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Women in Tech - Dr. Hua Lin, Senior Leader in Data

Guest Blog - Women in Data & Analytics: Dr. Hua Lin, Senior Leader in Data
Submitted by global_admin on Tue, 03/05/2019 - 03:10

To celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th, this week we will be bringing you a series of guest blogs from leading senior females in Data and Analytics. They will be discussing their success, career-defining moments and what advice they would give to another female looking to pursue a similar career. This is what Dr. Hua Lin, Senior Leader in Data and Analytics had to say.


Profile: Hua is a data scientist at heart and has been applying those skills to real-world business problems for the last 18 years. Her strong academic background and passion for very technical work comes from her Masters in Maths and the PhD in Information Systems. She spent the first 7 years of her career in the Finance and Banking Sector, leading several high-profile projects at ING, Veda and CBA. In the last decade, Hua has made extensive use of technology and data mining techniques to identify industry trends and new developments in the market to help drive business change and provide real commercial value to businesses from using data effectively.

What are the key habits that you feel make you successful?

  • Having great leadership – I am lucky enough to have had a couple of great leaders throughout my professional career, who have empowered, motivated and supported me to be brave and reach where I am now. Under such great leadership, I get great positive energy, which gives me the fundamental support for success in my roles.
  • Clarity – I always keep in mind what I want to achieve and how I can achieve it; scoping a good plan and clearly articulating what support I need to enable getting there and take complete ownership.
  • Development – I always support everyone in my team to strive towards their goals. I spend a large amount of time listening and understanding what motivates them, and what they want to achieve. Then I will work with the team together to provide the best support.
  • Feedback – I always aim to have the bravery to face and learn from mistakes. Proactively asking feedback is essential to improve ourselves and further advance careers.

What's the most valuable piece of advice you have received in your career and how did it help you?

The most valuable advice is to focus on what you are good at! You will enjoy it and have a passion for it. Importantly, you are motivated with great positive energy.

I love being hands-on with the day to day technical work as that is what I trained to do. It’s the application of that into the real world and creating commercial value which is my passion and very rewarding. I have experience building strong teams and believe that my style and technical strength gets positive buy-in from my teams. I believe I’m an outcome focussed person which stakeholders appreciate.

What's the most challenging situation you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

It reminds me of my previous role at MedicalDirector where I built a Data Science function from scratch. I faced a lot of challenges as it really was a greenfield site with no data science capability. I engaged with the stakeholders understanding business problems and scoped and defined roadmap and initiatives fit for purpose, ensure to get SLT and stakeholders buy-in. The most challenging was to form a top performing team with the right skill set of individuals to achieve the defined roadmap.  Fortunately, I had the great support from SLT, which enabled me to build the team and delivered huge business value in a relatively short time.

How do you approach making a difficult decision?

  • Understand the business landscape
  • Analyse all factors' impact on the decision
  • Share my own thoughts with team, manager and stakeholders to get feedback

What do you believe will be the most in-demand skills over the next 10 years within (insert discipline) and why?

I believe the following skills will be in high demand over the next 10 years;

  • Cloud computing – In the near future, every business will be operating primarily from the cloud, making way for more flexible and more productive and efficient. The advantage is that the business can outsource their computing power instead of investing in hardware, software, and staff to maintain it.
  • Quantum computing - a quantum computer isn't just a more powerful version of the computers we use today; it's based on emerging scientific understanding and this technology holds the potential to transform medicine, create unbreakable encryption and even teleport information.
  • Artificial Intelligence - AI is defined as “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour” or “an agent’s ability to achieve goals in a wide range of environments.” Recently, there is a lot of discussion about AI future. AI would be deployed in the ordinary production of goods and services and potentially impacting economic growth and income shares. However, AI can change the process from the new ideas and technologies that we create, which helps to solve complex problems and scales creative effort.
  • Mobile Application Development – nowadays, we spend 80% of the time on mobile devices by using apps. We have taken the advantage by using mobile apps, such as E-commerce app easy to buy anything via online, and easy to pay money with any bank account etc. Therefore, mobile apps are going to be a standard and fundamental component of any business. It is important to have a well-functioning mobile app, able to handle all the actions, towards building a lasting relationship with the consumer.

Join in on the conversation on Twitter for this years' International Women's Day using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter