All good things must come to an end, and at HelloInfo, we proudly support our colleagues in all their life transitions. Our Analyst Matthew is headed to work in research security at the University of Calgary, and we are proud to have been a part of his career growth. This is a blog he wrote reflecting on his time with us. Thank you for all your hard work, Matthew!
As an analyst with a history and political science background, I always assumed I would work in the public sphere. Who knew I would find myself working in the private sector on competitor and customer intelligence?? Life can be funny. At HelloInfo, I discovered how to use my skills in a new way. While the world of competitive intelligence was new to me, I found my research and analysis skills to be a good match. There were also many new skills to learn, and the team at HelloInfo were very supportive in that journey.
Why I applied to HelloInfo:
When finishing grad school and on the job hunt, I was looking for a position that would leverage my research and analysis skills. I never knew that the corporate world had a need for research and analysis skills, which really piqued my interest in HelloInfo when I saw the company’s job posting for an Analyst. I was offered a new perspective into intelligence during initial interviews with the HelloInfo and was happy to hear that my history major and experience offered transferrable skills. Once joining HelloInfo I received a crash course in business and how the company uses research in all of their project engagements.
What I learned at HelloInfo:
While I joined HelloInfo with basic research skills, I received plenty of opportunities to enhance my abilities and thinking. Skills I enhanced at HelloInfo include:
- Understanding client needs – While I knew how to research for my own purposes, taking a client’s needs into account was new. With help from senior members of the HelloInfo team I learned to ask questions that would result in targeted and accurate information.
- Visualizing data – Coming to HelloInfo, I had previous experience creating basic PowerPoint decks and inserting maps and premade visuals into presentations. At HelloInfo, where we specialize in visualizing data, this is table stakes for any employee. Through working with more senior members of the team I learned how to create visuals that help explain complex data.
- Managing research expectations – As a researcher it can be difficult to say you can’t find something. This is where being able to effectively communicate with colleagues and clients becomes critical. I learned to discuss my findings and be open with what information I was having difficulty discovering. The open and respectful atmosphere at HelloInfo allowed me to speak freely and honestly about projects.
- Using research tools – A student’s best friend is always Google. Thus, most of my research skills were developed to always use this tool. However, a core aspect of competitive intelligence research efforts is that information is often not publicly available. Thus, learning new tools that HelloInfo utilizes, especially Alphasense, became critical. Through group working sessions and training modules, I learned how to manage and use new research tools efficiently to find elusive insights.
- How to balance primary and secondary insights – Working at HelloInfo further exposed me to primary research as a form of intelligence, and I learned where this type of methodology can be strong and weak. This, combined with learning where secondary sources can fill gaps, and understanding the limits of secondary sources is crucial to any research endeavor. By working on a diverse set of projects at HelloInfo I knew where secondary sources could be used to the greatest extent, and where primary research insights can be most impactful.
My time at HelloInfo exposed to me a new perspective on intelligence and research. It was the perfect experience to begin my career with, as the HelloInfo team was welcoming and willing to teach me new skills and approaches. I will take everything I learned from HelloInfo and continue to use it in my future endeavors.
Interested in a career with HelloInfo? Submit an application to: firstname.lastname@example.org.