Clayton from Hero Gaming shares the Importance of Education
Clayton Farrugia is Lead Data Analyst at Hero Gaming, but Clayton had a long career before joining the iGaming industry, working in baking, software and telecomms. Thankfully, Clayton committed to improving his education constantly through related courses at MCAST and beyond.
What do you do?
I am the Lead Data Analyst for Hero Gaming.
As an overview I cover managing the Data Analyst and Business Intelligence team, building reports and analysing data, assisting during Audits, presentations and building automated processes.
What are the daily functions that the job requires?
- Check if there are any issues that team members are facing.
- Check that team tasks are aligned with business targets.
- Discuss projects with stakeholders.
- Investigate any issues through data.
- Analyse brand and market performance.
- Import data from third party API.
- Build automated processes and build dynamic reports which let stakeholder change filters dynamically without the need of the Business Intelligence team.
- Analyse attribution to check acquisition channel behaviours.
- Build up weekly presentations from deep dive analysis.
- Where applicable create machine learning models.
How long have you been in the iGaming industry?
I have been working in the iGaming industry for the past 5 years, with the last 4 years at Hero Gaming
What did you study and where?
I studied Computer Science at MCAST, following the programming line. I was a member of the first group of students that MCAST took in. From MCAST I took the following courses:
- First Diploma in Computing
- National Diploma in Computing Software Development
- Higher National Diploma in Computing Software Development
Then I decided to take a Computer Science Degree from the University of Hertfordshire. Even though I already had a degree, I followed different online courses (using Udemy and Data camp training platforms) covering various topics, including:
- Tableau Courses
- Python Courses
- Machine Learning course
Even though I am a hands-on manager, I believe that it is essential to never stop learning. That is why I keep myself updated by attending online conferences. Before covid, I attended the on-site Data Lead Summit and the Tableau Conference, and early on in my career I chose to pursue Microsoft qualifications on Programming and Dynamics Navision certifications.
What was your career path, how did you get to where you are now?
After finishing the Higher National Diploma in Computing Software Development, I started working full time as a c# developer at the Computime software company, where I was involved in several projects. During my second year there I decided to do a Computer Science Degree with the University of Hertfordshire in my free time.
After four years I had the opportunity to work in Libya, installing and configuring Sun and vision tools at various companies in the region. Following this, I felt I needed to learn to work with data. This gave me the push to seek a new role in the Business Intelligence department at Computime. During my time in that department, we built a BI tool which assists banks to create specific reports that are sent to the central bank on a monthly basis, using Microsoft Stake to build these processes.
Two years later I decided it was time for a change, so I started looking for a role within the telecommunications industry. This led me to securing a position with Melita as a Business Intelligence Developer, taking care of the data warehouse, building up ETL processes, building up reports and being part of the migration team.
After two years, an opportunity came up in the iGaming industry. I moved to Mr Green as a Data Engineer. In this role my responsibilities were taking care of the data warehouse and integrating new 3rd party data within our data, and for the latter I needed to build ETL to connect with APIs.
From this role new opportunities started presenting themselves, among which were Hero Gaming, who were looking to build a data team. This role offered the opportunity to learn on the job, as everything had to be built from the ground up. After two years building these systems and helping the company to become data driven, I was promoted to a lead position where I had the responsibility to manage people, and help the Data analyst team by providing useful insights from data. After a while I was responsible for both the Data analyst and Business Intelligence teams. My current responsibility is as a manager of these teams, managing different stakeholders, prioritising workloads, taking care of team members, and presenting projects.
Was it a conscious decision that you wanted to be in the iGaming industry?
Honestly, in the beginning of my career I wanted to learn a lot and was not aiming to work in a particular industry, but after having gained valuable experience in banking and telecom industries, I wanted to try iGaming too, so that I will have knowledge and experience from the top 3 industries in Malta.
How did your qualifications help you?
Five years ago, it was hard to enter the iGaming industry, even for someone like me with a lot of experience, especially technical experience of coding, visualisation and analysis. I went to several interviews but was not accepted, not because of qualifications or knowledge of tools, but because I hadn’t experience in the iGaming industry.
As a business intelligence or data analyst, I do not believe you need to be coming from a particular industry to get started, as the most crucial assets that an experienced analyst needs are to be keen to learn the business, and to learn how the company operates. This can be learnt over time and with the help of other employees. Luckily, I had the good fortune to get interview with Mr Green and was accepted based on my qualifications, experience, and good references. Now when I look for new recruits for my team, I prioritise technical knowledge, an eagerness to learn, and that they are team players.
What word of advice do you have for anyone with ambitions in iGaming?
The first thing that a potential employee needs to do is to get familiar with the industry, by talking with people who already work in the industry and by subscribing to iGaming newsletters, to understand what is happening in the industry. Try to get experience by using different tools, taking courses such as those at MCAST, follow professionals and participate in online discussions.
I recommend working in the iGaming industry as it enables you to work with people from different nationalities, with different mindsets. It is important to be motivated to learn, iGaming is a very fast paced environment where things change from one day to the next, so you have to think fast and be ready for change.