All articles

Moving at Zip speed while building data that stands the test of time


Tal Bergman


November 11, 2022

Moving at Zip speed while building data that stands the test of time

I consider myself an ‘adventurist’. I always have. I spend a lot of my time in nature hiking, surfing and sailing, looking to push myself to new heights by taking calculated risks.

It’s an attitude that defines how I spend my weekends and time off, but it’s also something that’s helped shape my career. Prior to starting in my role of Director of Data at Zip just over four months ago, I spent over twelve years at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) working across data strategy, the implementation of data management frameworks and a variety of other data and analytics related roles.

Looking back, I’m really proud of what we achieved. There were a fair few moments of chaos, and times where it felt like we were chasing the impossible, but our work spearheading CBA’s first ever data strategy helped inform how the entire business would become more data-driven in the way it was run. Using data to help people lead the lives they want to live

Now, leading the data, analytics and data science teams at Zip, I’m in a really exciting position in an organisation whose purpose is to help create a world where people can live fearlessly today, knowing they’re in control tomorrow. As an adventurist, this concept of ‘living fearlessly’ really resonates with me in terms of the way I choose to go about my life, and it was a big pull for me to join Zip.

Today, it’s what drives me at work, whether that’s looking at the experiences we want to provide for our customers and merchants, or designing an inclusive work environment where Zipsters in the data and analytics team feel that they can experiment, innovate and take risks without the fear of failure.

I’ve always been drawn to the role that financial services organisations play in helping people with their wellbeing. In my role at Zip, where we’re operating without the burden of complex legacy platforms, we have a very unique opportunity to move incredibly fast with data to help millions of people live the lives they want to live, while they stay in control financially.

Creating value with data that stands the test of time

When I think of the scope of the team’s work - beyond how we’re supporting customers to manage their finances in smarter ways, or giving merchants better insight into who’s buying their products - what really excites me is the value we’re bringing to the table to support our global teams at Zip to deliver against our strategy. How we approach product design and development, how we manage risk or how we optimise the way we engage with our customers - these initiatives are all reliant on data, and the work of our team. Given the importance that data plays at Zip, making sure it is built reliably and fit for its use is fundamental to what we do.

As we’ve expanded into a global business, with a stronger focus on one of our values ‘Customer First’, the team have been able to stand up a number of amazing pieces of work over the last six months as we continue to modernise our data platform. And we’ve had to do it in a way that would set us up for success over the long-term. The outcomes for our teams so far have been incredible, and excitingly it’s just the start of the journey.

One example is a marketing measurement framework which enables Zip to make more robust, data-driven decisions around how we engage customers and prospects. This capability will mean even greater personalisation in the experiences we create for our customers, and more robust decision making for our marketing teams in terms of channel, service or offer.

My message to the team as we continue to migrate our data pipelines into the new platform is to ‘be more curious’ so that we’re always challenging ourselves, and the wider business, to make sure our data is fit for purpose and will stand the test of time.

How Zipsters are moving faster than ever with data

We’re operating in an extremely competitive and fast-paced environment, so we’re always looking for new ways to evolve our product and services. In that respect, data and analytics plays a huge role in enabling us to experiment, test and measure new ideas.

The faster and more reliably we make those decisions about what to release to the market, the better the outcome for our customers and our bottom line. We have a big role to play in building data literacy for our leaders so they can understand where it can be used across the business - so far we’ve created some really strong champions which is great to see.

When it comes to the culture I’m trying to create in the team, I want Zipsters to strive for new heights. My vision is that every person in the team becomes ‘world-class’.

If you think about the best sports teams in the world, there’s not one person in the team who’s not at that level. An activity I like to run when we get new teams together is to ask individuals to do their research into what ‘world-class’ looks like to them and discuss the research and their own ideas to come up with personal ‘commits’ as to how they’ll work towards becoming world class.

With each team member striving to be the best version of themselves, we have a great foundation to create a world class team!

Already embedded in the culture at Zip is this idea of coming together as a team to constructively challenge the status quo, and each other’s ideas and opinions. In other places I’ve worked and certainly where other Zipsters have worked before, the attitude has often been ‘we need to get everything right’, which in data terms, can take a very long time. What I enjoy about working here - and what I’m also hoping to embed in the team and the wider Zip culture - is moving from concept to launch when we might not know if everything is 100% correct, but working within a clear set of guardrails to iterate and move fast into new ideation and design based on the data we gather.

Helping create a safe space for experimentation

For me it goes back to the concept of ‘fearlessness’. We’re building a safe space for experimentation, but also career growth. We’ve been able to create new pathways into the team, for example a Product Manager wanted more technical experience and has hit the ground running in a Data Engineering role. More broadly, we’ve helped Zipsters in our Customer Experience function move into analytics roles. It makes perfect sense bringing knowledge from team members who understand what’s happening with our customers into data and analytics. That’s going to be hugely beneficial for us.

In that sense we’re helping more people belong and find their place. What I’m also really excited about are some of the other aspects of our ‘deal’ with Zipsters. We’re very much a ‘hybrid working’ team and we’re enabled to work flexibly through our technology and really progressive flexible work policies.

We’re also making great strides towards gender equity, including a customer data science team made up entirely of women which is creating better balance across the broader function. In addition, we’re insisting on gender balanced candidate pools when recruiting for new roles so we can continue to promote diversity of thought and experience in the team.

One of the things I’m most proud about working at Zip, and certainly something that makes working here unique - the presence we have across the world, and therefore the diversity of Zipsters across the business. When it comes to some of the hot topics in terms of bias in modelling, or the ethical use of AI, to be able to call upon the opinions and knowledge of such a diverse global workforce means we can continue to become a more effective organisation in the way we support our customers and merchants.

Like what you've read?

Check out these other articles

Writing my own story: From employee number 5, to Zip’s Delivery Manager for New Zealand

Author: Lionel Yip

Based out of Auckland, New Zealand, Lionel Yip is a Delivery Manager in our Technology team. Read on to discover more about his journey with Zip.

November 9, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Data UnZipped: Q&A with Alvin

Author: Alvin Rusly

Meet Alvin, a Sydney-based Senior Data Analyst, whose work is helping Zip's New Zealand team make better data-driven decisions
Levelling up with Zip’s Product Design and Research team

Author: Mel Hambarsoomian

In the first of a three part blog series profiling our ANZ Product Design team, hear from Director Mel Hambarsoomian about the team's focus on design maturity, tri-track agile and craft and quality.
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Archana

Author: Archana Kanakamedala

Say hi to Archana Kanakamedala, and learn who and what have inspired her journey and career progression to her current role of Engineering Manager in our ANZ Core Product Squad.
Making the most of my Volunteering Leave with the Snowy Brumbies

Author: Laure Salou

Meet Lead Product Designer for our ANZ business Laure Salou and learn how she discovered a new passion while Volunteering on Zip’s time.

October 5, 2023

Candidate Support
My role building and growing a team that’s Stronger Together

Author: Hannah Scott

Read on to hear how our ANZ Senior TA Partner Hannah Scott’s focus on candidate excellence has helped develop her passion for DEI, and get her top tips on how to excel in your recruitment process and your career as Zipster

September 21, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Celebrating Wear it Purple Day

Author: Zach Rennick

We recently sat down with CX Superstar Zach Rennick in celebration of Wear it Purple Day, an annual LGBTIQA+ awareness day especially for young people, based in Australia.
Zipsters support the Future of Finance

Author: Lucy Lindsay and Jimmy Kelly

Hear from Sydney-based Zipsters Lucy and Jimmy who volunteered their time to partner with Young Change Agents, a nationwide social enterprise helping youth from all backgrounds see problems as opportunities

June 6, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Priyamvada

Author: Priyamvada Kamra

Meet Priyamvada, our Director, Risk Strategy based in the US. Read on for her career story, the work she's leading at Zip and how she brings her true, authentic self to work.

May 2, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: February - April

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from February to April.
Zipping it forward - our partnership with The DV Collective

Author: Anna Wei and Ying Zhang

Meet two of our fearless Product Managers, Anna Wei and Ying Zhang, and learn how they used their Volunteering Leave to support The DV Collective, a national domestic violence initiative.

March 27, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Inspiring our next generation of female sales leaders

Author: Karen Farrar

In this article, Senior Director, Commercial Karen Farrar reflects on this year's International Women's Day theme and how it resonates given her experiences as a Zipster.

March 16, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How we celebrated IWD 2023

Author: Multiple contributors

Learn all about how we recognised International Women's Day 2023 and what a gender equal future looks in the eyes of four of our fearless Zipsters.
Sustainability UnZipped: Q&A with Oli

Author: Oli Nelson

We recently sat down with Zip’s Sustainability Associate Oli Nelson to hear what the team have been up to in support of our global Social Impact and Sustainability initiatives.

February 16, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 2.

Author: Moss Pauly

In this second part of a multi-piece article, Moss Pauly, Senior Manager, Data Products, deep dives into the key decisions the team tackled when modernising Zip’s data stack.

February 13, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Building a fit-for-purpose modern data stack, part 1.

Author: Moss Pauly

In the first instalment of a multi-part blog post, Sydney-based Zipster Moss Pauly introduces our ANZ data platform and the team’s journey over the last 18 months.

February 15, 2023

Data, Analytics & Risk
Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Mohamed

Author: Mohamed Afifi

Meet Mohamed, based out of our NYC office, who's leading our Enterprise Risk Management strategy at an exciting point in the journey for Zip in the US.
All Things Product: Mel Hambarsoomian

Author: Mel Hambarsoomian

Our Director of Product Design, Melanie, recently sat down to reveal her career highlights, sharing what she looks for in talent, her insights on design maturity, product thinking and design leadership.

January 29, 2023

Life at Zip
Celebrating our Zipsterversaries: November - January

Author: Multiple contributors

Each month we recognise the tenure of a Zipster who has truly lived our values during their time here. This article re-caps the stories of the three Zipsters who we celebrated from November '22 to January.

January 26, 2023

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
How our Zipsters celebrated Lunar New Year

Author: Multiple contributors

Hear about the significance of Lunar New Year to Jess and Clement, and learn how they celebrate.
Making use of our Volunteering Leave

Author: Multiple contributors

Every year Zipsters get 2 days of paid Volunteering Leave. Here's how a couple of the team used theirs...
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Philip

Author: Philip Laureano

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Philip Laureano, and learn about the technology that decides which Zip customers are approved for credit.
Engineering Unzipped: Q&A with Autumn

Author: Autumn Ragland

US-based Engineer Autumn shares her experiences as a Zipster.
Atomic change and the future of Technology at Zip

Author: George Gorman

ANZ CTO George Gorman gives a glimpse into the opportunities that lie ahead for the team.
Engineering UnZipped: Q&A with Kalpana

Author: Kalpana Chandrasekar

Meet ANZ Engineering Manager, Kalpana Chandrasekar, from our Shop & Rewards team.

November 11, 2022

Data, Analytics & Risk
Master these three skills to grow your data and analytics career

Author: Will Walker

Looking to grow your data and analytics career? ANZ Senior Manager, Analytics Will Walker shares his top tips.
View all articles