'The independence of my role means that I have a huge responsibility'

Melissa Okken -
​​​​​​​Data Management Specialist

Marketing strategy based on data

'I joined NN in 2016.  I studied human movement sciences at university. That’s not something you would immediately associate with a job at a financial services company, but during my course I did a lot of data analyses and worked with SPSS and MATLAB. I came here via an IT secondment company, where one of the things I learnt was SQL.’

‘I started in the Change & IT department, where I worked in a scrum team building datawarehouses for our business units. A few weeks ago, I became a Data Management Specialist in the Marketing & Sales department at Pensions New Business, which meant a new environment and different work. We are just about to enter the sales season because a lot of pension policies expire at the end of the year. Using data analyses, I identify as best I can which policies and groups of policyholders are affected. We use this information to define our marketing strategy in the hope that we can renew as many policies as possible and achieve our targets.’

A typical day at work

‘I usually start work at about eight in the morning. I enjoy having a quiet start to my day. The first thing I do is read my e-mails; then I start up all the systems and might begin writing an SQL query. I often have meetings with the management team during the day to discuss the results of my analyses.’

‘Whereas I was in a team at Change & IT, I work more on my own here. Of course there are other data analysts around me, but everybody has their own focus area. The independence of my role makes the work challenging, because I have to take decisions and provide the management team members with information that they use to make their final decisions, so it is a huge responsibility.’

Personal, digital and relevant

‘Data is crucial to NN. This is because you can’t compete properly unless you know exactly who your customer is and what we can do for one another. It means we have to closely monitor the data quality, not forgetting the three key words of our company: personal, digital and relevant. We want to talk to our customers personally and offer them relevant information, but the wrong data can lead to the wrong conclusions. We can prepare the best analyses and offer our customers the best possible service when our data is properly managed and one of the ways we can do this is by having consistent data entry.’

NN Young Professionals

‘For me, having a connection with a company is really important. Because I took a new step a couple of weeks ago, I can see that there are real opportunities for career progression here. NN Young Professionals also helps me to feel connected. The association organises all kinds of activities for employees up to around 35 years of age. I’m a member of the association’s International Business Trip committee. I’ve learnt a lot. You work with enthusiastic colleagues from other business units in the Netherlands and abroad. This year, we visited Prague with the association.’

‘Finally, you’re given plenty of freedom at NN. There’s room for your input and taking the initiative is really appreciated. If you have good insights and know what you want, people are really open to them.’