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ANZ data grad tells the stories behind the numbers

With a degree in computer science, statistics, economics and business analytics, Anusha Rai is clearly good with numbers – but she’s finding that her real passion is using numbers to tell a story.


As part of her ANZ Graduate Programme role, she works with the bank’s Analytics team to crunch large sets of numbers into insights, and present them in a way that is easily understood and relevant to the needs of the business.


“You should be telling a story with what you’re showing, and that story can be as specific or as high level as it needs to be,” she said.


“But the main thing is that you need to understand what the point of it is – you have to get something from it.


“I love it, because in many ways it can actually be quite creative - I’m not very artistically creative in the traditional sense, but we do have to think about things from an abstract point of view, and consider how things can be perceived.


“When I first started university I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said. “So I studied a broad range of topics to have more choice in what to do after university – and I was still unsure of what avenue I wanted to take when I finished.


“The Graduate Programme gives me the opportunity to rotate through a range of teams and projects to get experience working in different areas, to help me understand what I like and don’t like.”


She’s met a lot of amazing colleagues so far, she said, from a diverse range of backgrounds, with each bringing unique skills and experience to the team.


“Everyone is so smart!” she laughed, “but everyone is always so nice, and happy to help if you need it - there’s a real feeling of collaboration on projects, and wanting to help each other learn.”


Anusha said the world is really starting to wake up to the value of good data – particularly to the value of being able to interpret what you have – and it’s a time of growth at ANZ.



"In six months, I’ve seen my team almost double in size, growing from one team to four with multiple leadership positions created, and there’s an ever-growing demand for the team’s skills."



“It’s growing, and you get to experience a lot of different work – at university, you only experience the classes you’ve taken, but it’s not real life experience – here you get to rotate through three different teams, which is incredibly valuable.”


She also said that when she arrived at ANZ, seeing so many women in leadership positions - like ANZ NZ’s General Manager of Data and Marketing Astrud Burgess - was inspiring and she felt reassured that she was in the right place.




Data analytics often involves a mixture of technical and soft skills, Anusha said, and she really enjoys that variation.


For example, she might spend time talking to a certain part of the business about what they want to know, what they need to achieve, and any other factors to be considered, and then go away and interpret those requirements to build them a data dashboard based on their requirements.


“I also really love seeing a project going from start to finish – it’s really satisfying – and the timeframes we work to are fairly short, while still being achievable - so you don’t get bored of working on the same thing for too long.”


Anusha also works on projects making a real difference – for example, she’s currently working on a sustainability initiative for ANZ.


“We talking to customers to find out what sustainability means to them, what they’re doing to incorporate it into their business practices, and what their expectations are of ANZ in that field,” she said.


“The overall goal will be to identify areas in which ANZ can improve, make some recommendations, and figure out how we can measure success.”


You can find out more about the ANZ Graduate Programme here.


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