I have an innate ability to marry data analytics with business knowledge to deliver actionable insights. I enjoy the excitement and countless possibilities of designing and leveraging data analytics to identify potential improvement opportunities. Especially when these new ideas help to:

  1. Address significant pain points
  2. Streamline processes to drive operational and commercial excellence
  3. Enhance customer experience

Here are some of my earlier projects at Microsoft:

When I first joined Microsoft, I was new to the Incentives domain. While proactively reaching out to a variety of folks (in various aspects of the business) to ramp up my knowledge, I also took ownership of a dashboard developed for Field Leadership. As I grew into a subject matter expert, and through close collaboration with Incentive Operations, Partner Business Managers and the Field, I started to explore new possibilities with this dashboard.

The highlight for me was the discovery and adoption of a new “metric” where it was proven that 20% of our Partners were earning 80% of the Incentives. Besides identifying Top Partners for the business to focus on additional relationship building. The business can also reach out to Partners on the other end of the spectrum to find out why they’re not participating as much e.g. do they need more training, was there any unpleasant partner experience, etc.

The success of this dashboard also propelled it to the stage of our internal Data Analytics Day to showcase the insights we’re able to provide to our business stakeholders, and sharing of best practices.

This was an interesting project as it wasn’t exactly assigned to me. One of my previous stakeholders reached out to me for help. There was a critical partner dissatisfaction experience with one of our biggest partners. After diving into the details to understand more about their pain points, I quickly took action to create a Power BI Tool to simplify and improve their process of managing multiple huge files. 

I’m happy that both Operations and the Partner were happy, and able to enhance and update the tool with minimum guidance. In fact, I forgot about this until the same stakeholder reached out 3 years later asking me to help share/implement something similar for his teammate.

I was initially tasked to lead the data migration workstream for this tool. After diving deeper to learn more about its functionalities, data and users, I identified new opportunities to drive operational excellence through digestible business intelligence. After 3 months of close collaboration across various teams, incorporating diverse perspectives, the dashboard was launched to provide end-to-end visibility on the pipeline duration, volume, dollar impact and hygiene.

The following Improvements were observed in 2 of the programs:

  1. Program A: 78% volume reduction and 89% dollar reduction
  2. Program B: 41% duration reduction

As I continued to learn, deliver and develop into a subject matter expert to fulfil data-driven demands, I was entrusted with the ownership of 2 major programs valued at more than US$2billion. I operated under full autonomy to identify problems with significant business impact, led analysis to produce digestible business intelligence and insights to provide significant business value over the long-term. 

Below were some of the workstreams I led to drive operational excellence through automation, while providing actionable intelligence to facilitate optimal business decisions during business reviews:

Program Utilization

There are many Programs and Offers within the Retail space. Cumulated over time, this introduced complexity which negatively impacts Partner experience, while putting a strain on Operations, Field and Corporate. One of the key metrics used to assess the effectiveness of a Program is Utilization. 

Program Utilization influences discussions during Quarterly Business Reviews and design conversations. A Program with low Utilization is often a prime candidate for review, and potentially retirement, to simplify our Partner experience, and enhance our operational excellence. To address this need, I led the workstream to automate and create the Program Utilization Dashboard. What used to take an estimated 2 weeks of manual effort to collate is now readily available, with quality. 

Universal Claims Tracker

I am always on the lookout for opportunities to implement operational processes and reporting that simplify, standardize and enable operational excellence. When I learnt about the lack of end-to-end visibility to our Claim-to-Pay pipeline, I immediately proposed a project to provide this insight. 

Through close collaboration with Process & Execution, Global Program Managers, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Field and the Retail business community, a new dashboard was launched to provide insights to Claims Windows, Claim Submission Status, Aging and Payment Status. 

This enabled Field to self-service and proactively follow-up with their Partners on Overdue Claims, while anticipating and planning for upcoming Claims to minimize Late Claim Exceptions. Besides returning time to Field and Operations (35%), Operations also benefited through better workload forecasting and capacity planning.

PO Spend Analysis

One of the highlights of Marketing is the close-knit community and collaboration across Business Application, Regional Program Managers, BPO and Field, with great synergy and dynamics. Striving to foster a data-driven culture with a single reliable source of truth for business reviews, PO Spend Analysis was launched to provide end-to-end insights on the Marketing pipeline from Intake to Invoice, Proof of Execution (POE) and Payment. 

I owned the roadmap to develop the long-term strategy of this workstream, exploring new possibilities to deliver quality data analytics, enabling conversations from Senior Executives to Regional Leads to reduce accruals, accelerate payments to Partners, while providing new insights on POE. 

Besides deriving insights from the above analysis, the process of automating and incorporating originally manual processes into PO Spend Analysis delivered US$1million savings annually. PO Spend Analysis also became the poster child of my team. 

Anomaly Reporting

Building on the success and foundation laid by PO Spend Analysis, a new workstream was started to explore new metrics around fraud and anomaly detection. Being new to this concept, I read, researched and worked closely with my manager on new ideas, and gathered diverse perspectives on the dashboard design. 

Initial sharing of the dashboard sparked great interest and discussion around Partner behavior, and the justification/trending of Rejection and Exception reasons. Follow-up investigative actions were also triggered. While there isn’t any quantitative benefits, this dashboard is about doing the right thing, to ensure a quality and just Partner ecosystem.