I believe, failures are the first clumsy steps taken on the road to success. At one point or another, everybody encounters failure but what truly matters is what we  learn from that failure. My most notable instance of failure is during my initial days in my current company, Analytics Quotient.

I was assigned to design and implement a data visualization platform using using Brand health, Retail Audit, Digital, Media and Finance data for world’s largest Telecom Brewing industry. My role mainly involved data integration and test case scenarios implementation in R, a tool that I wasn’t fully well-versed in.In previous experiences, I had worked on Brand Health data and had implemented test case scenarios using MySQL. On basis of my experience from my previous project, I defined the timelines for the project. In actuality, the complete data proved more complex, with more unexpected anomalies than I predicted.

Out of wanting to prove myself, I addressed the challenge alone, determined to find a solution rather than raise the issue to my manager. Unfortunately, it took me a lot of time to harmonize the data with the methodology, leaving very little time for test cases and compromising the project timeline. To further aggravate the problem, data structure made the logic implementation in test cases unusually difficult. Finally, At the eleventh hour, I informed my manager about the problems I was facing. Given the scarce time left before the deadline, the implementation of test cases was shifted to another team, leading to a heavy loss in our team accruals. My manager, who considered the project was top priority, was disappointed that we failed to deliver it on time.

I immediately took responsibility for my mistakes and apologized for not providing the right timelines and not taking a collaborative approach during delivery.My biggest takeaway from the experience is, I should never make decisions on basis of assumptions. My failure to use R expediently also drove me to take R online courses to broaden my knowledge-base which later assisted me in my multiple projects. I  even conducted workshops and training sessions for my peers on complex statistical calculations using R.

Also, I believe if I had communicated the issues to my manager ahead of time, I could have managed to meet the project requirements on time. Now I never let an uncomfortable conversation prevent me from communicating the status of a project transparently.

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I'm Erica!

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