A Journey from Student to B.I. Developer

Nicole DeNicola first encountered the world of BI & analytics while a University of South Florida undergrad through a conversation with her neighbor Chris Moyer, President & CEO of Qlik solutions provider SME Solutions Group. Nicole was inspired by Chris to learn more about the power of data through BI & analytics – something which soon became a lifelong passion. Nicole sought an internship with SME Group and began to train on Qlik.

It’s through this initial training that Nicole met Qlik Academic Program development representative Sarah. Through Sarah and the Qlik program, Nicole benefited from a free full year subscription to software and online learning portal, Qlik Continuous Classroom (QCC).Nicole trained herself using more than 125 modules, including videos, exercises and quizzes, and access to Qlik instructors and other students to get fast answers and share best practices. Nicole quickly became adept in loading data and building dashboards with elements such as maps and calendars, as well as utilizing visualizations such as scatter plots, bar charts and line graphs. With her first real application, Nicole looked at how to better manage her finances by uploading her bank statements into Qlik.

“I built a dashboard that showed me where I was spending my money every month. The insights Qlik provided to me on my spending habits was transformational to me as a college student”

– Nicole DeNicola

Within three months, Nicole completed the business analyst portion of Qlik’s training and began supporting one of SME’s largest customers with their Qlik Sense deployment. Six months after applying for the Academic Program, she earned her first Qlik Sense Certification as a business analyst. And upon graduating from USF, Nicole accepted a full-time position with SME and went on to pass three more professional certifications as a Qlik developer.

Based on Nicole’s success, Chris had her integrate QCC into SME’s internal BI and training program for new employees and interns. Today, the Academic Program offers Qlik Sense Business Analyst and Data Architect Qualification exams to students who wish to test their knowledge and receive a printable certificate and a digital badge to share on resumes and social media sites.

“The QCC is a huge complement to getting people up to speed quickly. It allows us to focus on delivering to customers while training our interns and employee base in parallel with hands-on application, but also allowing them to utilize the Continuous Classroom to self-teach.”

– Chris Moyer, President & CEO of SEM Solutions Group

Nicole, who originally wanted to be a healthcare administrator, says the Qlik Academic Program allowed her to broaden her skill sets and excel in a data-driven society. She also quickly realized she could apply analytics to industries beyond healthcare. On one such project she helped her alma mater, USF, combine Ticketmaster with email marketing data to learn how specific email campaigns tied into ticket revenue.

“USF was able to recognize campaign trends with one dashboard. Qlik helped USF to better understand new approaches to earning revenue and market share—and I think that’s really powerful.”

– Nicole DeNicola

Today, Nicole serves as an Authorized Qlik Trainer, and holds workshops and demos at USF and University of Tampa, sharing her experience and discussing the benefits of the Qlik Academic Program with professors and students.

Read how #dataliteracy inspired one student to transform her career as a #BI & #analytics developer


In this article:

Keep up with the latest insights to drive the most value from your data.

Get ready to transform your entire business with data.

Follow Qlik