Meet Mathilde Parlant, former business student at ESSCA, who has a strong appetite for Data collection and analysis. She shares with us her keys to understanding the technical and human aspects of her job as Data Business Analyst in a major French bank institution.


Hello Mathilde, can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I’m currently a Data Business Analyst at Société Générale. Before getting to this point, I went to ESSCA, a business school, and I decided to do a general master’s degree in international business because it seemed to me to be the most general and because it offered the possibility of doing it in China in Shanghai. It was there that I could really discover the digital world which is booming and moreover is much more developed than in France. That’s how I managed to get an internship at KPMG with missions in digital marketing and content creation. This experience gave me a taste for data. That’s why I decided to follow a master specialized in digital marketing and Big data for value and ended up at Société Générale as a Data Business Analyst where I am currently working.


Can you explain me your job and your relationship with data ?

The job of Data Analyst is a job in which your head is really immersed in the data and all the information of the company in which you work. For my part, I work more on data projects in general, so it will be for example the management of banners in marketing and it will be necessary to make queries to try to recover the data that would allow to improve the performance or the actions of the company and also to allow to convince more easily the customers. This job relies mainly on several technical skills such as queries in several programming languages such as SQL or Python and SAS which allow to build data bases that are more specific and linked to the subject we want to treat. These data bases are then used to create dashboards which allow to have a visualization of all the different campaigns and thus to be able to make forecasts and to lead actions accordingly.


What skills do you think you need to perform the Data Analyst job?

I think that it is necessary to know how to work with a team. because it rests much on the mutual aid, it is a little the policy of our service. Therefore yes our teamwork is very important, but it is necessary of course to have a lot of rigour and to know to check that the data are correct, that there are no errors in the sources of data and in the data bases. Then I would say that you need patience, because the queries don’t always work the first time, so you have to start again, you have to do other research and always go further.


What do you think about the relationship between humans and machines in your sector?

So precisely in what I do on a daily basis one could quickly think that it is rather machines work since we always have our hands in the data, to be on our computers to make our data bases and our dashboards exepts that yes that is important. It is necessary, but there is also the human aspect precisely in the team where I work, as I said before  because everyone has more or less the same needs and so we will discuss between us to see what we can bring to each other and to help each other in general. So it’s going to reconcile the two to some extent. As data analysts, we’ll create our queries, we’ll set up the different formulas and processes to follow and then we’ll do just that. Then it’s the role of the data scientists who will actually model these different tables and then automate them, and from then on it can be considered as being “machines and algorithms work”.


If you could describe the Data Analysis job in 3 words?

Rigor, technique and perseverance.


Can you introduce me to La Société Générale and your activities?

Société Générale is a large banking group and I work in the retail banking sector in France, which means everything that corresponds to private individuals living in France. The market structure is divided into 3 parts: private clients, commercial clients and all the clients that correspond to companies or associations. I work more in the area of individuals.


What are your plans for the future?

So for now, since I’m really learning every day about programming languages and all the technical side, I think I’m going to try to consolidate my bases and continue in this path for at least 5 years, so that I can really have a solid basis to then become a data scientist and develop new skills to do data modeling and data automation.