Global Head of Data Engineering and Governance
Over the last two years, Afterpay has more than doubled its consumer base from 7 million to 19 million by giving consumers more opportunities to make big-ticket purchases using its simple, pay-over-time platform. Their ever-growing success in the crowded payments market is what led the company to be acquired by Block, the parent company for such brands as Cash App, Square, and TIDAL. Now, as part of the Block family, Afterpay Senior Director of Data Engineering & Governance, Nitish Mathew has made the move to Cash App where his team’s mission is to enable data and platforms for everyone in the company. He joins The Data Chief to discuss measuring the impact of analytics, the rise of the analytics engineer, the importance of taking risks, and much more.
0:00 Changes for Afterpay and joining the Block family
4:10 High growth in the digital space
10:37 Changing user expectations and measuring the impact of analytics
12:50 Reframing KPIs to focus on stakeholder satisfaction
14:59 Applying product management principles to your work
19:32 Giving your team purpose
21:40 Analytics Engineer may be the hottest new role in tech
24:30 Creating a “walled garden” for business people to use and explore data
27:08 Defining team success in terms of impact
32:54 Taking risks and celebrating failures
The cloud gets you the opportunity to understand your hardware and reduce costs. And then you spec up and down and use CEL elasticity effectively… You cannot take a data center mentality and transform it to the cloud. It doesn't work well.
People have gotten used to a Facebook page loading in 500 milliseconds. They expect complex analytical queries to come back in milliseconds. It pushes us to get creative. It's possible in many, many cases with some of the technology we have right now.
I think the key KPI should be satisfaction of your stakeholders. And you just measure it within NPS. You ask your stake, let's say you are analytics leader in a company, right? You need to first understand who are your stakeholders? Is it sales, marketing, security compliance? Who is it?
Product thinking is all about putting the customer in front. Asking them what is it they want, and then having customer needs drive your work.
I strongly believe security is a collective responsibility, and you get really good outcomes by providing tools, frameworks, providing guardrails monitoring, and also culture. You'll probably get more secure data by promoting really good security and privacy-focused culture in technology.
Nitish Mathew is the Global Head of Data Engineering and Governance at Afterpay. He built the engineering program that brings together data from 50+ sources and is the foundation for ther executive decision making, sales enablement, marketing campaigns, fraud monitoring, risk analytics, machine learning development, financial reporting etc. A graduate of College of Engineering, Trivandrum, and Pennsylvania State University, he has been working in Analytics, Business Intelligence, Technology Leadership and Data Platforms, across the US and Australia, since 2002.