In Conversation: Onneile Mogawane (Business Intelligence Analyst)

A chat with Onneile, a Business Intelligence Analyst at one of the country's top mobile network carriers, about her love for tech, her career journey so far, and her plans for the future, among numerous other topics. 

In your own words, please tell us who Onneile Mogawane is

She’s a young and ambitious Motswana girl who keeps on getting fascinated by the advancements in technology. Having studied Computer Information Systems and witnessing how it applies every moment in the society and life in general. She believes that technology is intended to give back to humanity its purpose in easing complex work and increasing leisure time for enhancement of the irreplaceable soft skills.

Briefly take us through your career journey up to your current role as a Business Intelligence Analyst

Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems at the University of Botswana in 2019, I joined Hollard Life Insurance Company temporarily as an Application Support Technician managing policy statuses on the system, supporting in the upgrade of the Exergy system, and learning how to configure policies in the systems. I took time to learn and quickly understand in-depth the insurance business model from an individual buying a policy to revenue generation and report provision and analysis. Then I went on to work as an intern for Orange Botswana 6 months later as a Business Intelligence Administrator which exposed me to a vast understanding of data flow from the input, processing, and outputting in systems all the way to the ETL process, Data cleaning, Data Analysis and reports automation using different BI tools to accomplish desirable high level and detailed investigations of data trends. Shortly after I was promoted to business Intelligence administrator and I continued to improve my skills, I have and still am advancing my skills by acquiring data science and analysis certifications. Now as a Business Intelligence Analyst, on top of the data science tasks mentioned above, I am also perfecting my understanding of the telecommunications business model and how data management can be more purposeful and beneficial to the company with the integration of innovative and digital reporting solutions.

What motivated you to pursue this career path?

I think it started with the little girl in me who long wanted a mobile device when she was a pre-teen. The curiosity of wanting to know more and being the kid who understood how the mobile device worked mostly at home. Then grew an interest in understanding how a game was created in high school to eventually being intrigued by the degree study itself. My interest in data science particularly was in understanding what was most important in technology, the core of it, and its benefit not only to business but to individual lives in essence. I like saying being a business intelligence analyst is not purely technical. Understanding the business model is very key as well. It’s a merger between technology and business operations. It’s understanding both sides of the story and creating value off of it. 

Unfortunately, tech still has a big gender gap problem with a paltry number of women participants in the sector let alone decision-making positions. What has your experience been as a woman in such a field and how have you dealt with the challenges that come with such a wide gender gap?

The issue in my case is external. Ever since enrollment, I’ve never experienced any unfamiliar behavior towards my skill in IT. Instead, I'm surrounded by supportive team members who don’t shy away from sharing a skill or correcting a mistake. The doubt is in other people underestimating your abilities to assist or even give constructive criticism when it’s due because of ‘emotional consideration’ solutions.

If there have been challenges as a result of this representation gap, how have you managed to surmount them?

Well, because I’m always trying to prove myself and improve myself. I work on providing better results all the time, managing situations better, and allowing fate to take the lead on those I cannot change. I guess also integrity is built consistently over time, and some situations need more time.

What do you think can be done to reduce this lack of representation?

Initiatives should be put in place that works on educating and changing the narrative that “some jobs have gender preferences” so that women understand that they are capable from the get-go. Women on their own need to believe in their capabilities and work diligently to live up to the quality standards they are capable of in the Technology industry.

What is your favorite part of the work that you do?

Data integration and analysis, studying trends, and understanding the change in patterns.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Not only am I capable of identifying a need for automation of tedious reports but I am able to implement it from beginning to end. 

What’s something you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?

Not everyone will see value in you and what you are doing, so find the people who will. 

Where do you see Onneile career-wise in the next 5-10 years?

Honestly, I’m in my learning phase for the next 5 years and I am patient with that. I am laying a foundation of thoroughly understanding business processes in the company I now work for and those I will work with in the future, how revenue is generated and how I can create value. Upskilling is a priority and with enough dedication, I am ambitious enough to believe I will be in management by then and actively making impactful decisions for companies either as a consultant or employee.

What advice can you give to young girls who are also interested in pursuing a career in tech?

Believing in yourself and improving your mindset to understand that no job has a gender is the first milestone you need to overcome. Trusting in your capabilities and understanding the value you bring is another milestone. Be confident in yourself and understand that you are human and you make mistakes, be accountable and responsible enough to learn from them. 

Lastly, please share with our readers your contact details in case they want to get in touch with you

Email me at:

NB: Interview has been slightly edited for clarity
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