Maryam Aslam-Mir

AI Data Analyst, Lead

ReTech Labs, Inc.


What are some of your duties as a lead analyst in a startup?

  • Reporting and dashboarding through Amazon QuickSight and Kibana. Knowing SQL helps a lot with these tools.

  • Organizing data in queries using SQL.

  • Validating data.

  • Identifying key opportunities and solutions.

  • Coordinating data collection efforts across the country.

  • Coordinating QA with a team in India.

What are some general tips for success as an analyst?

  • Know Excel.

    • It’s essentially the backbone for everything you’re going to work with.

    • It will help you use other important software like Tableau, Kibana, and QuickSight.

  • Know SQL.

    • SQL allows you to manipulate data and get what you need out of your database.

  • Jira is good to know if you’re going to be working with project management.

  • Understanding programming at a high level is very helpful.

  • Be willing to ask questions when you don’t understand something.

  • Pursue certifications.

  • Stay patient and motivated.

  • Keep a healthy work/life balance.

What are the challenges and rewards for being in a lead role?

  • Challenge: Knowing how to work across cultural barriers, like when coordinating the QA team in India.

  • Reward: I get to learn a lot about myself. I also get to practice my leadership and collaboration skills.

Do you have advice for taking on a job with a lot of responsibilities?

You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Find your balance and take the time to do things that help you relieve stress, like exercising.

What is a benefit for working in a startup?

You can really leave your mark at a startup, and being able to see the impact you’ve made is very fulfilling.

What helped you get to where you are today?

  • Being a part of the MIS Society.

    • I was selected by the MIS Society to attend the 2019 HMG / SIM San Diego Technology Executive Leadership Summit and I got to hear a lot about artificial intelligence. My notes from that conference actually helped me solve a significant business problem at work.

    • Practicing my public speaking skills by co-moderating the MIS Society’s 2019 MIS Executive and Networking Panel.

  • Networking.

    • This really helps you learn from different perspectives, plus, it can open doors.

  • Being receptive and adaptable to change.

  • Senior Experience.

    • Applying my MIS knowledge to my project.

  • My professors, especially:

    • Thomas Underhill

    • Blair Baker

    • Roger Herzler

  • Participating in extracurricular events like hackathons.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in MIS?

I really enjoyed how clear it was to see how MIS concepts and curriculum are applied to business settings.

Have any classes at CSUSM helped you in your current role?

Cloud-Based Technologies with Professor Underhill. My notes from that class helped me accomplish some things on the DevOps side of my work.

Do you have any tips for Senior Experience?

  • As Professor Baker would say, “figure out how to figure it out”. Don’t expect to be given the answers for doing everything.

  • Utilize the Kellogg Library databases: Factiva, IbisWorld, Mergent, etc.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

  • Treat it like you’re at work.

How do soft skills compare to hard skills?

Soft skills might actually be more important than hard skills. Communication skills are essential and having to do a lot of public speaking as a business major has been really useful.

Do you have advice for advancing in your career?

Be open to every possible opportunity and push yourself to exceed expectations. Work hard, even when no one is looking. When you finish your work, take the initiative, and find more.

What are some great resources for learning?