ABOUT THE GUEST
This episode features an interview with Daniel Marovitz, Senior Vice President of Booking.com’s recently established Fintech unit. You probably know Booking.com as one of the world’s leading digital travel companies, with over 28 million accommodation listings, including homes, apartments and other unique places to stay.
There, Daniel is responsible for facilitating easy and seamless access to Booking.com’s marketplace across borders and currencies. Over his more-than 20-year career, Daniel has established himself as a global leader in data. He served as co-founder and CEO of software startup Buzzumi, which has since been acquired by F1000.com. He has also held leadership positions at Deutsche Bank, Gateway, and iVillage, which he helped take public in 1999.
On this episode, Daniel discusses how he used data visualization to better understand client relationships and improve conversion rates, Booking.com’s approach to data experiments, and how they’re facilitating their cloud migration.
*”Investment banking is like consulting a balance sheet. And a lot of what makes investment banking work are relationships. And relationships always feel like quite a qualitative topic. But you always want to find a way to make those kinds of problems quantitative, not qualitative. So we started to think about the heuristics of relationships and how that might be represented, and what was the source of data we could use.”
*”There has long been this quite opaque internal marketing culture that exists at banks all over the world. I think there’s kind of this veneer of evanescence, something magical, about the client relationships and how well we know each other and how much we can depend on those relationships. And I think what was great about it is that we were able to actually get really quantitative about performance and also try to figure out how many relationships does it take to be successful? You know, is there a correlation between very close relationships and more deals or higher value deals, or faster time to actually execute deals.”
*”I think it’s something that maybe people don’t talk about enough, which is that with a data-driven, analytics-driven culture from an engineering and product perspective, which is not married to a culture of kind of human openness, you lose a lot of ground. I think you lose a lot of value. So I think it starts with the kind of human engineering of making people feel comfortable and safe to share information and failure Is also important, right? Most experiments fail dramatically. Not a little bit. Like most experiments are a colossal failure. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is not to test. And what’s even less okay Is to test, fail, and hide.”
*”This culture of onboarding, like building an onboarding plan for somebody, think through what do you want them to learn? Who do you want them to work with? What do you want them to understand?”
*”[Data] is a space where you will never know what you’re talking about. It’s impossible, even, just in payments. If you ignored regulation or insurance, or other aspects, you can never fully know what you’re talking about. There’s so much depth and so much detail. And so I think one is just to be respectful of that, right? Just be respectful of the fact that you’re gonna have to keep studying. You’re gonna have to ask questions and be very comfortable saying, ‘You know what? I don’t know. Can you explain it?’ I think it’s a good lesson for life, but certainly it’s good for a FinTech career.”
[2:11] Get to know Daniel
[2:57] Daniel’s path into the field of data
[5:25] How do you use data visualization for better decisioning?
[7:13] How do you identify the highest value customer relationships?
[10:56] The Booking.com approach to running data experiments
[16:42] Building a truly data- and analytics-driven culture
[18:14] How Booking.com ensures data literacy with new hires
[19:37] The complexities of working across a two-sided market
[24:26] Understanding the growing importance of data in business
[28:50] Why choosing a CDO with an unconventional profile can lend itself to business growth
[35:36] Daniel’s advice to anyone entering Fintech for the first time
Thanks to our friends
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