As Lead Data Scientist at HelloFresh, Efe Ogolo, MSc ’18 BA, spends a lot of his time moving between two crucial spaces of the meal kit delivery company: data and business strategy.
“I deal not just with technical people but also VPs and CEOs, so I have to be able to take the technical piece, translate it back to a business-applicable solution, and then conversely, take a business problem and translate that into a data problem,” says Ogolo, whose team is tasked with leveraging data to deliver insights and identify opportunities to push HelloFresh’s strategic goals forward.
“The great thing that I took away form Ivey was just understanding how to marry the two sides – not just he technical piece but framing everything within a business context.”
That often means finding a balance between a solution that is enticing in technical terms and one that’s actually useful to the end user.
“Being able to look at things from an end-user, business impact perspective is something that has helped me – and continues to help me – in my career now,” Ogolo says.
“I’m not just trying to create the most technical thing out there, but more importantly the thing that can be applied to solved that specific business problem.”
He credits Ivey’s Case Method with helping him develop the tools to solve those problems, by putting him in what felt like real-life situations where he had to come up with answer to a problems without complete information.
“You’re not just learning how to understand something theoretically, you’re also learning how to apply it in a very specific context, which is the business world,” Ogolo says.
“Being forced to always think through what is the problem, doing the analysis and delivering results that are applicable that always helps me frame how I approach problems that I’m faced with on a day-to-day basis.”
Working collaborative with students from diverse backgrounds has also helped Ogolo figure out ways to rely on the strengths of different people to get a project done, and find ways to bring everyone along, regardless of their technical expertise.
“When it comes to working with data, I have to think about how do I ensure that everyone is engaged,” he says.
“I have to be able to speak to everyone is a way that they feel a part of the solution, a part of the problem-solving process whether that’s people who are more technical, less technical or at the same technical level that I am.
Because of the very diverse backgrounds we had a lot of practice doing that at Ivey.”