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NewsNov 06, 2019

Vincent Yates Joins Credera as Chief Data Scientist and Partner

Sarah Barber

Credera, a full-service management and technology consulting firm, is pleased to announce the addition of Vincent Yates to Credera’s leadership team as the firm’s chief data scientist and partner in the Dallas office. At Credera, Vincent will focus on data science and strategy.

“We are really excited to welcome Vincent Yates to Credera as our chief data scientist,” said Credera CEO, Justin Bell. “Vincent’s experience at GE Digital, Uber, Zillow, and Microsoft, along with his enthusiasm, creativity, and highly analytical way of thinking will bring significant value to Credera and to our clients.  We believe that there is substantial untapped value in much of our clients’ data and that we can partner with them to drive exceptional results.”

Prior to joining Credera, Vincent worked as chief data scientist for GE Digital where his team was focused on leveraging Industrial IoT to reduce costs, increase revenue, and reduce risk for industrial customers. Previously he was the director of analytics engineering for Zillow Group where his team was charged with ensuring the trustworthiness of the data that powers Zillow from products like the Zestimate to marketing and sales data. Vincent joined Zillow from Uber, where he was the head of data science in Seattle leading half a dozen different products including: UberFamily, Scheduled Rides, Airports and Venues. He has also led teams at Microsoft and Yammer.

He got his start in data science after a Ph.D. program in Statistics at U.C. Berkeley. He is passionate about education and evangelism and loves learning how new parts of a business work. In particular, he loves finding new places to get people excited about using data to change their jobs, teams, and lives. Vincent is pictured here with his wife, Karin, and three daughters, Katarina, Jennalise, and Vienna.

We sat down with Vincent to learn more about his journey to Credera:

What led to your decision to join Credera?

I love solving hard problems. At a consulting firm, you have a unique position to work with clients on their toughest challenges, and that really excites me. It’s my desire to bring data and data science to solve these problems in novel ways, unlocking new potential that did not previously exist. There have been multiple times throughout my career where we have fundamentally pivoted businesses or launched new products simply by leveraging the data we already had. I want to help our clients go and do the same by leveraging my learnings to make step function changes to their business.

How would you describe your approach to leadership?

My personal leadership described in two words is “servant leadership.” My goal is to cast a vision for my people and then do whatever it takes to help them be successful and that looks different for every person. However, a key component to long term success is having a learning mindset. I love to push my teams just beyond what they feel comfortable with because that is the only way to learn and grow. Just like I do with my daughters, I want my people to fail as early and as often as possible. I want to help my team make the mistakes so they can learn from them quickly. My job then is to ensure that I create the environment to foster this learning and exploration, while curating the right set of guardrails to mitigate the inevitable misstep.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

The answer doesn’t matter nearly as much as the right question.

If you answer the wrong question, the answer doesn’t matter at all; in fact, it is actually worse than not having an answer at all because now you have the false confidence of an answer, even though it’s wrong. Most of data science is really trying to get to the right question. If you reframe the problem in the right context, the answers become really easy to get to – and the right question matters more than ever with all the data that’s accessible.

What I’ve learned is you should spend a lot of time thinking about, “is this the right question?” and “am I answering it the right way?”

What are you most excited about now that you’re a part of the Credera team?

I’m most excited to see how quickly we can help our clients leapfrog. I won’t be satisfied if we make them successful, but it takes just as long as the very best people have done in the past because that’s too slow in my mind.  If we can’t go faster than anyone has ever gone before to help solve the problems clients want to solve, then I think we’re doing something wrong. I’m most excited to see how quickly we can do this for clients!

For additional information about Credera, please visit our About Credera page.