Image: BBMT Consulting
Bachelor of Actuarial Studies and Finance (2012)
Bartolomeo Badalassi is a Founding Director of BBMT Consulting, a Canberra-based data consultancy specialising in data strategies, advanced analytics, data storytelling and building digital capability. His professional experience has spanned multiple public and private sectors. He completed his studies in Actuarial Studies and Finance in CBE.
Bartolomeo’s career reflection and advice
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned since you established your own company, BBMT Consulting?
Persistence is key. Trying to win Australian Federal Government work, with no Australian Federal Government experience, was definitely a challenge. However, if you keep knocking on enough doors, one will eventually open. Whether it be by attending networking events, Government conferences or reaching out via email, phone or LinkedIn, you have to be persistent. On average, when dealing with the Federal Government, we have, and continue to, reach out at several times before receiving a response. You can’t let this deter you. Just because someone hasn’t responded doesn’t mean they are not interested or do not need the services you are offering. This is not to say that everyone we reach out to eventually responds, but you must be persistent if you want to give your company a real shot at things.
Another lesson is to seek mentorship from others who’ve done it all before you. BBMT have been afforded over 55 years of Chief Executive Officer experiences from just two people. We asked, we listened, we made it into our own BBMT voice and we implemented the advice. There’s no need to try and recreate the wheel from scratch. Listening and learning from those who are excited to share their depth of knowledge is important.
It is also pertinent to note that there must be some ‘play’ amongst all the data seriousness. While in the UK, I learned from embryonic beginnings, how to sail. This has afforded me amazing experiences of skippering yachts over 50 feet and catamarans in places such the Greek Islands, the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, Montenegro, across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy, the Balearic Islands of Spain and even the Bahamas. These ‘working’ holidays have been an essential part of keeping the work-life-balance paradigm afloat (pardon the pun).
How has international experience in Europe and Asia shaped your professional identity?
Working overseas has fast-tracked my transition from being an analyst to an independent consultant. This occurred due to the knowledge I was able to share, the professional contacts I made and the data maturity of certain industries I was fortunate enough to be immersed in.
Working in different countries not only opened my eyes to new ways of solving problems with data, but also gave me the opportunity to share the knowledge I acquired from previous experiences. Whether this involved upskilling the technical capability of internal teams, discussing data strategy or simply demonstrating different ways of presenting insights, I was no longer seen solely as a data analyst. This is a never-ending cycle as I continue to use certain techniques here in Australia, which I acquired while working in the UK.
Positioning myself as someone bringing different and refreshing approaches and ideas to the table meant I developed strong relationships with various executives. I believe having foreign-experience also fast-tracked many of these relationships, as most people were interested in hearing what other parts of the world were doing with their data. I continue to stay in touch with many of these data professionals and we discuss current data topics, issues and technology we deal with day-to-day. It’s worth noting, as London has such a transient workforce, many of these people now live all over the globe.
Recognising the low levels of data maturity in a company or industry in another country also assisted in accelerating my professional identity. This was especially true when I contracted for a property group in Asia. I leveraged many of my skills to increase data quality, streamline processes and deliver marketing campaigns.
What are some potential career paths for ANU students with interest in data?
The beauty of being interested in data is almost every industry relies on it for something. As a result, once you develop the foundational technical or commercial skillset, you can work in your industry of choice, such as sports, as analytics is everywhere. In fashion, retailers use data to better understand the customer journey and predict their next move. If you’re interested in emerging technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are at the forefront. If you enjoy marketing, the money and data involved in digital marketing optimisation is staggering. Even in law enforcement, agencies such as The Australian Federal Police heavily rely on data to keep Australians safe.
With an interest in data, the possibilities are endless. My best advice is to gain practical skills with real data as soon as you can. Once you’ve developed these, a new coding language, choice of technology or different domain of data is easy to pick up as it only augments your knowledge base.