developing additional skills in order to build a more complete and marketable toolbox (which is still in progress!). The credentials, certificates and experience from the Academy helped me land my first position in business analytics. The program demonstrated my willingness and commitment to make a career transition. As a career changer, this was most probably the biggest challenge I faced.

My current consulting role at EY Switzerland will leverage data analytics (using SAS, SQL and Tableau) to design marketing and consumer insights solutions for clients and in driving process mining projects (using Celonis) to bring efficiencies to corporation and give insights to advisory teams.

What is your advice to other young people that want a career in working with data?
Create a solid educational plan at early stage. Include multiple training opportunities in different corporate environments, and industries/sectors, to define and refine your career plan and visualize your dream job. There are different roles that imply working with data. Find yours and the extent to which you like to program, analyze data, present findings or any combination of these. Reach out and connect with professionals to get insights, information and advice. People are very willing to help. It has never been as easy as today with social media. More importantly, be passionate about it and be prepared to embrace a new exciting era that will offer a vast ocean of opportunities.

What do you like about working with data?
I like the idea of leveraging technical expertise to gather insights from data to solve business problems based on facts. As a former marketer, data visualization tools are also very appealing for presentations of conclusions. In terms of my career, I find it interesting that working with data can lead oneself to a large variety of roles in any industry. These skills are easily transferable and highly demanded in today’s market place.

What are your career goals?
First, I want to become an accomplished data analyst with strong technical skills and sharp business acumen and then progress towards data scientist positions. I’d like to get involved in projects that will ultimately have a positive social and/or environmental impact.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I truly enjoyed the learning and human experience at the SAS Academy for Data Science. This combination made it a memorable and major milestone in my self-development journey.

Programming is for everyone!

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About Author

Larry LaRusso

Principal Communications Specialist at SAS

Larry LaRusso is the editor of the SAS Tech Report and SAS Learning Report newsletters and the SAS Users, Learning Post and Analytics U blogs. He has worked at SAS since 2000 in marketing, communications, customer experience and management roles for both the Education Division and External Communications. You can follow him on Twitter @lalaru102.

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