Building strong foundations in data analytics in a global organisation

The data management and governance of an e-commerce platform for an iconic brand like Miele is a major challenge, especially across over 50 countries globally. Miele X was established as the global digital hub for Miele in Amsterdam, responsible for shaping and driving the digital future for the brand.

We talked to Dennis van Bregt - Director Data and Global Digital Analytics at Miele X, about his role and how he is setting up and further developing the data and analytics capabilities to enable data driven decision-making at Miele X.  Before joining Miele X, Dennis worked in a number of senior data management roles with global organisations including Univar, APM Terminals and Staples and is an expert in leading people, processes and systems.

Managing the axis of people, processes and systems

Dennis started by putting his role in the context of what Miele X is aiming to do. As he explains, “Miele wants to really excel in the direct-to-consumer digital channels, so my role encompasses global analytics for the digital part for the whole group. I lead five teams, and each consists of a critical ingredient to really make our vision possible, and that is to enable data driven decision-making throughout the whole organisation. Our teams comprise data governance, data integration, web analytics, data visualisation and conversion rate optimisation. I think its important to help the whole department mature on the three axis of people, processes and systems.”

Establishing a data governance framework

Dennis explained that the approach to data governance started with keeping the end user in mind. “We want to engage with our customers and our potential customers to really make sure that we offer them the best in terms of information and functionality, so that they become or stay enthusiastic for Miele appliances.”

Dennis shares why it’s so important to understand those customer interactions. “There are many touchpoints for a customer to interact with the Miele brand.  It could be that they explore the products on the Miele website, but it could also be that they explore our brand by going to a Miele Experience Centre. And being truly global we consider the touchpoints also in terms of different cultures, different demographics and different markets. For example, Miele is regarded differently in China than it is in Germany. And this is noticable in customer profiles and user behaviour. So, we map out all the different touchpoints within a customer journey, and then see which of those could result in a digital footprint. We then put the right measures and tracking in place to capture as much insight as possible, ensuring we capture the right information with the right level of consent, to improve the customer experience of the brand”.

Translating data into insight

Data, Governance and Analytics is a relatively young team and department at Miele X.  As Dennis explains, they started by focusing on what was already there and by listening to the business, working closely with stakeholders within the whole organisation, to understand their most important KPIs. “The base of the information being used was Google Analytics, where we clearly defined what we wanted and where the right information was available, we could create analytics reports, AB testing analysis or provide dashboard. Where data was incomplete or not yet captured, we have first needed to implement additional tracking”. Of course, prioritizing the needs of all of our stakeholders has been key.

A cycle of continual development

The process is one of constantly working out what works best as well as understanding the insights that are needed. Dennis describes it as a ‘continuous improvement cycle’. “We continually keep on developing, testing, and trying to see what works well. And we, as a data analytics department, are then able to support those people by providing them with insights, if it did work well or not.”

The team are already achieving some good success stories. “With AB testing for example, we can prove that we can significantly improve the customer engagement, or conversion, by making some fundamental changes on our web shop. What’s more, we've given a lot of web analytics support to our e-commerce team, by really analysing the success of various campaigns, highlighting the success of hybrid migrations and the success of different improvement areas that have been taking place.”

Developing talent and building engagement

As Dennis explains, Miele X is also investing in the right talent to grow and develop the team. “We want our people to feel a part of what we are building. I see a lot of expertise and enthusiasm, people are really willing to work together. So the spirit within this department is really good. The spirit also reflects in that we are becoming more and more successful in hiring great talent, because people experience the energy of the team and would like to be part of it”.

“We also want to scale in an agile way that maintains a high level of employee engagement, whilst contributing to being effective and efficient in the things we do. We had our first team away day in December and it really felt like we had great moment”.

Quality first, quantity second

Having led the Miele X team through this early phase of development, what advice would Dennis give to someone else with a similar challenge?  “It's the advice I got early on in my career. When looking for the right quality and quantity of people, you always look for quality first and quantity second. So we really look for the right talent first and foremost.  I'd rather have less people but be able to count on every one of them. And of course, we are also building a highly diverse and inclusive team here at Miele X, so attracting the very best talent, from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, preferences and styles is important”.

Would you like to join us and help shape the digital future of our global iconic brand? Check out our latest opportunities.

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