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CDAO New Zealand

Auckland, 4-5 November, 2020

Interview with CDAO NZ speaker:
Dr Figen Ulgen, Head of Analytics and Insights, Woolworths NZ

Q1. What has been your biggest success for 2020 so far?

It has been extremely rewarding to build an extremely talented and passionate Advanced Analytics team in Woolworths since I joined in mid-2109. We not only upskilled the team but also were able to showcase to the business what analytics driven transformation looks like.

Q2. In what ways are you working with your business to help drive value and insight driven decision-making?

We are making sure that Analytics is at the table from the beginning of initiatives so it is not regarded as a simple dashboard building exercise to look at lagging indicators. This requires our analysts to be part of the business strategy conversations and not just a support function that interacts with stakeholders with service tickets.

Q3. Trust, privacy: How do you address the ethics considerations and customers’ concerns regarding the secondary use of data (the example being the use of my health record for pharmaceutical companies)

We all need to remember that beyond our jobs as Data & Analytics professionals, we are "individuals" so one has to stop and think - "if someone was using my data in this fashion, would I feel comfortable?". People who are embedded in advanced technology or social media may have higher thresholds for what feels comfortable so you need to also step back and see if you have a bias based on your job or your environment. But at the end of the day, we can all guess what is the right thing to do.

Q4. Getting up the value chain - How do you move from reporting function to strategic analytics function

We have successfully done this by being proactive around understanding what the business needs and building analytics solutions beyond what the business could envision. All the way from automating data feeds to improve the insights to be hourly or daily instead of manually patched weekly reports to integrating predictive analytics into areas where only lagging indicators were visible to the business enabled us to accomplish this.

Watch on-demand