A recent graduate of the Data Analytics for Business program at St. Clair College will soon show off her skillset as a Decision Support Analyst for Erie Shores HealthCare in Leamington.
Deepa Taneja Chawla, 46, grew up in the small town of Amritsar in Punjab, India and admittedly fell in love with computers in Grade 4. Chawla eventually earned a master’s degree in computer applications and started her career in information technology as a tutor before relocating to the United Kingdom in 2004 to establish herself as an IT lecturer. After living in London, England, for several years, Deepa decided she wanted to pursue a career change as a data analyst and quickly chose to study at St. Clair College to chase that dream.
"I wanted to be associated with a place where excellence meets kindness and where I could develop a sense of belonging. The Data Analytics for Business program offered by the College met all the requirements of a great course - the length, the structure and the institution as a whole," Chawla said. "When I read about St. Clair College - it just sounded great. It felt like a big, well-connected and growing place, but at the same time, it is a close-knit and integral part of the Windsor community. This was where I could move with my family, learn, grow, and achieve excellence."
Deepa began taking classes in the two-year Data Analytics for Business (DAB) diploma program at St. Clair during the winter semester of 2021 and immediately left an impression on several of her professors, including Nicole Sbrocca, the Director of the Cancer Program at Windsor Regional Hospital. Sbrocca teaches the Healthcare Analytics course at the College and has accepted DAB student placements for capstone projects at Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) for a few years. She described Deepa as an intuitive student who asked thoughtful and meaningful questions during lectures and after class.
"In analytics, you must dig deep, you must know the right questions to ask, and you always must get a good appreciation for what the goal is or what is our team after and then getting the data to align to get you there, and that's what Deepa is good at. She's curious; she digs deep," Sbrocca said. "Data analytics plays a huge factor in what we do regarding the quality of care and quality improvement. That is predicated on having data and analytics to inform the current and future state. It's a cornerstone of what we do. We use a euphemism: 'You measure what you treasure,' or, 'If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.' We absolutely need that in healthcare. We need insight. And that data is our insight. If we don't have it, we're going in blind."
Before graduation, Deepa worked alongside Sbrocca at WRH’s Cancer Program to complete her capstone project, focusing on the hospital’s cancer or systemic suite utilization. She said this real work experience with Sbrocca at WRH tested the knowledge she acquired at St. Clair and ultimately gave her the confidence to apply for the Decision Support Analyst job at Erie Shores HealthCare.
"The capstone project built my confidence to be job ready in the field. The knowledge and skills I acquired at St. Clair College allowed me to define the problem, narrow down the solutions and report insights," Chawla said. "These insights are essential metrics that will shape the future strategic planning within the department. I got the knowledge and skills in the classroom, and when I could apply them at WRH, it reassured my inner self."
As a decision support analyst, she is ready to begin working for Erie Shores HealthCare in early September. Deepa will support various hospital departments by identifying trends, impact analysis and benchmarking utilization reports for various stakeholders by collecting, monitoring, and validating data from various sources.