Amy Chalfen has worked in data for the last eight years, and seven of those have been at consumer credit reporting company Experian. Her current role as global services and delivery director sees her leading a team that ensures the successful implementation of solutions for large financial institutions, insurance providers, retailers, governments and telecoms companies.
She said: “We’re part of the B2B reporting segment for the global Experian business. ‘Decision analytics’ is about managing and automating huge volumes of day to day decisions - bringing together data, analytics and software applications to automate and deploy complex decisions like the assessment of credit risk, or identification of a fraudulent application.”
Chalfen explained that the decision analytics department would traditionally have been called a software house, as it designs and develops software applications and tools which are deployed into automated processes. With Chalfen’s contributions and leadership, decision analytics has doubled, with over 30% growth for each of the last three years in complex solutions. Experian’s B2B growth in financial year 2019 was 9% globally according to results published in May 2019, with 14% from the Decisioning segment and 7% from Data alone.
"I make sure our teams are ready to deploy our solutions."
She said: “I have colleagues who drive products. I have colleagues who drive development and my job is to make sure that across the world, our teams are ready to deploy our solutions with and create the right results for our clients.”
Helping her do that is a team of 1,000 people around the world as well as a few hundred external contractors. Chalfen fosters frictionless collaboration and co-operation between team members by making sure they are all aligned to the same purpose.
"In frictionless teams, different parts deliver value to each other."
She said: “The way you create frictionless teams in that way is making sure the different parts of it deliver value to each other. So if there’s a new product or activity that we’re bringing to market, I’m making sure the right team, the central team, is doing the right thing to enable the regions because it is incredibly important.”
"We have lots of communities of practice and shared information."
She added that it is essential that local knowledge is drawn upon when bringing new software to market in different regions. Furthermore, knowledge sharing and connectivity is also imperative. “We have a lot of connectivity at leadership level. We have lots of communities of practice and shared information and we try and make sure that people can access what they need at the right time from a knowledge and capability perspective,” Chalfen added.
"Growth creates opportunities to evolve for everyone."
Despite these strong bonds of connection, Chalfen also recognises that at times it is necessary to take a hands-off approach and leave the teams to do what they need to do. “Getting that balance right is probably the best way of making it frictionless,” she said. The results of this style of leadership have been impressive. During the last seven years, growth in the decision analytics business has doubled, with that growth being in the most complex and innovative offerings.
Chalfen said that growth is beneficial in and of itself for reasons unrelated to the bottom line of the business. “Growth continues to be a huge driver in willingness to accept change. I think that is worth saying. Growth creates opportunities to evolve for everybody and data is driving growth
everywhere, so it makes it a really good time to be a business leader in this space.”
Amy Chalfen is the winner of the leader award bestowed by FDM everywoman in tech.