Green icon showing charts on a computer screen

Democratised data insights

by building self-sufficient, interactive dashboards
Green icon of a clock and an arrow wrapping counterclockwise around the clock

25-40 hours saved per client meeting

by automating reporting
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Empowered regional teams to scale data processes

through training and mentoring
Imran Ayad, Data Analyst at Visa

Imran Ayad

Apprentice Data Analyst at Visa

Imran Ayad is an apprentice data analyst at Visa, a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Imran and his team work with transactional data from banks and merchants to promote the sale of Visa’s risk services and products as well as help develop insights to detect and prevent fraud.

Learner profile

  • Job title:
    Data Analyst
  • Job function:
  • Organisation:
  • Industry:
    IT Services and IT Consulting
  • Organisation Size:
    26,500 employees
  • Programme:
    Level 4 Data Analyst
  • Programme Duration:
    14 months

Democratising insights with interactive dashboards

When Imran began his role as an apprentice with Visa, he noticed the ways in which teams prepared reports on transactional data ahead of client meetings could be developed and optimised.

Colleagues would frequently depend on the help of Product SMEs (subject matter experts) to sort and filter data from multiple datasets within Excel and internal analytics platforms. Those working with previous methods would also need to install various drivers to establish a secure connection with Visa’s on-premises databases.

Working with his manager, Imran applied learnings from the apprenticeship to consolidate datasets using robust and efficient SQL queries into easily accessible, interactive Tableau dashboards.

What previously took a product manager several hours to generate could now be done automatically with 30 seconds of manual intervention from a non-technical stakeholder.

Linking the data from their team’s Tableau server directly to their dashboard has also given them more flexibility, better insights and stronger data integrity.

“I am aware that some courses only teach technical skills. But Cambridge Spark is very different in the fact that they additionally provide you with soft skills and how to articulate results in a way for non-technical audiences to understand. I’m constantly using what I’ve learned to present confidently in meetings, rather than simply sharing analysis outwards on completion. Cambridge Spark has found the right balance.”

Imran Ayad, Data Analyst at Visa

Sharing expertise with regional teams

One dashboard Imran built is used by 10-15 risk project managers across different services within Visa worth $50+ million (USD) to the business. But Imran didn’t stop there. He realised he could work cross-functionally with a variety of other internal teams who could then share the same efficiencies and insights that were benefiting Visa’s risk services team in Europe.


In the months since deploying his team’s dashboard Imran has been training and mentoring Risk Product SMEs in Visa’s other regional teams.

And in turn, these teams have been empowered to develop their own bespoke version of this dashboard as well as other data products for ongoing KPI reporting.

“My team saw the value of data science with Cambridge Spark. Being part of a global organisation such as Visa, teams in other regions would see the benefits of my projects and begin to reach out with enquiries. I would help them in building reports and dashboards relevant to their own unique requirements, as well as provide training to enable self-sufficiency going forward.”

Imran Ayad, Data Analyst at Visa

Gaining recognition

Imran says greater visibility within Visa through projects has been an additional side benefit of the work he’s been doing.

Colleagues regularly provide positive feedback, and he’s been able to further his professional network across functions as a result.  

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