People story

Data Architect at Solita – Martina’s story

Annina Troberg

Published 22 Feb 2021

Reading time 3 min

Say hello to Martina, our Data Architect! Martina has studied IT at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and worked in business intelligence and as a data engineer/data architect for 11 years. She’s currently working with a retail customer, for whom she’s helping to build a DW in the cloud. When she’s not busy in data warehouses, she enjoys travelling, working out, eating and drinking well, and of course hanging out with Nero, her little Staffordshire bull terrier. 

Find out what Martina has to say about…the path to becoming a data engineer and data architect

The data engineer role did not exist when I graduated, it was called programmer/developer or BI developer. Data engineering is a relatively broad role. I specialise in the data warehousing part of data engineering, which means data modelling, building pipelines/ETL flows from lake or other sources into the DW.

I’ve always liked problem solving, so at school I chose a technical pathway. I also did a student work placement in business intelligence at the KTH, and I thought it was a really fun subject there already!

Even if you have a technical background, data can take you in different directions, so in addition to working as a developer, I’ve also worked as a project manager and a team lead. However, over time, I’ve realised that it’s the technical, hands-on problem solving and logic that I enjoy the most.

…working for the client

I’m currently working with a retail customer, helping to build a DW in the cloud on Microsoft Azure. The customer already has several DWs, but most are on site and many have performance issues. Ours was the first customer DW to be built in the cloud. The need for better performance and faster response times was great because this customer has huge amounts of data, so they want to be able to combine and make quick analyses of sales, inventory and Google data. We provide data in a way that allows the customer to easily build reports for their departments/managers.”

…life as a consultant

“Personally, I’ve found it extremely valuable to have had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries. In the past, I’ve worked a lot in finance, for example. As a consultant, it’s very useful and rewarding to be able to change industry, and work with different types of data and different types of problems, even though it’s technically the same things you do.

A big advantage, even if you work on the IT side of things, is that in BI you often work very close to the customer/business and often have daily contact with them to support them in their work. At Solita, it’s also relatively easy if you want to combine a more technical role (such as data engineer) with a lead role. In my previous job, I served as tech lead while also working as a developer/engineer.

…the future of data

The cloud giants (Azure, AWS, GCP) are the future of BI. I think I’m in the right place now, and I feel like I’m staying very much at the forefront by being involved in this particular project. Then there’s also an incredible number of areas I’ve yet to immerse myself in, for example, I could branch out to computer science and/or work more with architecture.

Solita is very responsive to requests for development and prioritisation of roles. I’ve had to think about which way I want to go, e.g., whether I want to be a team lead or focus on matters of a more technical nature. When I’ve wanted to focus 100% on the customer, I’ve been able to do so.

At Solita, it’s noticeable that the ceiling is high, and there are no hierarchies. This is extremely important, especially when you come from a small company – to feel that everyone can still make their voice heard!

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