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Gael Decoudu, Director of credit decisioning, NewDay

Path to power

 

Decoudu is a seasoned global leader in analytics and data science with 20-plus years of experience. He has a solid track record of combining a strong business sense with analytical expertise and results focus to deliver significant value. He has demonstrated his high adaptability thorough his career, having led several multi-cultural and multi-functional teams across the world, directly and remotely in various industries (financial services, banking, e-commerce), in high growth and mature environments alike. In the past years, he has regularly shared his insights at conferences in panels, presentations, roundtables or in advisory roles.
His deep expertise covers a wide range of analytics applications, ranging from credit risk to marketing, customer and web analytics, cross-selling and pricing. He started his career in academia where he received a strong theoretical foundation which, combined with a pragmatic approach, built on his exposure to real problems and data for many different applications through university consultancy. He then developed his business skills during his first few years at Capital One in the USA. Throughout his career, he challenged himself by working for innovative companies across different industries. He is also making sure to stay at the forefront on all innovations and development in the broader data world in order to be able to apply them to relevant industries.

 

What has been the highlight of your career in the industry to date?

 

To date, I have two highlights. The first one was early in my career when I developed a non-linear mixed effect model applied to cow growth curves for the USDA. The second one is the recruitment and development of a ten-plus data science team for Shop Direct in London in the space of six months in late 2017/early 2018.

 

Did 2018 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

 

2018 didn’t turn out the way I expected. I was planning to keep leading my team at Shop Direct, when I was approached with this fantastic opportunity and challenge to lead and develop the credit decisioning function at NewDay. I am now overseeing credit analytics, credit data insights, the decision engine team, and building the credit data science function.

 

What do you expect 2019 to be like for the industry?

 

I expect 2019 to be similar in many aspects to the trends observed in 2018. The industry still has to do a lot of catch-up with recent changes and innovations to harvest them fully, with regulations to comply with and adapt to. 2019 should also see more data democratisation to help non-data experts and society become less fearful of data, ML, AI, etc…If it is not done now, 2019 and the years after will see even more legislation and governance related to the generalised use of data.

 

Talent and skills are always a challenge to find - how are you tackling this in your organisation?

 

Recruiting and nurturing talent is a key expectation of any leader - it is even more important in the data world given the current market environment. I am passionate about it and devote as much as possible to my team, developing the right culture and sense of community within the company. I want my colleagues to feel challenged in their role, to have the opportunity to learn and share with others and, above all, enjoy what they are doing in their work as it represents a vast amount of their life.

 

What aspect of data, analytics or their use are you most optimistic about and why?

 

I am most optimistic about the use of data for the good of the society and individuals. Used the right way, data and analytics can significantly help improve the world, but also individual life on a day-to-day basis in a non-intrusive way. Once people see such benefits, they will fear data less.
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