Life as a Data Analyst at Supportive Environment and No Blame Spirit

Posted on 30/03/2023, Teodora Stojšin

Interview with Jana Barkova, Data Analyst

Jana joined in 2021 in our Prague office and she is responsible for the engagement domain mainly for app platforms for iOS and Android and transactional messaging. While studying economics, she started working as a Data Analyst in Big4, which opened her doors to further career paths in data analytics. 

In this interview, we talked about her work and motivation to do her job, hobbies, leadership,’s culture, women in technology and more.

Hi Jana, how would you describe yourself? 

It will be quite a cliche, but I really love traveling! Since joining, I have started to travel more than before. Now I would say it’s something like a travel-work-life balance. I actually just got back from the south of Portugal, where I went to learn how to fly a kite, as I am the kind of person who likes adventure, nature, and sports activities. Recently I have been to Barcelona, Athens, Malta, Gozo Island, Sicily, and New York. 

How do you spend your time traveling?

In all of them, I visited galleries and I really liked Moma, which had an exhibition of my favorite artist Guillermo Lorca I like art and exploring new places outside and I enjoy taking pictures with analog cameras to capture memorable moments.

Why did you choose

I followed the story of even before I joined the company! I was already using the service when I was a student, so I was familiar with the product and also from the media I knew it was a successful startup.. I really like the advanced technology we use and the innovative product. I love it because of the international people we work with as diversity is something I am really curious about. I also love our friendly and supportive environment, the “No blame” spirit. The fact that is very good in creating this spirit where people feel they belong and they are not judged is very important for me. To add to that, people here are very inspiring and I can learn a lot from them!

How would you describe your job to your grandma?

My grandmother’s favorite hobby is watching airplanes through binoculars and she loves to travel. I am working with a lot of data. Probably, I would say imagine a lot of numbers and information which are not sorted and I am trying to find meaning in them using magic called SQL code and then I create a picture to make the information easy to understand, so you can see the context. Eg.: How many planes were flying above her head, and where were people going? 

How did you end up in this field?

While studying I liked data and when I started working in one company, it opened my eyes and doors to data –  it really brought me to the field. Before that, I wasn’t aware of how many interesting things could be done with data and this was a breaking point of my career. After that, I focussed only on data and stayed in the area.

What makes you get up in the morning?

I love doing morning yoga and having a huge cup of coffee. I’m motivated by my life, for me it’s important to be surrounded by great people and building those relationships. There is my career and my job as well, I love what I do in my environment and I am motivated by sports, being healthy and staying active. When all of these are in balance I feel happy and it’s something that really motivates me – his life I created for myself.

What is your opinion about failure? Can a leader fail (and how)?

I think that it is very important to create an environment that supports you to learn from failure because then people are not afraid of taking a risk and can come up with more creative, disruptive, and innovative solutions. There should be an open discussion with the goal to improve, not blame. I think that leaders can fail in different ways like knowledge –  ideas which are hard to predict because you have limited information at a particular time. On the other hand, failure is also learning. When a leader disappoints people or lets them down, like not leading by example, not being empathetic, it might be very difficult to regain the respect and motivation to follow them.

What is something you are immensely proud of?

I didn’t run a marathon or do something very unusual to stand out, but I am really proud of my personal lifestyle. I mentioned already in some of the previous questions these things, great people, my career and activities that make me healthy. I am the proudest that I managed to put my life in balance and enjoy living it.

What do you believe is the most important thing at work?

Best coffee! I am joking, although we really have great coffee here in the Prague office. Personally, for me, it is work where I can be part of meaningful projects with an impact on a product. I am mainly focused on the app domain, and additionally great at cooperating with colleagues who are inspiring talented partners for me. Teamwork and cooperation and good work relationships are essential for me.

What is your opinion on bias between men and women?

I think there should always be equality of opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender. In my personal experience, I have never experienced the feeling that I would be treated unfairly because of my gender in my professional career. 

Recently, I have also personally noticed several cases where the women’s career-family crisis paradox has been exceeded, which is very inspiring. Women are usually forced to put together major pieces of their life faster than men due to maternity in order not to lose their performance outcome. For women, it is hard to have both of these roles on the same level, but it is not impossible.

How difficult was it for you to reach success in technology?

From my personal perspective, I have never experienced that I wouldn’t have the same opportunity to study IT or another technical field at the university. Again I think that we all have the same opportunities to choose the career we want. These days it is much easier as there is plenty of content on the internet, communities and companies are usually testing what you are able to deliver, what are your projects, etc. I think it is more about decision making than inequality of the opportunities. And I have a mindset that you can become almost anything you want if you will make an effort and go for it. 

What really helped me a lot was the opportunity to work as a data analyst for Big4 company while studying at the university. If you are really passionate about IT, I would recommend jumping into the IT field during university. There are a lot of trainee programs or part-time positions which can help you join the environment and be surrounded by people in technology.

What advice would you give to the younger self?

Don’t take things too personally and seriously. Someone simply has a bad day and has nothing to do with you, and you start questioning what you did wrong. Sometimes it’s really not about you, so the best advice I could give would be not to stress out so much about things happening around you. 

Interested in joining and working with Jana? Check out our open positions!