Developing myself and others
As an econometrist Jens Cox has always worked in jobs related to data analysis and quantitative models, and his current role is no exception. He actually has a dual function: he is a data analyst for half of the time and a chapter lead for the other half.
“Coaching people and enabling them to work better based on specialist knowledge is something I had wanted to do for a long time. My work as chapter lead allows me to do just that; I spend 50% of my time coaching people and making the organisation more data-driven, and for the rest of the time I work in a squad (team) as a data analyst. That combination of dealing with content and coaching people suits me perfectly.”
More data-driven organisation
“I work in a mortgages squad, and before that I was involved in investment products too. For my team, for example, I select customers for campaigns and carry out analysis that we can use to improve the customer experience and commercial results. As data analysts, we have an extra role: helping the organisation to become more data-driven and ensuring that more of our decision-making is based on facts and figures – besides an element of common sense, of course.”
“The role of chapter lead appealed to me, not only because I want to move ahead myself, but also because I really want to help my colleagues to develop. One way I do that is through coaching interviews, in which I challenge ‘my’ chapter members to set ambitious goals for themselves. The central question is: what do you want to achieve for yourself, your team and the bank? Coaching is also about setting a good example and making people enthusiastic about working with data. It’s great to see that people contribute more when they enjoy their work. At ING we have lots of freedom to do what interests us. If I want to take a course or training programme, I can arrange it in a few clicks.”
Developing knowledge and soft skills
“In 1-1 Analytics we set aside some time every week to work on specialist knowledge, such as by learning a particular analysis tool or technique. Besides that, there are programmes to support the continuous development of analysts’ soft skills – because specialist knowledge is one thing, but as a data analyst you also need to be able to deal with all the questions from within the organisation, handle time pressure and tackle the issues that generate real added value.”
“1-1 Analytics is a really nice club with talented data analysts and data scientists. There’s such an enormous volume of data, you can really indulge yourself – within the regulatory limits of course. It’s paradise here for data people! Because there’s so much still to discover, our work really does make for happier customers and better results for the bank. And lastly ING is a very good, open organisation that offers many different avenues: if you want, you can get to know all aspects of the bank and never stop growing – and I think that’s extremely important too.”
Jens studied econometrics at Tilburg University and started his career at TNO in Delft. He then worked at Ernst & Young and spent four years at Rabobank. Jens and his wife Willeke are fanatical about travel and love to get away as far as possible. They have already travelled round Colombia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Japan. Since becoming the parents of twins, they’ve tended to stay a little closer to home and are now finding plenty to explore in the city where they live: Utrecht.