Data Solutions Designer Kanaga Selvi Nachiyar explains how we measure data quality and help organisations improve their data practices.
In our new Meet the Team series, we’re offering a peek behind the curtain at Headforwards, introducing you to some of the talented developers, data experts, project managers, business analysts, and QA testers who bring our projects to life.
We’ve already spoken to our co-founder Craig, who revealed where his love for technology started and how it helped him grow a more than 100-strong software development team.
Next up is Kanaga Selvi Nachiyar, a data expert who’s proven herself across multiple industries in the past decade and now architects data-driven solutions for Cornwall’s local authority – helping the client deliver better services to citizens across the region.
A love for computers from an early age
Not many people know the career they’ll go into from an early age, but Selvi knew she’d end up doing something with computers.
“My dad always wanted me to become a doctor, but I was drawn to computer science,” says Selvi. “Being a biology student and without regular access to a computer at home and school, I didn’t have a lot of experience. When I got my first laptop in college, it really confirmed what I wanted to do.”
After her IT degree in India, Selvi was quickly hired as a BI developer for a global IT consultancy company. This role was followed by more than a decade of data experience across the technology, finance, and pharmaceutical industries.
“I’d always been interested in database management systems, and I was very good at working in SQL, so I was excited to land my first job in data warehousing and business intelligence. Since then, I’ve been certified by Oracle and Microsoft, and had the chance to work with dozens of technologies such as Informatica, Oracle BI, Tableau and Data Modelling” says Selvi. “After my last role, I was very keen to work in MSBI Stack, Power BI and Microsoft Azure – and Headforwards gave me that opportunity.”
I’ve always wanted to architect solutions, and my experience in both back-end development and front-end data visualisation means I’m well-equipped for the role.
Fast progress and a big impact at Headforwards
When Selvi joined the Headforwards team in 2019, she was one of the first members of its new data and analytics team, which works extensively with clients like Cornwall Council. And after proving herself as a talented BI developer, turning the council’s data into meaningful insights, she was promoted to Data Solutions Designer within a year.
“I’m in charge of designing and building Master Data Solutions for the local authority,” says Selvi. “I’ve always wanted to architect solutions, and my experience in both back-end development and front-end data visualisation means I’m well-equipped for the role.”
Moving from India, Selvi also brings a unique perspective to the project. “I’m fairly new to the UK, but working with the local authority I get to see behind all the services I’ve been learning to use over the past couple of years, such as paying council tax,” explains Selvi. “It’s also given me a chance to prove myself on the customer-facing side of projects, as I’ve met with different councils across the country and consulted with technology vendors to find the best solution for the client.”
I’ve been a role model to people within my teams before, but TEC Girls gave me an opportunity to inspire people in the wider community – it definitely felt like a big achievement.
Inspiring the tech community of the future
It wasn’t just the chance to advance her career in data that attracted Selvi to Headforwards – it was also the chance to live in Cornwall and join its thriving tech community.
“When I applied for the job at Headforwards, I was living in Reading and wasn’t familiar with Cornwall, but it’s been great discovering the region. I’ve been to so many beaches, climbed across the clifftops, and trekked along the coastline. I’m looking forward to experiencing the famous Headforwards BBQ,” says Selvi.
One of Selvi’s proudest moments from her time in Cornwall so far is being interviewed for TEC Girls, an online magazine dedicated to inspiring the next generation of women in the technology sector in Cornwall.
“I’ve been a role model to people within my teams before, but TEC Girls gave me an opportunity to inspire people in the wider community – it definitely felt like a big achievement,” says Selvi. “Since then, I’ve become a people leader at Headforwards, which involves guiding teams on the projects I’m running. It’s a company that’s great at spotting people’s talent and giving them opportunities to make the most of it.”
Explore what it’s like to work at Headforwards
We’ll be talking to many more people from across the Headforwards team over the coming months, so check back to meet some of the other talent behind our projects. But in the meantime, take a look at our Careers page to find out more about what it’s like to work here – and the positions we currently have available.