60 seconds with Basil Francis
16 August 2016
Basil is a patient safety programme data analyst.
What does a patient safety programme data analyst do on a daily basis?
In the patient safety programme we are measuring for improvement and to do that we need data. That’s where I come in. I mainly create graphs and use Excel to measure our achievement. Implementing researched techniques to measure our improvement can be very satisfying.
What’s your greatest personal/career achievement?
I’d say this job. I love living in London and this role has provided me with so many opportunities for growth.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Easily the people I work with. There’s such an amazing open atmosphere in our team and the energy is palpable.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of a career in data analysis?
Make sure you’re ready for countless people treating you as a sort of Excel agony aunt. You should also be prepared for a steep learning curve.
What was your first job?
I started working in 2014 as a data analyst at the South West Academic Health Science Network in Exeter. I started out as an intern but then got taken on permanently.
Who’s influenced your career most (and why)?
My first manager. He had a profound understanding of how to create meaningful information from raw data and how to get the very best out of Excel.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It’s one from my Dad, who told me to live by my own standards without worrying what other people will think of me.
What skill would you most like to have?
I’d quite like to be able to play the bass. But in a professional sense, I’d love to improve my ability to break down complex information and communicate it simply and concisely.
If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?
I spent part of my time at university writing film, theatre and music reviews, and part of me would have loved to have done that at a professional level.
Tell us something about you that very few people know…
I am an avid fan and collector of progressive rock music and I own well over 1,000 CDs and vinyls.
If you were a biscuit, what sort would you be?
I wouldn’t be a biscuit, because I don’t crumble under pressure!
If you could time travel, where would you go?
It’s crazy to think that Hampstead was a tiny village just a few hundred years ago. I’d really like to travel back in time to see what it looked like then, when London would have just been a few small buildings in the distance. Did you know that Hampstead comes from the Anglo-Saxon hamstede, meaning ‘homestead’?