Staff Spotlight: Sandra Hackett
Sandra Hackett works as a Data Analyst in the Enterprise Solutions Group in IT Services. Sandra shares her UCC journey, starting as a Computer Science student, completing placement in IT Services to a career in Data and Business Intelligence.
Tell us about how you came to work in IT Services?
I graduated in Computer Science in 2004 but have worked in IT Services since 2003. During my studies, I had a placement on the Staff Helpdesk (now Service Desk) and following my placement, I continued to work part-time on the Student Helpdesk, this experience me provided valuable hands-on exposure to IT support and operations. Following this, I moved to the Training Centre, which involved delivering various training courses to staff members. I then transitioned to the Enterprise Solutions team, initially working as an IT Analyst and subsequently began working in the data and business intelligence space.
Working as a Data Analyst, what types of data-driven solutions are delivered?
I am involved in various aspects of the data lifecycle from the extraction and transformation of the data to the development of the visualisations and data security through the UCC Data Hub. I really enjoy working in this space, especially seeing the transformation of information to data so that trends, patterns, and insights can be identified and used to inform business decisions. More recently I have been involved in delivering reports and visualisations used to support the Athena Swan application process and UCC’s Strategic Plan; Securing Our Future. My favourite part of working with data is by far the problem-solving aspect.
Your role involves working across various units in UCC, tell us more about that.
As part of my work over the last number of years I have worked closely with the Academic Systems Administration team in the Registrar’s Office, the HRIS team in HR and the Fees Office in Finance. This cross-functional collaboration has been invaluable for me, I have learned so much from them and their expert knowledge and as a result gained a great understanding of student and staff data in UCC.
20 years working IT Services, what do you enjoy most?
The people for sure! After the challenges of the pandemic, it was great returning to face-to-face interactions. IT covers such a broad range that it is great to be able to pop into your colleagues for advice when needed, tapping into their expertise.
Sandra, tell us a little bit about life outside UCC.
Outside of work I love spending time with my family, especially my son who is the best fun! To unwind, listening to podcasts is one of my favourite things to do. I really enjoy walking and dancing too. The future of data analytics is very exciting with many emerging technologies, for staying up to date in this space platforms like YouTube offer a wealth of content, I enjoy watching tutorials, reviews, and discussions on these emerging technologies when I can.