INTERVIEW | Bernhardt Engerer: Data analysis and what it brings to a modern, growing business

Notwithstanding these challenging times, eCabs keeps investing in its resources with BERNHARDT ENGERER as the latest addition to its in-house team of data analysts. “I knew eCabs was a tech-oriented company, but I never expected the level of human-machine interaction driving this company towards the future of mobility”, he says


What is your background and why did you go into data analysis?

Although I started my career in software development, I transitioned into the field of data analysis quite early in my career and have been perfecting my skills for the past 6 years. When I originally started digging my teeth into data analysis, it consisted mainly in developing visualisation tools, such as trend graphs and charts, analysing historical time-sensitive data in order to gain a clear understanding of any seasonal trends.

Eventually, as I started delving into more complex machine learning and A.I. techniques, I got more intrigued by the insight that data could provide and the way businesses are making strategic decisions based on insight. Rather than just reporting results of past actions, I started focusing on understanding the outcomes and making inferences from these outcomes. One of my biggest motivations in pursuing my career in data analytics is being able to aggregate data from multiple sources, create interactive visuals to interpret it and then create or apply algorithms that learn from that data to solve real-life problems.

What was your perception of eCabs before you joined and what attracted you?

I always associated eCabs with mobility technology and industry disruption. As a person with a fascination for big data, I aspired to work for a company that appreciates the value of data and invests in it. Working at eCabs as a Data Analyst is a unique opportunity for me to work closely with like-minded individuals to extract trends and usage patterns from the wealth of information that is available to us. We use a variety of data augmentation techniques and develop tools that help us reveal interesting insight, which in turn helps the company to make more informed decisions.

What was your induction like?

I joined at a very particular time. It was the second week of March. On my first day, I found myself in an empty office as all the tech team had already moved out of the office to work from home. Despite the new reality and the challenges of remote working I immediately felt part of a young and dynamic team. Thanks to the communication tools and the support I received from management, my integration within the team was efficient and effective.  I was warmly welcomed by everyone and have quickly developed great professional and personal relationships.  I swiftly realized how important my role was and the value that I could bring to the company.

What were your technology expectations about eCabs?

As a client interacting with their app, I always knew that technology lay at the heart of its customer-centric mentality. What I perhaps did not appreciate before joining was the level of human-machine interaction that pervades the organisation. Behind the multiple booking channels there is an intricate mosaic of technologies interacting seamlessly, designed to provide an unparalleled customer experience end to end. The question remains: how can eCabs harness the industry knowledge and experience garnered over a decade and translate that into an even better customer experience? That is where AI will come in and that, I believe, will be part of my role moving forward. Technology will continue to play a key part in helping the company make sense of the large volume of data in a fast and automated way.

What impressed you mostly at eCabs?

I am mostly impressed by the sheer dedication of all my colleagues and the involvement of everybody on the team to ensure that we deliver a top-quality product, together with the genuine excitement when I can provide new visibility into a trend or KPI which may have been previously less visible. I was also very impressed with the hands-on approach that management brings to the table, taking such an active role in the day-to-day running of the business.  Having amassed the vast experience over the years in this industry, it really is a big asset we gladly leverage and learn from.

How do you usually approach a new project?

I first make sure to have a thorough understanding of the requirements, suggesting improvements where possible. I then execute the project with an iterative approach, asking stakeholders for feedback along the way to fine-tune the requirements where necessary. I seek the stakeholders' direct involvement to instil a sense of ownership, since the ultimate goal is to develop a tool to help them perform their role better or more efficiently, rather than just developing a tool to be used sporadically.

In what ways do you see data analysis determining the future of this industry?

The keyword is efficiency, specifically with on-demand mobility, but also with pre-scheduled trips. Data analysis alone will not provide this increased efficiency but harnessing our data and using the power of AI will lead to the industry being able to have mobility options in the right place, at the right time. This increased efficiency will undoubtedly serve to improve the customer experience by passing on the cost-savings whilst also keeping waiting times low, thereby increasing the convenience of our service.

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