Unlocking Data’s Transformative Power: A 1.5-Year Odyssey

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Have you ever thought that our thinking can change our lives? As you know, our lives consist of habits, and 80% of our thoughts are habitual. So, our thoughts directly affect our lives. That sounds good, but we have different comfort zones related to our habits and change begins at the end of our comfort zone. Because changing gives our brain breathing room for growth. So, how could it be possible? Let’s talk about it!

Mervenur Gulel and Cemal Tosun standing together in front of screens in Schneider Electric office

We can start with the Einstein quote: We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. We now live in a world where not only the answers but also the questions do not stay the same.

For example, let’s think about digitalization, which touches every aspect of our lives.

Compared to previous years, we are experiencing unpredictable digital transformations. But we know that digital transformation is not about technology at all; it’s about people. If we couldn’t think differently, we wouldn’t be able to adapt to innovations. Today’s world no longer accepts those who are not ready for change. And now, it is important to ask the right question rather than give the right answer. The answer is not stable at all; it changes every day. If we can ask the right question, we will learn the best answer, and we know that learning every day is important. After learning and integrating, we can create impact. And that is our Employee Value Proposition at Schneider Electric: IMPACT starts with us!

As you know, nowadays, we generally talk about GPT systems and research says that one of the futuristic jobs could be the prompt engineering and question optimization. It is like a proof that asking questions is important.

Chief Project Engineer consults tablet and holds briefing for a team of Data Scientists that are building Machine Learning System.

One of the most important areas for learning is business life, where we can realize ourselves.

And after I joined the Schneider family, I realized how big the game area is to experience. It totally matches my mindset; I generally like the process of trying new things and learning to do them better. It’s like an optimization process & Kaizen philosophy.

This working style is critical for me because I graduated from the Industrial Engineering Department and am also working on my PhD thesis related to Artificial Intelligence – Machine Learning & optimization. I’m always in the research and creation area of transformation. About a year ago, we did the first interview with my manager, and I totally felt the soul of transformation. It made me excited because I could understand that he already believes in the importance of change and we have the same mindset. For example, we covered different topics in our interview, and the first question from my side was “How many people are in our Data Team?” and Cemal Tosun – the manager of our team and the CFO & Strategy Vice President of our cluster ‘Turkey and Central Asia’ – answered, “We will create it.” And then we talked about “How could it be possible?”. When the session ended, I felt a passion that I want to be the beginning of this story. And the dreams came true!

I think it’s a big transformation step and a total success story.

Because I’m the first data scientist in the Middle East and Africa zone. I was aware of how inspiring and challenging this situation would be. On the other hand, I always feel increasingly excited about being the starting point, because I believe I am brave enough to try new things and have support from everyone, especially Cemal. I am proud to work to create value from data and be part of the digital transformation. I’ve always felt like I’ve been here for many years because company culture is important ; especially team culture. Team creates another synergy. For example, we work for each other rather than just collaborating with each other. Also, we have open knowledge sharing, speaking up, debates, and feedback culture, and more. I think all of them are important values.

I also worked on different projects at a different local technology company about Machine Learning / AI. But Schneider Electric is totally different for me. I learned so many things about business. I’m an external transfer who has the know-how in the data science area, but I realized that I should learn business, and all my team members have supported me. I experienced this kind of different leadership style and being part of creating ‘zero to top’ for dream.

Now we are coding for creating different models

We are debating the new methods in business life, handling inefficient traditional tasks, focusing on the solution rather than the problem, etc. In brief, we are changing the way we think. We shifted our mindset and culture. As of now, we have nine people in the data team, including data scientist, data stewards, and our long-term interns. We all have the same passion; just changing the way we think and being the thought leaders. Just imagine a small part of the process: about one year ago, there were no codes, but now we deploy our model with our different departments and create value from data (Data to Revenue Transformation). In addition to this, there was no team structure directly related with data. But now, we created the Data Hub & Team. These are pioneering steps in the cluster we are in.

“Data science is the new frontier of business, and I’m thrilled to see how our data team is revolutionizing our company. In just 1.5 years, they’ve built a data-driven juggernaut that’s transforming our bottom line and leading the way in change management.

Our data scientists who are led by Mervenur are rockstars, and their insights are gold dust. They’ve helped Schneider Electric improve pricing, marketing campaigns, and customer service in ways we never thought possible. They’ve also identified new opportunities for better growth.

But more importantly, we’ve created a culture of data-driven decision-making. Our employees now understand the value of data and are using it to make better decisions every day. But it is not enough. We are in the middle of a great journey! This is a cultural shift that will benefit our company for years to come.

I’m so proud of the data team and everything they’ve accomplished in such a short time. They’re a true asset to our company, and I’m excited to see what they do next.”

Cemal Tosun
CFO & Strategy VP, Turkey, Central Asia and Pakistan Cluster, Schneider Electric

All these progresses are not the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. We also have different dreams for different time periods in future. I mean, we unlocked the power of dreaming. We know that if we can dream something, we can also do it. But first step is always dreaming. It is also a proven methodology from psychology side. Also, you can find dreaming examples from many successful and famous scientists, businesspeople, etc. about dreaming. I want to give an example from -founder and the first president of Republic of Turkey- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. He answered the question of “How did you succeed?” and said, “First, I had a dream. Then I identified the obstacles to my dream. When I removed these obstacles, my dream automatically came true.” And one more brief quote about this topic from Malcolm Forbes: “When you cease to dream, you cease to live.”

According to all, we already got different dreams about our business.

It is related with transformation and futurism. We had a dream and, right now, we are in the middle of achieving it. Now, I’m working as a Data Scientist but we believe that each person will be a part of Data one day. Because no position will accept otherwise. Additionally, the idea that everyone should work as a data scientist in their own business area is also our dream for the future. We should change our mindset and be futuristic. We should not only adapt, but also be the dreamers and thought leaders, and it comes with changing the way we think. Dream it & do it!

According to research, the average person has 60,000 thoughts per day. This means that we have a lot of opportunities to change our thoughts. Just be positive, create, & catch the chances with a holistic approach. After doing this, we can create the new world & future. Future has already arrived. Just unlock your dream power and start to fly. We’re ready to do it and we already started, what about you?

If you also would love to see your wildest dreams come to life, come join us on this journey of limitless possibilities! Kick-start your meaningful career with Schneider Electric TODAY

About the author

Author Profile

Mervenur Gulel, Data Scientist MEA

Mervenur has been working for more than 1 year in Schneider Electric Turkey. She has joined the Strategy Team as a Data Scientist. Mervenur is working on a PhD degree at the same time and she has a passion for combining data science and engineering knowledge to create valuable projects. She is motivated to make a positive impact on the world through Data Science. In her personal time, she is interested in psychology & photography.

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