[PODCAST] Not being afraid to question your assumptions and senior leadership
Data Stories: Leaders at Work is a weekly podcast brought to you by Audiense. Hosted by Rahul Jerome, founder of insight-intelligence.com, the series captures personal anecdotes and career highlights from some of the most talented and brightest minds in the research and insights industry.
On this episode of the Data Stories: Leaders at Work podcast, we sit down with Ritu Bhushan, the Associate Director of Insights and Analytics at the entertainment and gaming company King. Deeply experienced in digital marketing and business analytics, her passion is in finding actionable insights to drive product development and market strategy through customer centricity.
Originally hailing from India, Ritu is a prime example of how to carve out a successful career in the face of trying odds. Showing longtime interest in economics, Ritu majored in economics while also pursuing computer science. However, after realizing while still in school that she wanted to get into management consulting after uni, she switched her major to business with concentrations in economics and computer science.
Experience in data analytics to enable optimization
Starting her career in Boston, Ritu gained experience initially in data analytics to enable optimization. She realized that she was more interested in the why of data analytics rather than the what. In business school, she moderated her focus groups, which introduced her to the insights side of the business. In her MBA program, she specialized in market research while staying rooted in statistical analysis, which would allow Ritu to continue to see the whole picture.
Ritu moved from India to the US when she was just 18—and she credits a large amount of her success to the energy and enthusiasm she brought in her youth. She tried to dive into as many experiences as she could to learn as much as possible from everyone around her. Working in a study abroad program, Ritu was able to build a learning program that offered more flexibility and freedom than the educational system back in India.
Shortly after Ritu and her husband had their first daughter, she wrestled with what her professional life should have looked like. She ultimately leaned toward starting her own consultancy to allow her the most time at home with her daughter while still pursuing something intellectually stimulating and meaningful.
Marrying two passions: insights and gaming
When her family moved to London, she started looking for insights-related roles. As a life-long lover of games, Ritu told herself she would hunt down any roles related to insights in the gaming industry as a way to marry her love for games and data. She puts it best, that the gaming industry is a mine of data, which only makes her job easier. She applied to an opening the moment she saw it, and she landed the job. At King, she directs the division of research and insights to help them develop more groundbreaking games.
Ritu’s most important tool is the insight community known as Player Panel. It brings so much player centricity to her work, and she receives a great deal of vital feedback on the platform. She also recommends reading the Insights Management Academy for its insights articles and features, and she uses it as a resource all the time.
To her younger self, Ritu advises: do not be afraid to ask questions. Today, she asks questions “boldly and unabashedly,” although that wasn’t always the case. She recommends finding a mentor, staying abreast of the trends, and trying to find a strong team to join. Fundamentally, try to find people who are not exactly like you so you may grow. And to the young businesses, Ritu advises that they should take a consumer-first approach. Inertia and transformational change is different, but essential to people willing to rock the boat in the name of CX. Ritu believes a product strategy role would be a natural next step in her career.
The full version of the podcast with Ritu Bhushan can be listened here: