Speaker Insights With Roy Zhou, Head of Analytics at Travelex Written by Digital Enterprise Festival London on August 28, 2018

The London Digital Enterprise Festival (DEF) is just over two weeks away, taking place on 10th and 11th September. Ahead of the two-day digital innovation extravaganza we caught up with one of the event’s industry speakers, Roy Zhou at Travelex.

Below are a few questions we put to Roy, and his responses. You can check out the full speaker line up and agenda for the Digital London Enterprise Festival London here: www.digitalenterprisefest.com/london

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DEF: We all know that Travelex is one of the world’s leading foreign exchange bureaus, with its main business operations in international payments and prepaid credit cards. With a global client base, how much focus does the company have on using analytics and digital technology to engage customers and adapt to their needs? 


Roy: The focus is different for each country and region. In general, we focus heavily on digital, we have a large group of developers building and maintaining our digital channel and products. With a customer experience and design team set up recently, our main focus is to understand our customers better and adapt to their needs swiftly.

DEF: What are your main responsibilities as Head of Analytics? Do you have a global remit? Can you give some insight into your typical day in the office? 


Roy: My main responsivities are enabling the business to make decisions based on a data driven approach; identifying the issues and driving changes to optimise performances – financially, operationally and in UX (user experience).

My role does include a global remit as I do support the analytics globally. It is hard to find a typical day for an analyst. There are regular meetings with product, channel and country managers to review the performances and discuss further actions.

I would say that there are mainly three areas I am responsible for – Data, Insights and Forecasting. Data includes data tracking, collecting, cleaning and database designing (both online and offline). Insights and Forecasting are applications of the data, to analysis performances, identify actions and predict outcomes.

DEF: Do you think it’s necessary for large scale companies to optimise their business models digitally? And what percentage of digital optimisation should focus on analytics?


Roy: Definitely. Digital or not, customers are customers. If a company is truly customer focused and data driven, they should always optimise their digital channel. It might be true that they have fewer digital users, but they will have more insights from digital users. Because it is a lot easier to collect and analyse data digitally (versus offline retail), and it is a lot quicker to implement changes digitally. If you can find out what your digital customers truly want, chances are, your offline customers want the same things also. Thus, you can also apply the insights you acquired digitally to offline business.

In terms of percentage, there is really no fixed number here. Analytics is similar to any other resources, you should always maximise the ROI. The advice I will give is to focus on the data collection and tracking when building a digital channel or product, as it will save so much time and resources in the long run.

DEF: What do you enjoy the most about the work that you do at Travelex?


Roy: I really like that my work is heavily focused on innovation. Travelex constantly has new ideas and products to explore, so it is always quite exciting.

DEF: What is the most important aspect in your mind of using analytics for business?


Roy: Analytics is a means to finding the truth, so we need to keep an open mind on the tools and approaches to find that truth.

DEF: Digital enterprise, including analytics, has already taken us on a significant journey both in business and in our personal lives. What is your outlook for 2019?


Roy: We are going to see more applications of the new technology, such as blockchain, and VR (virtual reality).

I think we will also see an increasing focus on customer experience and personalisation. Due to GDPR, companies have to let customers feel that they are benefiting from giving their information and data.

DEF: You are going to be speaking at our next Digital Enterprise event in London. There you will lead the roundtable: Measuring the Unmeasurable: How to measure the customer experience.Without giving too much away can, you tell us briefly what you’ll be discussing?  


Roy: I will be talking about the journey and difficulty we experienced in digitalisation and analytics. I’ll also introduce the approach we took to measure the impact of our UX projects, and discuss ways to measure the UX, and how to qualify the outcome.

DEF: If you weren’t working in analytics and in the digital space, what would you be doing instead?


Roy: I would be a teacher.

DEF: If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you and why?


Roy: As a mathematician and analyst, I find it hard to answer an open question without given the conditions J.  So many things can influence my answer, e.g. the distance from the island to the closet civilisation; the ecosystem of the island; the size and technology aspect of the items I can chose from…

DEF: Thanks for your time Roy!

In addition to our London gig we have amazing events coming up in Copenhagen on the 26th and 27th September and in sunny Barcelona on the 23rd and 24th October, for sponsorship, speaker or ticket enquiries give us a call on 00 44 203 9500 565 or email us enquiry@digitalenterprisefest.com

We hope to see you soon, have a great weekend.

DEF Team

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