A Day in the Life of a Yardi Romania Business Analyst
The world of real estate data may seem overwhelming, but there are many perspectives and cool stories worth sharing. That is why business analysts say their job never gets dull. Sorina Salca is a business analyst for Yardi’s Property Shark product and she’s been working for the company since 2011. “It was right after I graduated Business Information Systems at FSEGA and it was probably, as for many, my first ‘serious’ job. I applied for a data entry position, but given my school experience I was recommended for a data analyst position, so here I am,” she recalls.
Sorina is now a business analyst in Yardi Romania’s Data Team. But what does a business analyst do and how does a day at the office look like? We asked Sorina to share her experience and here’s what she had to say.
Was this job as you expected it to be? Was there something that surprised you?
I am extremely happy to say that it was and still is. When the company was recruiting, I was invited for a test and interview and the atmosphere in the office gave me a good feeling. I don’t exactly know how to describe it, but there was a sense of calm, focus and professionalism and it made me think: ‘This is a place where I would like to work.’
I think the work that we do here at Yardi Romania, especially for PropertyShark, is quite unique. We get to dig into raw real estate data and have access to the technical part of the product, which allows us to easily understand the tasks we deal with. Plus, I get the chance to put into practice what I studied at university, so for me that is a win.
What are your day-to-day tasks?
My day-to-day tasks can vary a lot. I can spend one day analyzing a data set and another monitoring a process, research customer support reported issues, write documentation, review SQL queries and sometimes coordinate a project or even a team event.
Could you tell us a few challenges that you came across while working here and how did you manage/solve those situations?
One of the biggest challenges that I dealt with was centralizing title documents data from various sources. You need to pay attention to what kind of information is available, how often it gets updated, which source is better; you need to build a structure for storing it and a process for updating and monitoring it. I found that the best way to handle tasks like these is by trial and error. Once you gather some business knowledge about the data and get accustomed with it, it will be easier to decide how to process it.
One other challenge in the data department, especially when I started, was trying to explain a data process to someone that works in a different department. At first, it was a bit hard because we are focused on a process and we would know how to describe it only by procedure and the person you are explaining it to just sits there confused. So, you don’t know how to present the data in a bigger context. A good way to find the context is to be curios and start asking questions about the things that you don’t understand. You can do this by going over the product from a user’s perspective or reaching out to other departments.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I have two favorite things about my job: the data and the people. Not necessarily in that order. 🙂 I like the huge amount of data that we work with and the freedom we have when analyzing it. You are usually focused on finding one thing, like a pattern for standardizing an information, and you may end up discovering some valuable data that hasn’t been used yet. Just like finding that candy bar that you thought you had already eaten.
And then there’s the amazing people. Everyone is open, helpful, skillful and fun. We also interact with other teams like Acquisition, Development, DBA, System Administration, Marketing and Customer Support and there’s a lot we learn from them too, business- and technology-wise.
Could you tell us a few things about an experience related to your job at Yardi that you particularly enjoyed? Maybe a team building, party, or training.
The team building that we organized last year was one of my favorites. We had planned a series of games including a treasure hunt and when we got there it started raining. Nobody cared about the rain. We gathered our teams and started checking items on our treasure hunt lists. I loved how people got creative in solving the riddles/tasks and how involved they were during the entire process. The day ended with a very fun presentation where every team talked about their experience.
What brings you satisfaction when it comes to your work?
Solving a problem and having the liberty to approach it from my own perspective, working with other people and discovering new things about the business.
A Business Analyst’s Day
I usually start my day by going through my e-mails. What I find in the inbox determines the course of the day. I plan my tasks and try to solve the smaller or easier ones, like providing information about a certain data set, writing a few data validation queries, checking the status of a process, reading real estate articles or just answering e-mails.
If there are little to no smaller assignments, I start working on a more challenging task like cleaning a data set, coordinating the implementation of a process improvement or documenting an old process. They are very different in regards to the volume of work and the actual tasks, but they all involve a lot of research, data analysis and team interaction as you need to understand what the data/process is being used for.
At 10:30am, it’s time for our daily stand-up meeting and then it’s back to other tasks. Around 12:00pm I go out for lunch.
Then it’s back to finding clues and solving puzzles. Sometimes the puzzle takes days to be solved, but in the end, there is always a cool story to be told. The day occasionally ends in a fun note with a discussion about a piece of data or process that reminds you of a situation or gives you the opportunity to make a good joke that is always worth sharing with your colleagues.