1. In a normal day, what kinds of data / analytics activities are you involved in?
I have worked with a big variety of data and different types of analytics over the years. At the start of my career I did a lot of projects that required DOE (Design of Experiments), TQM (Total Quality Management) and simulation methodologies as I focused on process and production control and automation. Since moving to financial services, a lot of the analytics that I am involved in are focusing on customer interactions and experience. Those involve predictive modelling, segmentation and development of customer interactive tools.
2. What's the biggest challenge(s) you face?
One of the big challenges that I often face is how to influence cultural or transformational change among my stakeholders. A lot of innovative solutions often require a very extensive change to existing ways of working in order to be activated. Since I love to question status quo and I often end up with such challenge!
3. What would be the proudest or most enjoyable moment in your analytics career?
There were many moments when I felt very fortunate to be able to work in such exciting occupation. One of my first proud moments was during my time at CSIRO, when my analytical solution was patented. It was a very special moment as it was the first ever patent from mathematical and information sciences division at CSIRO.
4. What advice would you give to a woman wanting to get into the analytics industry?
To stay confident and passionate, remember enthusiasm is infectious. Be brave, stand for what you believe in and don’t feel intimidated too easily. If you are a dreamer, make sure to stay a dreamer. If you are not then start practicing thinking big. Keep coming up with ridiculous ideas, even if only 2 out of 10 ever go ahead that’s 2 more that your company would otherwise have!
5. What do you think the future holds for women in analytics?
Analytics are advancing at a very rapid pace, but the landscape is changing. More and more it’s not just about mathematics, statistics and computer science, but about innovation, creative thinking, ability to collaborate and capability to bridge technical and business domains. Although there are a lot of amazingly talented women with outstanding technical skills a lot of women are also naturally gifted in communication and capability in leading change. Big global companies, like Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG to name a few, have appointed female CDOs mostly for those reasons.