Why analyst Priyanshi Agarwal learned business to translate big data
Developer Priyanshi Agarwal knew how to speak tech, but she wanted to become fluent in business as well. Now she's the head of analytics for a pricing analytics company.
"One thing I've realised about most workplaces is that there are not a lot of people who can speak both business and technology," Priyanshi says.
"I was one of those people until I did the Master of Business Analytics program, and now I know what business problem I should be trying to solve and what questions to ask when solving it."
When she first arrived in Australia, Priyanshi began working as a software developer for Westpac – but soon felt the need for further study to broaden her horizons.
"At Westpac, I had a little interaction with the business team, but I was always curious about what was happening in the business and what the clients were up to," she says.
"I really liked getting into the data and debugging it to discover its meaning, but I just didn't want to stop there. I wanted a degree to help me bridge the gap between business and data, which is what led me to Melbourne Business School."
Priyanshi is now Head of Analytics at ShopGrok, a pricing intelligence company that helps retailers improve their market visibility.
"We provide pricing insights and help build pricing strategies for a variety of clients, one of our bigger clients is the Super Retail Group, which consists of Super Cheap Auto, Rebel Sport, Macpac and other brands," she says.
On the Master of Business Analytics program, Priyanshi studied machine learning, supply chain management, predictive analytics and more – all through the lens of a business perspective.
"It was really great how applicable the subjects were to actual business problems," she says.
"We did a lot of programming, modelling and machine learning but it didn't stop there, it linked the data with the business and helped me learn the things I was missing out on.
"The program gave me more clarity on how important it is to understand the business equation in my work. How to understand the problem and end goal, gather requirements, discuss it all and work in an agile way."
Priyanshi says the support from faculty and staff on the program was invaluable, but what was even more memorable was how diverse the group of students was.
"There were 65 of us in the cohort and I was surprised by how many others came from different domains," she says.
"There were chemical engineers, accountants, engineers and people from actuarial. There was not a single day when we weren't learning from each other. Everyone just respected and appreciated each other's skills and value. It was just amazing."
One of Priyanshi's initial roles after completing the program was as a pricing analytics manager at Woolworths, before she moved to ShopGrok – which was founded by one of her colleagues.
The biggest difference in her career today is being able to approach complex problems with a solid understanding of the business priorities that lay behind them.
"From the very first day I started at Woolworths to where I am now at ShopGrok, it has been about applying the business context to the data and translating technical solutions into a manner where people can understand and appreciate the value of data" Priyanshi says.
"I had the data, I had the tools, I understood the problems more and then I freshly understood how to sell the solution to my audience."
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