Opportunity knocks

Quantium’s new Global CCO Tony Keusgen shares why he joined Quantium and the opportunities Australia cannot afford to miss

By Tony Keusgen

There’s a popular Indonesian phrase that says “Kesempatan tidak datang dua kali.”

It tells us that opportunity never knocks twice at our door, imploring us to take our chances as they may never come again.

This wisdom speaks to me on a number of levels.

It was front of mind when I decided to return to Australia following 12 years leading Google businesses across Asia Pacific, Indonesia and New Zealand.

Google is not an easy place to leave, but at this pivotal time, I simply couldn’t ignore Quantium’s knock on the door.

Over the next decade, Australia’s leaders, both corporate and political, will make decisions that will determine not only organisational success, but also the country’s position in the emerging data economy.

And it’s not hyperbolic to suggest that the sum of these decisions will greatly influence Australia’s future quality of life. If we act fast and adopt policies and strategies that set our best companies up for success, we have a great opportunity to continue Australia’s long record of uninterrupted economic growth.

If we respond slowly, driven by fear or inertia, we cannot take it for granted that the opportunities we currently enjoy will endure.

I have joined Quantium because I believe the company has the potential to play a crucial role in setting Australian organisations up for success during this once-only transition to a data-driven economy, whilst also taking the best of Australian data science and AI to the world.

When people think about AI, for many it conjures images of robots and driverless cars, and they are part of the story. But the vast majority of AI applications will be data-driven decision engines – algorithms that harness data to make quicker, more accurate and customer-focussed decisions.

Most CEOs will tell you that putting customers first is their number one priority. They simply cannot do so unless they are fully embracing data strategies. Data is the way scale businesses hear the voice of their customers. It allows them to engage the people they serve not as demographics or segments, but as individuals.

In data, lies the opportunity to align everything you do to a predictive model of what customers want, when and in what form they want it, and the price they are willing to pay.

Before long, every scale organisation in every sector of the economy anywhere in the world will implement decision engines right across their operations. They will drive promotion, demand and supply planning, manufacturing and procurement. They will determine financing needs, reduce waste and help manage risk. That is one heck of a market opportunity!

Australia has some of the best data scientists working today. We are located on the doorstep of the world’s largest developing economies. We are known as an honest broker, for our respect for the rule of law and our relative political independence. I have no doubt Australia, with the right blend of ambition and direction, can leverage these qualities to secure a reputation as a global centre for data science and AI.

And there’s a huge imperative for Australia to think globally. This is a fantastic place to live and do business, but there are just under 25 million people in Australia’s back yard.

I know from personal experience that there are 263 million Indonesians right there in Australia’s front yard and 166 million of them are on-line. Just think about the data opportunities that will arise as the nation’s middle class continues to explode. And that’s just one of many markets open to Australian innovation.

Established in 2002 in Australia, Quantium is already highly credible globally. It already has a network of 10 offices, including in San Francisco, Chicago, Bentonville, London, Johannesburg, Hyderabad and New Zealand.

Quantium is pitching and winning against the world’s best and works with industry-leading Asian and North American banks and retailers, among others.

In addition to its consulting business, Quantium is creating scalable products like Q.Refinery, a solution that takes raw banking data and readies it for action fast and with unparalleled features and accuracy.

Too many technology businesses create the technology and then seek to make the market but Quantium is focussed on delivering easy to buy solutions to real world problems and with quick and compelling commercial payback. It’s a hugely exciting time to be joining the business.

What Adam, Greg and the broader team have achieved in just 18 years is nothing short of incredible. I can barely wait to play my role in helping Quantium and its clients make the most of the many opportunities on offer.

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