1. Let’s start with an easy question: who is Joanne Lijbers?
Well I don’t know if that is an easy question, but I can give you an easy answer: At the moment I have been working for Deloitte Consulting in Amsterdam for about 2,5 years, with my function being an Advanced Analytics Consultant. I started at Deloitte right after my graduation (I actually already wrote my thesis at this department). I studied Business Information Technology with a specialization in Business Analytics at the University of Twente. My free time I mainly spend on playing the beloved Dutch sport korfball, on cooking and on entertaining my family.
2. Did you always plan on being a consultant, and why did you choose Deloitte Consulting?
It is not really a job that you already encounter in the standard group discussion at primary school. But during my study period consulting did start to attract me. Already during my bachelors we visited many different companies, and I thought it was very interesting to get a sneak peek into all the different ways of working. Realizing that many companies have to deal with the same problems, often for which solutions already exist, made the decision clear for me. I visited a number of consultancy firms, but the expertise in the field of analytics and the (relatively) informal atmosphere of Deloitte attracted me the most.
3. Deloitte Strategy Analytics consists of a combined team of strategy consultants and data scientists, which profile do you belong to?
My profile in the team is definitely the Data Scientist. During my masters I already specialized in this topic, and during the past years I worked on various projects for example with regard to segmentation and predictive analytics. The days that I can dive into Python are certainly among my favorites!
The days that I can dive into Python are certainly among my favorites!
4. What is interesting about working in the Deloitte Strategy Analytics team?
What I believe to be important is that the solutions we develop have a good fit with the business’ needs, and actually improve a business process. Even though I enjoy programming, I find it much more enjoyable if my solutions actually get deployed and help a company to grow. Because of the mix of strategy- and analytics knowledge within our team, I get to know this business and strategic side better and better.
5. Do you have an example project where you have supported the customer's strategic decisions with the use of advanced analytics?
Yes, the project I am currently staffed at is a good example. With a mixed strategy / analytics team, we are working on optimizing the trade promotions of a large soft-drink bottler. To do this we first develop an analytical model that, as accurately as possible, predicts the effectiveness of specific promotions. The front-end we develop provides promotional advice based on these expected effects. The strategic choices of when and which promotions to plan, are thus supported by analytics.
Of course it is important that we develop a high-quality model, but together with my strategy colleagues we also ensure to continue to connect with the needs of the customer. Not only focusing on optimizing the model, but focusing on optimizing the entire promotion process.
6. Where do you see yourself in a year?
If an international assignment comes along the coming year, I will gladly take the opportunity! But at least I am still part of the Strategy Analytics team, hopefully having seen and helped a few more large companies with their strategy.
Joanne is part of the Analytics & Information Management service line of Deloitte's Consulting Technology practice in the Netherlands. She thereby focuses on advanced analytics (for example with projects regarding segmentation and prediction), is part of the AI competency center, and is member of the combined Monitor/AIM Strategy Analytics team. Joanne has worked on Strategy Analytics projects in the consumer business, but has also worked on analytics projects in the public sector. To keep up with technological developments Joanne likes to play around with new techniques, for example by creating (contemporary) art using GANs.