Dancing with hippos: Building acceptance for analytics and statistical thinking

Kendra Vant, Deloitte


Finding the insight buried in the data stores of large corporates is a challenging task for all involved, requiring semi-Herculean efforts in cat herding across departmental lines, struggles with largely orthogonal KPIs and conflicting time frames for synthesis and delivery. However driving business value from the insight is often further complicated by senior stakeholders who are less than comfortable with the more abstract aspects of scientific reasoning and quantitative analysis. 

The ability to find, nurture and grow senior stakeholder champions for analytics and quantitative thinking within an organisation needs to be a core competency for everyone who believes in the power of data to drive business decisions and wants to see Australian businesses flourish in the coming decade. This talk will illustrate the often stark contrast between what 'we' meant to communicate and what 'they' heard and discuss ways to raise confidence levels and statistical literacy within companies.

Kendra Vant is a Director with the Insight Solutions practice at Deloitte, designing and implementing analytic capabilities for corporate and government clients across Australia. Previous experience includes leading teams in marketing analytics and BI strategy, building bespoke enterprise software systems, trapping ions in microchips to create two-bit quantum computers and firing lasers at very cold hydrogen atoms. Kendra has worked in New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and the US, holds a PhD in Physics from MIT and was a post doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Please note that the talk itself is at 6:15pm in the Russell Love Theatre but is preceded by the national SSAI AGM at 5:30pm in the Staff Tea Room, including refreshments.  Dinner from 7:30pm at Cafe Italia.

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  • Damjan V.

    Kendra has made her slides available online:

    August 29, 2013

  • Arthur

    That was a really interesting talk from Kandra, but it was a shame that I didn't get a chance to speak to her because I had to leave early.

    August 28, 2013

  • Sandy C.

    An entertaining and helpful guide to engaging stakeholders in what we do.

    August 28, 2013

  • Jorge

    can i assist both meetings?

    August 27, 2013

  • Han Liang G.

    How to get to the Richard Berry building from the CBD:

    The easiest way is to take a tram down Swanston street. If you get on the tram anywhere on Swanston street heading northwards, you (should) end up at the University of Melbourne. Major train stations, Melbourne Central and Flinders Street, both exit onto Swanston street.

    The easiest way to tell when you have arrived at the University of Melbourne, is to get off at the tram stop where the tram doors open on the right. The tram stop is also the fourth stop after Melbourne Central.

    When you get off at the tram stop, walk to the north end of the platform (just keep walking in the direction that the tram was travelling), and cross the road to your left. You should find yourself at the opening of a small street leading into the University. On your left is a large black building, Sidney Meyer, and on your right will be a red brick building, the Richard Berry Building.

    August 22, 2013

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