Becoming a Data Consultant: From Comfort Zone to Confidence

7th March 2019

by Jenn Guthrie,
Data Consultant, Eyecademy

After 10 years in my previous role and just missing yet another round of redundancies, I decided to update my CV and LinkedIn profile and begin to seriously consider any new opportunities that came up in the current job market.

Looking back a couple of years while I was still in my previous role, which was as a Business Intelligence Analyst for a University, I remember a key project where we were reconsidering our existing BI platform. Our main question was if our current BI tool, QlikView, was the best tool to use to analyse and visualise all our data. The Univesity brought in a consultant from a company called ‘Eyecademy’ to complete a discovery exercise, and to then come back to us with a report of their recommendations, based upon our needs and current environment. I had some one-to-one time with the consultant where I got to ask my own questions about his job and the projects he worked on, and remember being really interested in what he does and how he was able to help all sorts of companies and organisations help see the value in their data, as well as create insightful solutions to many other business needs.

Fast forward back to this year, after only days of having my CV online I was surprised to be contacted by a representative from Eyecademy. They asked if I would be interested in my CV being forwarded on for consideration for a Business Intelligence Consultant position at Eyecademy… and I jumped at the chance.

Within a week of being accepted for an interview, I found myself on the train (which I hadn’t been on for years) up to Eyecademy’s central Glasgow office for my interview. When I arrived at the office, I initially felt nervous and anxious… was this the right thing to do? I was in my comfort zone previously, so was it time to step out to realise my full potential and broaden my BI skills? Anyway, I pushed open the door to the office and was met with a warm feeling about it, which calmed me completely.

The interview went extremely well, it was very relaxed, and I was given the chance to listen to Eyecademy’s vision for growth as well as the opportunities for development in the role. Being able to work within a learning environment was something I really wanted to be a part of, and this part of the role sold it to me completely. I was offered the consultancy job hours later and happily accepted. I took the leap and although now it’s only 8 weeks in, I really do believe that I have made the right decision.

January the 3rd came and it was my first day at Eyecademy, and it felt like my first day at school all over again. I was greeted by my new manager, Eyecademy’s Head of Service Jane Marshall, who had a very welcoming approach. Instantly, Jane demonstrated leadership with vision which I loved, it made excited for the future in my new position. I was taken through the induction process and was introduced to some of the other consultants as well as the Executive and Commercial teams. Everyone was and are so friendly, the atmosphere is always positive and there are different faces every day – no day is the same. Why did I not take this leap sooner?

The past 8 weeks I have been doing a lot of development work, such as completing my first Tableau accreditation, and learning additional skills in Power BI, DAX and SQL. I have been out on a few meetings with the Business Development managers to consult with potential clients, as well as giving demos of QlikView. Additionally, I’ve also brought in a potential client for a meeting with myself and the Commercial Executives.

I really didn’t realise until I left my previous employment what I could possibly achieve and what I already have achieved. Stepping out of my comfort zone made me realise how much I was looking for more development and a challenge in my work. I look forward to my journey ahead with Eyecademy and can’t wait to unlock my full potential as a Business Intelligence Consultant.


Eyecademy is Scotland’s leading Data, Analytics & Insights provider, working with enterprise clients across the UK to deliver innovative solutions to business problems.

Over our 11 years of operation, we have built an enviable reputation for excellence in the provision of end-to-end Data Quality, Business Intelligence & Software Development Consultancy Services. 


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