Leading with Data and Vision: A Conversation with Mr. Syafri Bahar, VP Data Science at Gojek

img Yosefine BukitVista | October 2, 2023

Hello, I’m Yosefine, a Human Resource Intern at Bukit Vista, and I’m the writer behind this article. I invite you to join me on this captivating journey through the realm of Bali’s hospitality industry, where innovation reigns supreme. This article is a treasure trove of insights and wisdom that can inspire anyone interested in the dynamic world of data science, leadership, and team dynamics. So, why should you read this article? Because it’s your ticket to a future where innovation knows no bounds, where delight is the ultimate destination, and where the hospitality industry in Bali shines ever brighter on the world stage. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a seasoned professional, or simply curious about how data science is reshaping businesses, this article offers valuable knowledge and perspectives that can illuminate your path to success.

In the enchanting world of Bali’s hospitality industry, where innovation is the heartbeat of every establishment, Bukit Vista emerges as a beacon of inspiration. More than just a player in the hospitality scene, Bukit Vista is a dynamic force propelling the industry toward new horizons, driven by a singular mission—to inspire delight in every traveler, every time, everywhere. Guided by a set of Core Values, Bukit Vista is not content with merely embodying this mission; we aspires to radiate this culture throughout its community. In return, we have cultivated a self-driven community, all united by a shared purpose: to inspire delight.

Our journey begins with a profound question—how can the power of data be harnessed to navigate the complexities of the ever-evolving hospitality landscape, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? To shed light on this, we turn to Mr. Syafri Bahar, an expert in the realm of data science. Mr. Syafri elucidates that data models often rely on the stability of past data, but they must adapt swiftly to anticipate current conditions effectively. He emphasizes the importance of employing “white-box models” to maintain transparency and ease of adaptation across diverse scenarios. This discussion offers fresh insights into leadership, team dynamics, and the priorities that matter.

Our voyage navigates through the intricacies of team dynamics, especially as teams expand in size and complexity. Mr. Syafri underscores the significance of organizational design and maintaining a laser focus on objectives when nurturing a team. He introduces us to the “two-pizza rule,” a simple yet profound concept that determines the optimal team size. Furthermore, Mr. Syafri delves into the role of data science and analytics in achieving corporate goals, elucidating the various developmental stages in their implementation. We also explore the unique challenges of leading a data science team compared to other domains like marketing or human resources.

Mr. Syafri shares invaluable insights into the critical factors to consider when managing a team. These factors encompass team management and schedule iterations, the types of individuals within a team (data scientists, engineers, and business teams), and effective communication among team members. Additionally, he underscores the importance of aligning leadership styles with the individual needs of team members.

In this segment of our journey, we explore the intricate process of identifying and solving problems through specific projects. Mr. Syafri introduces a framework comprising problem identification, definition, solution implementation, and deep investigation. This ensures a shared understanding among all team members. He also emphasizes the significance of experimental systems and measurement in solving problems accurately before implementing machine-learning-based solutions comprehensively.

One of the highlights of our voyage is Mr. Syafri’s insights into cultivating a culture of experimentation within an organization. He shares how he engaged individuals from marketing and services departments in the innovation process, using both internally-built experimentation templates and third-party vendors like Optimizely. Mr. Syafri dispels the notion that experimentation is solely reliant on technology, stressing that it can be performed manually as well. He also discusses the challenges of maintaining a company’s culture as a team rapidly expands and the pivotal role leadership plays in this endeavor.

As our journey nears its conclusion, Mr. Syafri expounds on the significance of knowledge sharing and instilling a sense of purpose beyond oneself. He discusses the unique challenge of managing individuals who possess greater intellectual capacity, especially at the leadership level. For Mr. Syafri, seeking intellectual quality and the courage to acknowledge ignorance are paramount attributes when selecting senior team members. He also shares the company’s ambitious goal of becoming one of the largest Airbnb hosts in Southeast Asia through innovative solutions in the hospitality industry.

As we bid adieu to this enlightening conversation with Mr. Syafri Bahar, we are not only enriched with newfound knowledge but also equipped with a vision of leadership that embraces data, wisdom, and compassion. The fusion of Bukit Vista’s commitment to inspiring delight with the expertise of individuals like Mr. Syafri forms an alliance that propels Bali’s hospitality industry toward greater heights. It is a journey where data isn’t just numbers but a powerful tool for transformation, where leadership isn’t just about authority but about nurturing the potential of every team member. Together, we illuminate the path to a future where innovation knows no bounds, where delight is the ultimate destination, and where Bali’s hospitality industry shines ever brighter on the world stage.

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