When an apprentice completes our apprenticeship courses, we always look forward to catching up and update on their progressions. 

Manuela, a senior BIM manager, self-taught himself several coding languages as he was passionate about data. He enjoyed using software such as Power Bi to create dashboards and make information more accessible and digestible. He joined the apprenticeship with a passion for making the most of data and for being able to help the company he will be working for. After completing this higher apprenticeship, Manuela was recently promoted to a digital lead for a significant projects business unit at Mace. 

Read Manuela's story here:

Has your role changed since?

As a senior BIM manager, I do different tasks such as coordination, management, data analysis, data visualisation and reporting. After joining the apprenticeship, I gained a broader overview, especially in coding, that I wasn't aware of. I also gained more general knowledge about applying tools to achieve any outcomes. I believe the skills gained through this apprenticeship can be used in my role at Mace, such as smart buildings, sensors, IoT etc. 

What key skill did you want to get out of the apprenticeship? 

I wanted to develop a more structured understanding of the end-to-end data process, from data collection to data visualisation. In addition, I developed a greater understanding of forecast analysis. 

Has the apprenticeship helped you achieve this? And how?

Is this something you'll be able to apply in your role at Mace?

The apprenticeship has helped with the end-to-end data process by encouraging trust-building in the decision-making process, and I've gained a better understanding of what to do in a structured way. It helped with forecast analysis, a core part of the portfolio and assessment. I was able to build the trust of insight and also replication.

What sort of daily tasks have you managed to automate, if any?

Since my role involves coordination, management, data analysis, data visualisation and reporting, daily task automation is a must. Task automation has many benefits, including allowing data extracted to be copied into SharePoint and a list of tasks scheduled that can feed into Power Bi. In addition, it enables dynamic refreshing and sending notifications so the team can focus on their daily tasks.

What would you say could be improved about the apprenticeship?

I started this apprenticeship during Covid-19, so I had to learn everything through Teams. Although I gained a lot of skills and knowledge, I think adding hybrid learning can help to bring more benefits for the apprentices.  

What tools would you say you'll now use most?

During the apprenticeship, I was introduced to many valuable tools I could use in the future. One of the tools that I will use most would be PowerBI because it is a common and straightforward tool, so the team can quickly familiarise themselves with it. In addition, Dax language python web scraping and API has been used well in work. These tools help to tackle challenges early in the stages of data processing before passing them to IT.  

How do you think your manager will benefit from your newly learnt skills?

My manager can significantly benefit from my newly learnt skills as I can build more trust between my manager and the team. There are more competencies as my new skills can empower my abilities to undertake my role, and  I will be able to show that progression through my day-to-day job.

Where will you be progressing in the future? 

Depending on the evolution of the role and market requirements, I want to go into education because of my passion for data, but for now, I will focus on youtube, websites etc.  

We always love to hear the success stories from our apprentices and how the course has helped them develop the skills to succeed! For more information about our courses, please click here.

We always love to catch up with our apprentices after completing one of our courses. After completing this higher apprenticeship, Nick has gone on to become co-founder and CEO of his own Software Development and Consulting firm with the mission to become a trusted partner in digital transformation for project organisations to enable AI-driven learning from experience and automation of deliverables through our platform. Read Nick's story below.

Q. A lot has changed for you since starting the apprenticeship. You got promoted at your current employer to a Project Manager, then joined a new one as a Digital Improvement Lead, and now you are also a co-founder at Inforecast.

Tell us a bit more about what inspired this progression.

A. The apprenticeship helped me transition quicker and more formally from construction project management to data & digital thanks to the behaviours, knowledge and skills enhanced during the programme. This enabled me to better and faster understand the underlying principles of data analytics and their application to projects as well as to better communicate with technical teams. As a result, I was able to faster grow into a leadership role at Mott MacDonald. For example, I led the digital team on HS2 Phase 2B to deliver bespoke automation and data analytics solutions to drive productivity and insights.

The apprenticeship also gave me greater exposure to the industry and the challenges that it experiences. This inspired me to help the whole industry by teaming up with experts in AI and Software Engineering across other industries to create InForecast. As a result, I can more effectively collaborate with the team at InForecast to create more impactful and useful solutions.

Q. From this apprenticeship, what was your long-term goal?

A. My long-term goal is to continue engaging with the wider industry, including the Project Data Analytics Task Force to help solve some of the most pressing issues that we are facing in construction today. My vision is to empower project teams to take advantage of the most advanced technology and foster a sustainable transformation to solve these challenges. I see InForecast as playing a core role in helping our industry thrive in the near future.

Q. How has the apprenticeship impacted your existing skills?

A. The apprenticeship enabled me to communicate more effectively with technical teams and even solve some of the challenges myself. In terms of technical skills, I feel that it impacted my python and power platform skills the most. I also acquired useful knowledge about other technology available such as Azure artificial intelligence and graph databases.

Q. What sort of daily tasks have you managed to automate off the back of this apprenticeship?

A. There are a few great ones. For example, I created and led the deployment of a solution architecture to fully automate emails containing the timesheet booking reminders. I also created a Machine Learning algorithm to classify the skillset based on the staff CVs.

Q.What tools would you say you'll now use most?

A. The greatest asset for me is my business analyst skills to capture the project team's requirements and communicate those effectively to technical teams. The apprenticeship can drastically support the industry and create more synergy between project and technical IT teams. 

Q. To what extent has the client's approach helped to influence your approach to PDA?

A. I feel that this depends a lot on the type of clients and their maturity to start implementing data analytics and automation. For example, HS2 are quite forward-thinking and keen to innovate and transform the ways of working. At the same time, some clients may be more reluctant to change. Working with clients to assess and communicate a clear value-add of the proposed solutions does help quite effectively at times.

We always love to hear the success stories from our apprentices and how the course has helped them develop the skills to succeed! For more information about our courses, please click here.

About the author:

Nick Stepanov

CEO and Co-Founder at InForecast 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-stepanov

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