tiket.com: a data driven culture to transform the business

Maria Tjahjadi, VP of Data Analytics at tiket.com discusses the company's use of data, becoming agents of change and driving a data driven culture

With over 10 years’ experience with data and data analytics, Maria Tjahjadi is the current VP of Data Analytics at tiket.com. “I joined the data industry by accident, I never planned to take this route, when I graduated from school, I had one dream to become an ERP consultant. But I couldn’t find any suitable companies, so after 3 months, I decided to switch my career. I started my career as a business intelligence consultant in a technology consulting company. It was after becoming a business intelligence consultant that I realized there was a lot of opportunity in the data industry as at that time, people didn’t really understand how to use generated insights from the data.”

Over the years, Maria has seen the data industry change drastically. “Start from the evolution of big data. It started when we realised huge amounts of data were being generated by internet users and the data processing was not only for structured data, but also involved unstructured data,’ she explains. “However, I have found that, although companies want to implement this technology, some of them are not ready for it. After the hype of big data, now we are in a period where people start to implement Artificial Intelligence.”

When it comes to managing its data, Maria revealed that tiket.com has a lot of variance of data sources, and that “to make sure the trusted source is being used by everyone in the company, we developed a data platform. That platform is being used to generate the insight for everyone in the company. By having this platform, we made sure that everyone accesses the same data.” Before this innovation, Maria details that the company had a lot of manual data. “Every department has their own data producing their own numbers, this approach caused confusion as to whether the data was accurate. Now that we are accessing one data platform, we have increased the accuracy of our data. Now, every decision that anyone makes, they will refer to the same data.”

However, Maria explains that it is not easy to change the mindset of people to implement new technology such as a single data platform. “The innovation challenge is people, it's not easy to change mindsets and the way that people work. Implementing technology couldn’t be separated from improving processes and changing the way people work. Without that combination, no one will use the technology.”

In addition to this, Maria details that one of tiket.com’s objectives is to become a leading Online Travel Agent that always focuses on customer centricity. “From a data team point of view, the culture that we want to set is everyone in the team should have a consultant mindset, meaning we should be able to answer any problem or any challenges that our users face. To become a data driven organization, our second mission is to become an agent of change. We need to help our stakeholders to put data first, by changing habits and behaviors to use data in everything they do.”

When it comes to securing the data that it uses, Maria explains that tiket.com harnesses technology to drive security within its operations “by using technology, we make sure that each person only has access to the specific data that they require. We also implement data governance to create a data security metric, any data access should have an audit trail. Not only data security, data governance implementation also ensures that people have access to the high quality data that is maintained securely.”

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As the hype of Big Data emerged, data analytics changed a lot, everybody wants to be experts in data

Maria Tjahjadi | VP of Data Analytics, tiket.com

In order to drive digital transformation with the organization, Maria believes that the company will need three things “The platform - or technology - the process and the people. So, we have very good technology partners and very good people in our team.” From a data perspective, Maria explains that the company is data driven all the way to the top. “One of our partners - Tableau - has been one of the best decisions we have made,” comments Maria who reflects on the company’s success of adopting Tableau adding that her Board of Directors began the hashtag #Tableauislife, “in his words, ‘Without Tableau, I have no life, because Tableau is my life now!’” This showed Maria how much her management values data, “so I know our data-driven strategy is the right one, and with the help of Tableau we have adopted a user-friendly business intelligence software within our operations that is easy for our employees to understand and use.” Maria is also currently one of Tableau’s User Group Leaders which helps the community of Tableau users to learn the best practices of the technology. “During the meet-ups, even though Tableau can provide content and experts, the Tableau user groups are entirely led by the customers for customers to learn and adopt analytics.”

Reflecting on the company’s data management, Maria reiterates her comment on being a company that is striving to be an agent of change. “We want to adopt user friendly technology, if it is not user friendly it is useless for us to build it. This is something that I think is very important in order to drive our transformation.”
 

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