Meet Riya Singh, Director of Data & Analytics at Dimagi. Riya’s inspiring journey from a project manager to a leader in the data and analytics space at Dimagi is a testament to her tenacity and determination. It has not only propelled her career but also contributed to the company’s success.
Could you share a bit about your background and your path to Dimagi?
Of course! My journey to Dimagi has been an exciting one. I studied cognitive science and human rights, which might sound like an unusual combination. It is about understanding technology and the human mind while also considering that essential layer of human rights. After my studies, I spent a year in public health research before an opportunity arose to work in India, where my family originates from. I spent a couple of years there, collaborating with governments and primary health clinics to unlock the power of their data and make it useful for decision-makers at every level of the system of care.
Then, the unexpected happened – the pandemic hit. I returned home to the Bay Area just before travel restrictions kicked in, and that’s when I discovered Dimagi. They were seeking a Project Manager to contribute to their COVID-19 response efforts. It felt like a perfect match, given my desire to make a meaningful impact.
Can you describe a typical day in your current role as Director of Data & Analytics at Dimagi?
My role is quite dynamic. I’m responsible for ensuring that projects within the US Health Division, which involve our data platform and data management services, run smoothly. I lead a medium-sized team comprised of both Dimagi employees and external vendors. My responsibilities span from ensuring the technology works flawlessly to meeting our clients’ needs. I also work closely with our Partnerships team to engage potential partners and share our product story. No day is the same – I could be diving into data, troubleshooting technical issues, managing budgets, or exploring new client priorities.
How did you manage the transition from Project Manager to Data and Analytics?
It was a significant transition in terms of responsibilities. About one and a half years into my role on the delivery team, first as a Project Manager and then as Senior Project Manager, I realized there was a gap in our division for someone to lead the data and analytics space. I seized the opportunity to propose that, given my background, I could fill that role effectively. Dimagi was open to the idea, even though there was no defined path from project management to data and analytics. This flexibility allowed me to chart a unique career path within the company.
How did Dimagi support your growth during this transition?
I appreciate how Dimagi showed interest in me taking on this role. They set clear milestones that I needed to achieve to prove my ability, and I received guidance on whom to connect with. I engaged with external experts and Dimagi colleagues who had gone through similar transitions. Other leaders across divisions were also incredibly helpful in providing guidance and brainstorming how we could leverage my experience to build a data team at Dimagi. It was a collaborative effort, and I felt encouraged.
What were the main challenges you faced during this transition?
One challenge was my tendency to spread myself too thin due to my eagerness to contribute. My manager helped me redirect my focus towards priorities. Additionally, there was no single source of information to guide the creation of a data and analytics team at Dimagi. I had to navigate various resources, learn, and selectively implement what was most relevant to our division. It was a learning process of filtering through information and deciding what to prioritize.
What is the main difference between your previous and current roles at Dimagi?
In my current role, I spend much more time on the technical side, making technology-related decisions and managing practice operations, which were not part of my responsibilities as a Project Manager. This is kind of my dream role, and it aligns perfectly with my interests and skills, thanks partly to the experiences I gained as a project manager.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pivot their career?
If you’re considering a career pivot, remember two essential things: be tenacious and have a vision of your desired path. At Dimagi, we highly value personal and professional growth, which also benefits the company. However, apart from your passion, it’s crucial to articulate how your previous experiences will help you succeed in the innovative space you want to explore.
What do you like best about working at Dimagi, and what do you think could be improved?
I absolutely love Dimagi’s flexibility in how we approach our work. It allows me to effectively structure my work time and balance my personal responsibilities, enhancing my job performance. However, like any company, we need to be more intentional about diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. We must continually strive to attract and support diverse individuals, ensuring our practices remain inclusive and not become complacent.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I am not boring, but I may have some uninteresting hobbies! I enjoy kayaking, reading, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with my family, and playing the saxophone.
Riya’s journey from Project Manager to Director of Data & Analytics at Dimagi is a testament to the company’s values of growth and fulfillment. Her story inspires us to chart our own unique career paths and embrace opportunities for growth and development.
Interested in learning more about Dimagi’s culture or joining our team? Visit our Careers Page to explore opportunities and become part of our dynamic and flexible work environment.