Data and Analytics Business Leader Pawan doesn’t think you’re trying hard enough if you’ve never failed. When it comes to the D&A space, he’s a firm believer that we need people with perseverance who can try, fail, learn, and keep going. We chatted with him about how he continues to cultivate the “risk, learn, grow” mentality that’s foundational at Progressive to drive D&A forward.
How important is the D&A function at Progressive?
Data is a core ingredient to our growing business. Progressive relies on lots of data for our products and services. Every facet of our business uses data in many ways to provide the best possible experience for our customers. So, we need to maintain existing data sets, build new ones, nurture existing tools and find new ones. I’m responsible for the strategy for that and helping to implement it. My customer base is in the thousands and spreads across all of Progressive. I make lots of new friends every day, and I love that.
What are some of the things you’re most excited about right now in your field?
I’m super-excited about real-time data. Usually when we talk of data, we talk about something that happened yesterday, a month ago, etc. Our systems have historically been geared toward processing past data. Now we’re focusing on real-time data. We can process data and derive insights nearly instantly. If something’s happening now—an issue on our website, for example—we’ll know that and can address it today. So, in the data space, the notion of driving insights in real time and responding in real time is very exciting.
On the analytics side, there are so many new tools available now. It’s as if you’re a craftsman who had only a hammer and screw driver, and now you have much more sophisticated tools. A full-fledge tool box to work from. Some of these tools are actually in the open source space. The crowd-source nature of open source is really exciting because things can evolve quickly. In the tooling space, there are lots of innovations I’m excited about.
When we put both aspects together—data and analytics advancements—we can engage our customers in much better ways. We can do things with AI and machine learning. We can tune our products and services for the customer and really personalize what we’re offering them. When we personalize things, we see much better engagement. And that goes for internal and external customers, translating across all our business areas.