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August 11, 2022

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Our team is made up of people with various responsibilities, backgrounds, hobbies, and interests, but one common denominator is everyone’s high-level of excellence. Meet Newel Rice, our rockstar Sr. Solutions Architect for Nortal North America. Newel has only been a part of our team for a year but made his mark very early on. With his certified expertise in Snowflake Data Cloud services and numerous years delivering value to the business through data projects, he has become a key team member at Nortal. Join us in learning about Newel’s journey to Nortal.   

Growing Into Technology  

Tell us how you got into the tech industry?  

I’ve always been dangerously curious, so if something intrigues me, I take a deep dive. I was very interested in building and creating content after growing up around many academics, scientists and documentary film producers. In combination with my studies in Molecular Systematic Botany, I started screenwriting and developing multimedia environments. Naturally, computing was a large part of this. Pulling together my content creation and rudimentary laboratory-based computer skills, I entered the technology world while in college by working in the IT department. I don’t have a computer science degree, but I do have a science background that I lean on heavily as I have made my way through this field.  

What’s your journey to becoming a Solutions Architect?  

After college, someone I knew worked for a software company and recommended me for a job. I took a leap and started coding by learning from co-workers in the trenches. Those solutions supported state and local government functions like accounting, utilities, planning, GIS, HR and payroll. One of the areas I feel I brought a lot of value to our clients was in the fledgling days of BI and data analysis.  This wasn’t the visualizations that we have today, mainly reporting capabilities like Crystal Reports, MicroStrategy and Cognos, but it was a new world that I was enthralled with.  From there I went to the client side of things and spent many years working closely with all levels of the organization as well as their partners, governing bodies and national organizations. Afterward I went back to consulting, working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the largest and most influential companies and organizations in the world solving the most complex challenges we’ve seen to date. 

Why Nortal? 

What was attractive about Nortal as an employer?  

When I was looking for a place to continue growing in my career, Nortal stood out to me. The work that Nortal had done within the Estonian government was truly inspiring. The modernization and desire to build out innovative data practices with lasting impact were core values that I was looking for in my next landing place.  

From One Solutions Architect to Another 

What is a “Day In The Life” of a Solutions Architect?  

There is so much variety in our day-to-day. You never get bored in this line or work since it is always moving and changing as we face new and interesting challenges. Plus, it is an absolute thrill to be part of a business growing and seeing its culture changing in positive ways. One thing is constant though, and this is caffeine.  

Do you have words of wisdom to people starting out in data & analytics?  

I have 4 pieces of advice:  

Build out your network and use your connections. Always look to make good relationships and build your bridges. The quote of “leaving it better than you found it” applies to your relationships, too.  

Don’t compromise on quality. You do not need perfection, but you do need to deliver high-quality work.  

Test, test, test and then test some more. Test earlier than you think you should, move the test to the left. If you already have testing integrated into the way you work early in development, you don’t have to solve bigger problems down the road. 

Always have unwavering optimism. If you don’t have this to cling to, your work can be hard. Often in most data & analytics work, things don’t go to plan. Changing your perspective and keeping a positive attitude will not only affect your work, but your work environment as well.  

Certified Technical Expertise 

Newel took advantage of Nortal’s certification program and completed multiple training courses within his first year on our team while continuing to provide excellent work to our clients and customers.  

Newel’s Certifications include:  

  • Snowflake SnowPro Core Certification 
  • Snowflake SnowPro Architect Certification 
  • Snowflake Professional Architect Certification  
  • Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Associate Certification 

Kudos to you, Newel!  

We celebrate our wins together, always. Here are some recent shout-outs Newel has gotten from his team.

“Newel has been such an asset to Nortal from the moment he arrived. With his deep technical knowledge, he has continued to help Nortal deliver immense value to our customers on a regular basis. His unwavering optimism has supported Nortal’s inclusive culture which consistently keeps his team morale high. Thank you, Newel, for always coming to work with a “can-do” attitude and having such a high standard of excellence!” 

Areos Ledesma, Partner, SVP of Americas

“Newel is an amazingly hard working and dedicated Solutions Architect! From the moment he joined Nortal he’s been solving complex data engineering problems for our clients, growing Nortal’s data engineers, leveling up our partner relationships, and even building out our North American data practice. We are beyond grateful to have him on team!”

Justin Graham, Partner, Technical Director

To learn more about Nortal’s open opportunities, check out our LinkedIn page.

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