Imon Bashir has been part of the MMT data engineering team as a data integration manager since 2018. In our interview, he gives us some insight into his daily work.
As a data integration manager, I’m responsible for dataflows between external APIs on the one side and the people that handle data for our clients on the other. Defining what a client needs from a technical perspective and obtaining, transforming, importing, delivering and maintaining that data – my role incorporates all of these activities.
When I was getting ready to finish my bachelor’s thesis, I started looking at popular job-hunting portals and made contact with several companies. My focus was on finding a company that allowed me to work with databases in a way that would also let me use my programming skills. which is the case for some APIs. Another factor was the fact that having tremendous flexibility in terms of our preferred working style is more than just a buzzword MMT – it’s a reality we live every day. At MMT, I was able to combine my studies with my job in a way that just wasn’t possible at other companies.
To be honest, it’s never been about “that one project” but more about the diversity of what we do. From connecting the use of R or Python to using dozens of different APIs and UIs, there is always something new when it comes to working with an API for the first time. Or for example when already integrated APIs randomly start to change things without sending out notifications beforehand...
First and foremost, it’s being able to be expressive in SQL and one additional programming language (Python being more helpful than R, but not necessary). Most problems break down into a transforming task and therefore many problems cannot be solved without being able to write queries that go beyond “SELECT * FROM”.
Being structured is essential. There are many different tasks that can pop-up on the same day. Prioritizing and structuring them is crucial when it comes to solving these issues in a reasonable amount of time. Experience is another major factor because most of the time we only see that the integration is not working at the client-end. Knowing where problems usually lie for each data source or even knowing the exact problem can save a lot of time. I enjoy tackling these tasks because sometimes they are like little puzzles that need to be solved.
I could talk a lot about why data is important for companies, but that would be too general. A lot of dashboards, business decisions and processes rely fully on the data we provide. If our team was not available and something were to crash in that time window, the client would have a huge problem.
I think I would switch back to working as a data analyst, a job I did prior to this one. It’s pretty similar but different in that a data analyst uses as input the data that I as a data integration manager create as my output. That means I would stop providing data and instead use data and create insights from that data for stakeholders.