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Kinnari Ladha, head of data science, analytics and BI, group marketing UK&I, TUI Group

Kinnari Ladha

Path to power

I’ve been fortunate to have an exciting career path through the world of data and analytics, it’s not too surprising I was attracted to this industry as I have always been bit of a numbers geek from an early age. Fresh out of university, I began my corporate journey as a hands-on practitioner coding in languages such as SAS and SQL. Over the course of the last 15 years, I have climbed the corporate ladder, undertaking various senior leadership roles from managing analytic strategy, and leading transformation and delivery across a vast range of industries globally, both consultancy and client side.

 

As a member of the global analytics senior leadership team at TUI, my responsibility is to define and deliver the analytic and data science strategic direction to enable the digital transformation vision of the business.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

I feel fortunate to have been recognised in the DataIQ Power 100 2019 list and winning the Data IQ Digital and Data Champion in 2019. These recognitions are something I never imagined receiving and have provided me with great opportunities to attend industry events globally as a keynote speaker, sharing my knowledge and personal experiences to help others achieve their business ambitions.

 

Working within the global division of a FTSE 100 organisation is a career highlight as it has opened up the world to me, providing the opportunity to travel to new countries, allowing me to work with a diverse mix of cultures and countries which has been both beneficial and positive for my career, lifestyle and for me as an individual.

 

Who is your role model or the person you look to for inspiration?

There is no one person I would call out, I’ve been very lucky to have collaborated and worked with several powerful senior female leaders who have inspired me, specifically around how to have a healthy work-life balance and a successful career. They have been influential and motivated me in my career, teaching me valuable lessons centered around leadership, engagement, work ethic, adaptability, empathy and being true to your personal values.

 

Did 2019 turn out the way you expected? If not, in what ways was it different?

For me 2019 was a fantastic year, full of opportunities and challenges. With TUI currently undergoing a market transformation, I’ve expanded my role, taking full responsibly of both global and UK markets. Outside of my role, I have had the opportunity to lead the diversity initiative centered around Women in Data, both at TUI and the wider industry. My work here has received an incredible amount of positive interest and support from people around the organisation and has not only helped TUI to strengthen its commitment to diversity within the technology field but has also attracted talent into the business.

 

What do you expect 2020 to be like for the data and analytics industry?

In this fast paced digital era, organisations across all industries will continue to make data and technology strategies the core of their business and companies will need to be agile in their adoption and implementation of their innovation roadmaps. I fully expect the industry to continue its exponential growth. But for companies to keep pace, they must also focus on their people strategy; for me this will be a key pillar to their success.

 

Data and technology are changing business, the economy and society – what do you see as the biggest opportunity emerging from this?

Artificial intelligence algorithms are powered by data, and as data continues to be developed at an increasing rate this will fuel the growth and use of AI, which will cause the business workforce to evolve.

 

I continually come across articles from industry experts who share their predictions of industries and sectors that will “die” as a result of automation, robotics, machine learning. But I believe AI will have a positive impact on society, through improvements in healthcare, transportation, and criminal justice system. However, we are just scratching the surface; we face challenges and learning opportunities as the technology rolls out into new applications.

 

What is the biggest tech challenge you face in ensuring data is at the heart of your digital transformation strategy?

The future growth of TUI is dependent on the successful digital transformation of the company. While we take on this journey, it’s important we don’t forget the “why”, which is to provide outstanding holiday experiences through streamlined and personalised recommendations resulting in satisfied and loyal customers.

 

Remaining focused on creating a data driven culture, accelerating our IT efforts by investing in connecting platforms, and implementing new architecture with the latest analytic tools are key. The biggest challenge is no different to any other business and that is to ensure we can see all this effort deliver business benefits. We must adopt new ways of working, ensuring our digital transformation is a strategic pillar across all layers of the business.

 

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