Noella Batete is a Digital Analyst at Swedbank in Sweden, and has worked at IBM and Ericsson. Early in her career, she worked at Laterite Rwanda as an enumerator and a Senior Field Supervisor. We caught up with Noella to learn what she has been up to since she left Laterite in 2016.

Can you tell us a bit about your time at Laterite?

I started working with Laterite Rwanda around 2013 as an enumerator, collecting data in the field. After one project, I became a team lead, and around a year later I was hired as a full-time Senior Field Supervisor at Laterite. I was responsible for the management of several large-scale data collection operations. I helped in reviewing questionnaires and interview guides, I hired and trained enumerators, supervised data collection activities and basically being the middleman between the people in the field and the people in the office.

Something that stands out about my time at Laterite is the feeling of being a Laterista. There is something special about being with people in the field – you create this sense of being a family. And the environment in the office was a lot of fun.

I left Laterite in 2016 when I moved to Sweden to study my Master’s in Information Systems Management at Stockholm University.

Why did you choose to study Information Systems Management?

I wanted to learn more about the intersection between businesses and technology, and how to design technical solutions to help businesses be more efficient to help them stay competitive in the marketplace.

As far as data is concerned, I already had a good understanding of sampling methods, consent procedures, collecting data and how to find insights from data – really almost all aspects of the data process. I wanted to learn more about programming languages such as R and Python, and machine learning.

Working at Laterite had given me a clear view of what I wanted to do with my career, because I had the opportunity to see how data can make positive changes. I majored in big data analytics for my Master’s mainly because I understood the potential of data, and how organizations can leverage huge amounts of data.

Can you tell me a bit about where you are working now?

I recently started a new job as a Digital Analyst for Swedbank, a Swedish bank that operates in the Nordic and Baltic countries. My role is to analyze customer behavior data collected from the bank’s digital channels and help stakeholders understand user journeys in the bank’s digital channels in order to optimize customer experience. Before that, I worked with IBM where I worked with both public and private sector clients on several projects in the big data space.

I’ve also worked at Ericsson, where I wrote my Master’s thesis, which focused using data-driven methods to improve the forecast accuracy in the demand planning of products.

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

I would tell my younger self to believe in herself – there are times in my career when I doubted myself very much, even though people and employers would put trust in me and give me big responsibilities. I have learnt that we learn along the way and no one expects you to know everything, plus one can always ask for help!