Tableau User Group Ireland – An interview with Johns George Bank of Ireland
Tableau User Group Ireland – An interview with Johns George Bank of Ireland

Ahead of next week’s Tableau User Group Ireland, The Information Lab Ireland were delighted to sit down with guest speaker Johns George, Senior Data Analyst with Bank of Ireland, and chat to him about his path to Data Analytics and his love of Tableau.

Johns George has quite the story. Born in India, the 30-year-old moved to Ireland as an early teen. 

“My mother was a nurse,” says Johns. “She had the option of going to a few places like New Zealand and Australia but we knew a few people who had moved here and she decided this was the place.”

The place, more specifically, was Carrickmacross in Monaghan.

“My mother and brother came one year before me and I think that really helped,” says Johns. “When I went to school, my brother was able to walk me through the dos and don’ts. So I think it was a little easier for me to get used to. When we first got there we were the only Indian family in the area.”

The Path to Data Analytics

Johns spent five years in Monaghan before he and his family moved down to Dublin for the next chapter in their lives. Johns had enrolled to study Computer Science and Software Engineering at the Dublin Institute of Technology on Kevin Street. It was during his time at DIT that Johns discovered a love for Data Analysis.

“The course took four years,” says Johns. “The third year was a big one for me. That’s the year you have to do an internship and though I liked where I was working I wasn’t really in love with the work itself.”

At the end of his internship, Johns took a year out and joined a startup called Unipupil. 

“It was a sort of TripAdvisor for students who were looking to study abroad. As with most startups, you get to do a little bit of everything. So I spent one month as a project manager, business analyst the next, software developer the month after that. The one position that I really loved and kept going back to was the Data Analyst role. I loved discovering new insights and making real differences to the company.”

Johns’s face lights up as he recalls those little epiphanies at Unipupil.

“We were able to look into the platform and analyse where users were spending their time and what they were actually looking for,” says Johns. “That meant we could redirect money to the pages that the users actually needed and wanted. Through their behaviour, they were telling us where they were spending the most time. It was completely different to what we thought they wanted. Through data analytics, we were able to change focus and save quite a bit of money.”

After a year at Unipupil, Johns went back to Kevin Street and completed his degree. In his final year, he chose and focussed on every module that could help him to improve his skills around Data Analytics. At the same time he applied for a job at Bank of Ireland.

“When I went back, I learnt everything I could around BI, Machine Learning and Data,” says Johns. “I presented my final year project and joined Bank of Ireland on the same day. I was actually late on my very first day at the bank but I think I had a pretty good excuse.”

A Journey with Tableau

Shortly after joining the team at Bank of Ireland, Johns was introduced to Tableau.

“I had come across Tableau at college,” he says. “But I had never used it. When I joined the bank, fifty percent of our work was done in SQL and a lot of the rest was Tableau. I was given the software and links to the guides that Tableau provides itself. It took me a couple of days to learn the basics and from there I haven’t looked back to be honest.”

Over the course of the next two years, Johns developed his skills, picking up both an Analyst badge from Tableau and a Tableau Specialist Certification. 

“What I like most about Tableau is its flexibility, particularly when you want to present data and showcase insights,” says Johns. “Senior members of the staff want very clean and precise presentations. The better information you have in the charts, the better that is. At the same time you can automate reports that used to be done manually. We have changed the way we do so many reports that the bank used to do manually, usually in Excel. The amount of time we have saved has been huge. Reports can be reused and repurposed with a border or more narrow focus again and again.”

The Future of the Irish Motor Industry

At the next Tableau User Group on January 19th, Johns will give his presentation on A sustainable future for the Irish Motor Industry. It promises to be a thorough and thought-provoking presentation.

“We want to look at what is happening in the car industry and where it is going,” says Johns. “We will take a look at what is maybe getting in the way of the growth in Electric Vehicles and Hybrids, how we compare to other countries and what the data tells us about what we can do to improve the prospects of reaching targets for the proliferation of EVs into the future.”

On the day, Johns will be joined by his colleague, Jamie Renehan, and by Nanette Solan, Head of Insights at CarTrawler. We look forward to seeing you on the day. Please don’t forget to register:

About The Information Lab

The Information Lab Ireland is at the forefront of creating a data-driven culture in Ireland.

As part of its vision, The Information Lab Ireland regularly hosts free events throughout the country to show how being data-driven can improve decision making and lead to a better understanding of the world around us. For more on these events please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or catch up with us on LinkedIn