Decision Intelligence Director
The acquisition of CarNext by Constellation Automotive Group created the largest online marketplace for used cars in Europe. For this business, the key to competitive advantage is strategic intelligence through data. The new Decision Intelligence Director will help CarNext inform its strategy through next-level intelligence from data and technology.
Previously owned by LeasePlan, CarNext was acquired by the UK-based Constellation Automotive Group in 2021. The combination of CarNext and Constellation’s other portfolio platforms creates Europe’s largest digital used car marketplace, selling more than 2.5 million cars annually for a combined value of €21 billion.
With a focus on user-friendliness and trustworthiness, the mission of CarNext is to change the way people buy used cars. From a fragmented, offline market that is infamous for ‘selling lemons,’ CarNext intends to transform the used car buying experience into an omnichannel, transparent, and satisfactory experience for B2B and B2C customers alike.
“At Constellation, we have successfully and purposefully raised the profile of data analytics to Decision Intelligence. It is of crucial, central importance to strategic decision making. In strategic discussions, one of the most impactful people at the table is the Decision Intelligence representative.” – Dene Jones, Group Chief Marketing & Data Officer at Constellation Automotive Group & CEO at CarNext (ad interim)
Rethinking the organizational design
CarNext boasts a team of six hundred and fifty people. About three hundred of them work from the Amsterdam head office, including the data, product, marketing, and technology teams. An analytics & insights team supports the marketing and product functions; a data science team lays the foundations for procurement and pricing decisions, and a business intelligence team ensures solid reporting. Currently, these teams report to the CMO, CTO, and CFO, respectively. An important strategic step, based on experience from the Constellation Automotive Group, is rethinking the organizational design of these teams. The aim is to create an integrated decision intelligence function that will be crucial for making strategic decisions – in all components of the business, from marketing through to vehicle selection and pricing. Therefore, they are creating a new role: Decision Intelligence Director.
Vacancy: Decision Intelligence Director
The Decision Intelligence Director will help CarNext inform its strategy through next-level intelligence from data and technology. They will design the functional strategy while bringing together all the relevant teams under one decision intelligence function of close to fifty people. With this combined intelligence function, CarNext will unlock its unique competitive advantage in a market that is still largely offline and fragmented and does not yet have access to data and artificial intelligence.
The role reports to the CEO of CarNext and has a dotted line to the Group Chief Marketing & Data Officer. The Decision Intelligence Director will work with the Constellation Automotive Group and CarNext leadership from day one and create a plan to set up the new function in line with the company strategy.
Growing and shaping the team
The Decision Intelligence Director will build the needed capabilities, grow and shape the team, select the necessary tools and data resources, and drive the decision intelligence mindset within the CarNext community. The Decision Intelligence function takes responsibility for data from the point of creation through to presentation, both to humans in the form of a dashboard and to computer systems in the form of an API. To do this, the Decision Intelligence Director will need to develop a team with the following core capabilities:
- Analysis & Insights – data analysts embedded in each business function, responsible for identifying opportunities to add value to the business using data. They triage requirements from the business to include in the backlog of the other Decision Intelligence teams;
- Data Engineering – specialist team members responsible for managing the transformation and loading of data from source systems;
- Data Science – machine learning experts with deep statistical knowledge and experience of building and iterating sophisticated statistical models;
- Visualization & Reporting – experts converting data into geographical self-service dashboards that allow internal and external customers to access the insights they need quickly and easily;
- Digital Analytics & Conversion Rate Optimization – digital analytics specialists responsible for understanding online behavior. They work with product teams to optimize customer journeys to maximize sale conversion;
- Data Platform – professionals maintaining the cloud infrastructure used by the rest of the team, in particular, the ML Ops processes that allow models to be automatically retrained as needed (sometimes many times a day); and
- Delivery Function – experts overseeing cross-functional programs and projects to bring all team SMEs together and focus on the program/project management aspects of managing change.
People with these skills are in high demand across many industries. So, the Decision Intelligence Director will need to develop a positive internal culture to maximize employee retention and progression. Once the Decision Intelligence Director starts to showcase the value coming from this team, the appetite from the business and senior leadership will only grow, and the business intelligence team, in turn, will expand further.
This role is an exciting challenge for an experienced leader from an omnichannel B2C context who inspires teams and helps them reach their full potential. In addition, the ideal candidate has extensive experience developing innovative intelligence capabilities through bringing people together, remotely if needed. After all, part of the success of the Decision Intelligence Director is combining the separate data and technology teams into a new function of strategic importance.
While the Decision Intelligence Director has experience with data and artificial intelligence, it is even more important to understand how to unlock commercial value using data and technology. Based on data insights, the team will pro-actively feed the business with knowledge, initiatives, and identified opportunities. To create this mindset among the team, the Decision Intelligence Director will have deep knowledge of the intersection between commercial strategy and advanced analytical approaches, tooling, cloud data processing technology, and data science. They are also well-versed in digital analytics.
While this role provides an instant challenge in further growing the competitive advantage and the commercial performance of CarNext, it also ensures high exposure to the Leadership Team of CarNext and Constellation Automotive Group. As such, it will unlock future opportunities within these companies. Furthermore, the Decision Intelligence Director gets the chance to truly build and grow a new function within the company, thereby showcasing and developing their leadership and strategy skills.
CarNext is working with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy.
To express your interest, please contact Jessica Lim at firstname.lastname@example.org.