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Analytics at Klook: From Data to Business Value

At Klook, learning from data is a big part of what we do, regardless which team you’re on. Whether you’re using it to improve the user experience on Klook platform, help our merchant partners optimize their products, or create the best employee experience for Klookers, insights from data are invaluable in our day-to-day. 

Today, we sit down with Yat Lam, Director of Analytics at Klook, to learn more about the team that makes it possible. What role does data play at Klook, what kind of projects does the team work on and where is the Analytics team heading in the near future? Let’s find out! 

 

What drew you to the world of data analytics in the first place? 

It wasn’t what I initially set out to do. I got a business degree, then a masters in technology. My first job was working in the IT team in the banking industry. But then I had the opportunity to start my own startup. And when you run a startup, you do everything: sales, marketing, all of it. One of the things I had to do was look at the data to understand how people were using our platform. And that’s how I got into analytics. When that startup failed and I was looking for another job, I decided to apply for analyst positions because that interest really stuck with me. 

 

 

yat.jpgYat Lam, Director of Analytics at Klook, shares how his team turns data into actionable business insights

 

What does the Analytics team do?

The short answer is turning data into business value. Of course, it’s a complicated process to get there. You have to do data collection, transform the data into appropriate format… there are many steps involved. 

What I find most fascinating is getting what we call actionable insights. It’s not enough to look at the numbers, you have to find the reason behind them. As an Analytics professional, it’s up to you to tell the story and come up with suggestions. You drive change within the company and see the results of those changes. Your work matters to the company's success. 

 

What’s the importance of data at Klook?

At Klook, everything is about data. Our co-founders are very data-minded and that’s how they run the company. As the Analytics team, we also have a great advantage of having access to all the data: transactional, behavioral and more. And with a global platform like Klook, there is a large volume of data to work with which is always exciting. 

 

Who are your stakeholders? What kind of requests normally come in for your team? 

Every person at the company could be our stakeholder! The usual suspects are of course Marketing, Product & User Experience and Business Development teams but other functions come to us for support as well. For example, the People & Culture team might want to be more data-driven in their talent acquisition efforts or they might want to look at employee retention. 

The requests vary a lot: it can be a project people are working on, strategy planning, optimization or even just a new idea flying around. For example, Eric [Gnock Fah, our co-founder and COO] heard at a conference that a good cancellation policy for tours and activities can positively impact booking conversion. He came to my team and asked if we can verify that claim. In an example like this, getting the data is just the beginning. If the hypothesis turns out to be true, the Business Development team will work with our merchant partners to make them aware of the importance of cancellation policy for conversion, we may optimize the product pages to help customers access this information better and so on.

 

At Klook, everything is about data. And with a global platform like ours, there is a large volume of data to work with which is always exciting. 

 

What are some of the most interesting problems you worked on this year? 

COVID-19 has made a lot of the projects this year interesting. One thing is forecasting. Let’s say we have to forecast revenue for a theme park. Usually what we do is look at the historical data, look at the trends and use data modeling to predict revenue. But this year we have unpredictable situations, constant ups and downs, and modeling doesn’t work. It’s been an exercise in using limited data which is a very interesting problem. 

 

How is the Analytics team at Klook set up?

We used to have three analytics teams, each supporting a different function: Marketing, Business Development and Product. This type of structure is very common but it comes with a lot of pain points. It’s hard to avoid overlaps and stakeholders struggle to figure out who to ask for help. 

So we decided to create one central Analytics team. The idea is to provide end-to-end support for the business. Let’s say you work in the Food & Beverage team. You should be able to understand what traffic you’re getting, what’s the user journey on the platform, how’s each F&B activity is performing. But if we cut the Analytics team into Marketing, Business Development and Product, it ends pretty siloed: Marketing will just look at traffic, Business Development will look at activity performance and Product will only look at the user journey. Instead, what we’re aiming for is that one analyst can have a holistic view of all of this data and fully support the stakeholders in everything they do. 

 

team_hk.jpgTeam Hong Kong outing to Disneyland in early 2020

 

Now, we’re not there yet. The transition from three teams to one takes time and training, and we’re still growing the team. But it’s where I see us a few months down the road and I’m excited for my team to gain this level of data exposure. That’s also when we can elevate our work to proactively spotting opportunities in data and reaching out with suggestions before the stakeholders come to us.

 

What are the main challenges that your team faces? 

One challenge that we have is that a stakeholder comes to us and says “I need this data, I need this dashboard”. There are problems with this approach. The data you ask for may be helpful but I might be able to get you something better. Or, even worse, the data you ask for may not be right for what you want to achieve. So my response is always “tell me what problem you want to solve and I’ll help you find the right data”. Building this type of relationship with stakeholders might be challenging but I do my best to role model it for the team. 

 

The idea is to provide end-to-end support for the business. What we’re aiming for is that one analyst can have a holistic view of all data and fully support the stakeholders in everything they do. 

 

Can you tell us about the team culture in the Analytics team?

We have a very joyful environment in our team of twelve. We always joke around and we don’t have a strict hierarchical structure. The thing I really appreciate about the team is that they are really willing to share everything they know and help each other. That’s really important for a team like Analytics so it’s a great environment to be in. 

 

 

Our Analytics team is hiring!

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