Azlan Nazari

Programme: MSc Business Analytics (on-campus, full-time) 2016

Nationality: Malaysian

Study mode: on campus, full-time

Undergraduate education: University College London, MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Job after Imperial College Business School: Manager (Business Analytics), Customer Service Department, Tenaga Nasional Berhad

MSc Business Analytics (on-campus, full-time)

Academic and industry experience before Imperial College Business School

What work experience/internships did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

Prior to starting the MSc Business Analytics, I had worked at the national power company in Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for seven years starting in 2008. I started my career as a Diagnostic Engineer in Kuala Lumpur, overseeing maintenance of over 160 substations powering the city. Three years later I moved to the Customer Service Department as Renewable Energy Engineer and Green Technology Engineer. In 2014, I was appointed as Manager of Technology Innovation & Scanning in the Corporate Planning & Sustainability Department. Finally, in 2015, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Accenture in the Category Management team for the TNB Procurement Transformation Program for six months.

What is you greatest academic, professional or personal awards/achievement?

I received a full scholarship to study my undergraduate degree at University College London. I also received the Fluor Undergraduate Scholarship upon successful completion of an internship at Fluor, an international EPC company during my third year summer holiday. During my career at Tenaga Nasional Berhad, my greatest achievement was being accepted into the Tenaga Nasional Berhad Future CEO programme.

Studying MSc Business Analytics

What was the most challenging part of the programme?

Going back to university was quite a challenge. It took me quite a while to adjust my lifestyle from being a working professional to being a student. Although I had experience studying MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London, studying as a postgraduate student with a family was a totally different experience. It was very challenging for me to take care of my family while meeting the demands of the programme, particularly meeting assignment deadlines.

What was the highlight of the MSc Business Analytics programme?

The highlight of this programme was the Capstone Business Analytics Project. I really enjoy the project because I got to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the programme to solve real business problems through a consultancy project for a real business customer. I also developed valuable skills such as project, people and stakeholder management.

Why did you choose Imperial to study MSc Business Analytics?

I was attracted to the whole package Imperial had to offer. Located in London, a prestigious university in the top ten in the world, where the students are diverse and there is close collaboration with business. I also knew that the MSc Business Analytics programme at Imperial College Business School was the best because it offered the right balance between theoretical and business application, with a strong emphasis on the practical side, and with an opportunity to work with top companies in the Capstone Business Analytics Project.

Opportunities from studying at Imperial College Business School

How did the MSc Business Analytics at Imperial help you move into your current role?

When I graduated I moved back to Malaysia to work at Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)  and I  was assigned to lead the newly formed analytics team within the Customer Experience and Marketing Unit. The knowledge, skills and experience gained from the MSc Business Analytics has equipped me with a strong foundation to face the challenges in building and developing analytics capabilities within the team members.

The programme put special emphasis on utilising analytics to address business problems and this was supported by interactive teaching that covered the latest cutting edge analytics theory in vast areas and has profoundly shaped my mind set when approaching business analytics in my day to day job.

In addition, the imperatives for successful analytics implementation in organisations that I learnt through the programme, had influenced my approach in contributing towards shaping the advanced analytics strategy and implementation in the organisation at corporate level.

What is your proudest achievement in your role?

Looking back on the last year, it makes me happy to see my hard work and dedication pay off. After introducing R and a visualisation tool as well as exposing the team to fundamental analytics concepts, they are now able to deliver actionable insights to our internal clients.

Being the analytics pioneer in our organisation, we were privileged to explore and determine the suitable infrastructure and tools for analytics to use in the organisation which will also be used by other analytics team that will be formed in other units in the future. The knowledge learnt in the MSc Business Analytics was really useful for me to assess and recommend the suitable tools for the organisation.

Ultimately, business analytics is only meaningful if it can address the needs of the business. I am very proud to see the results of analytics conducted by myself and my team have helped our internal clients to achieve significant improvement in sales of power factor correction solutions compared to the traditional method adopted prior to establishment of analytics in the organisation.

What skills did MSc Business Analytics give you to move into the data analytics sector?

MSc Business Analytics prepares you with all the vital skills you need to propel your career into the analytics sector. We were taught to program in various languages such as R, Python, SQL, AMPL, JavaScript etc.

More importantly, the programme put a lot of emphasis into formulating solutions and understanding complex business problems by breaking them up into smaller more manageable problems and then identifying the right tool and technique to solve them. This is a skill that is very useful and has helped me move into the working environment easily.

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about applying for the course?

Make yourself comfortable with programming particularly in R and Python for data science purposes. There are a lot of free resources and courses available online to help you learn.

Programme: MSc Business Analytics (on-campus, full-time) 2016

Nationality: Malaysian

Study mode: on campus, full-time

Undergraduate education: University College London, MEng Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Job after Imperial College Business School: Manager (Business Analytics), Customer Service Department, Tenaga Nasional Berhad