How to instill a data-science culture within an organisation

Dr Amy Shi-Nash has 17 years of experience in data mining, consumer analytics, loyalty, marketing, management consulting and telecommunications globally. As the Head of Data Science at Commonwealth Bank, she is responsible for driving the strategic direction of the data science capability, enabling business transformation and differentiated customer experience. We caught up with Amy to get her view on the role and importance of the “Chief Data Scientist.”


Corinium: You’ve held the role of Chief Data Scientist for several years now, how do you see the role influencing data-science led innovation within an organisation?

Amy Shi-Nash: The role of “Chief Data Scientist” has become increasingly popular over the last few years, especially in organisations that embrace the idea of creating competitive advantage and innovation through data.

Chief Data Scientists need to provide leadership within an organisation; they need to create a vision and strategic roadmap. But more than this, they need to be an evangelist, promoting a culture of data-driven decision making within the company, and align capability and technology with business intents and benefits.

They need to inspire and attract top talent, bring the external and industry view into the organisation and network with like-minded organisations along the way.


Corinium: In Sydney you will be speaking to the topic: ‘Build Data Science Capabilities at Scale in a Large Organisation.’ What are the key attributes an enterprise must have in order to drive data-led innovation?

Amy Shi-Nash: C-level buy-in is absolutely critical. Also, the advanced capabilities need to be accessible to a wide range of business practitioners within the organisation; they need to be able to use their own initiative and make sense to general decision makers. When people are motivated to use data in their every day work or interactions with customers, it becomes part of the culture of the company. This data-driven culture and people with that mind set will drive innovation and transformation.


When people are motivated to use data in their every day work or interactions with customers, it becomes part of the culture of the company.


Corinium: We’ve heard it said that “Data scientists are just rebranded software engineers.” – Do you agree or disagree?

Amy Shi-Nash: I ran a quick survey in my team. I will share the result and comments in my talk at the Chief Data & Analytics Officer Sydney event on 8 March. If you would like to put your view forward, let me know!


Corinium: Which emerging analytics and machine learning technologies are you most excited about right now?

Amy Shi-Nash: It’s exciting times for data science and there are a few things I am particularly excited about.  Human in the loop approach. New human-machine interface and experience. Interpretation of models, reinforcement learning and simulation.


Corinium: What will be your top data science priorities in the next 12 – 18 months?

Amy Shi-Nash: These would be:

  • Align analytical opportunities with business strategic intent
  • Build reusable data asset and develop scalable capabilities
  • Empower business users and decision makers at point of actions
  • Talent, talent, talent!




By Monica Mina:

Monica Mina is the Content Director APAC for the CDAO Sydney, Melbourne and Asia events, as well as the Women & Diversity in Data series. Consulting with the industry about their key challenges and trying to find exciting and innovative ways to bring people together to address those issues – Monica and her team bring you the latest from our speakers and vendors at For enquiries, email: [email protected]




Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Corinium Global Intelligence is registered in England & Wales, number 08520994. Registered office:
Brook House, School Lane, South Cerney, Cirencester, GL7 5TY.

Share This