Director, Data Strategy

Toronto, CA /
Technology – Data, Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence /
Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use platform that helps small businesses and their accounting and bookkeeping advisors grow and thrive. 

At Xero, our purpose is to make life better for people in small business, their advisors, and communities around the world. This purpose sits at the centre of everything we do. We support our people to do the best work of their lives so that they can help small businesses succeed through better tools, information and connections. Because when they succeed they make a difference, and when millions of small businesses are making a difference, the world is a more beautiful place.

About the opportunity

Xero is embarking on the next phase of growth including a significant new depth of focus on creating value from data through ML-powered products, platform business models and Open Data partnerships. 

This role offers opportunity to be at the forefront of this change.

About the team

The Data team is responsible for driving the adoption of data driven decision making across Xero - for both our internal users and our global customers of small business owners, bookkeepers and accountants. 

We are the center of expertise for data strategy, data architecture, data modelling, machine learning, ethical data usage and artificial intelligence service design. We lead the effort to raise the data and AI literacy levels across Xero and to embed our commitments to responsible data use into culture and practices across our fast-growing organisation.

Data strategy is an emerging specialist group, building global collaborations to define, communicate and drive a cohesive approach to data usage that combines commercialisation, consent, ethics and sustainability. They work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds to drive robust and mature decision making around using data as a commercial asset, aligned to our belief in the primacy of customer consent.

Key questions for this opportunity

    • Can you lead the thinking on complex questions of data use where customer trust is our biggest asset, and they rely on us for increasingly insightful products in an open ecosystem?
    • Do you combine deep expertise in strategy with experience in data-driven product development and a passion for ethics and doing the right thing for customers? 
    • Are you fired up by the opportunity to use data to make meaningful change in the lives of millions of small businesses and their communities?

What you'll do

    • Creating and embedding decision-making frameworks to assess the commercial value of data in products and partnerships
    • Partnering with our Science, Engineering, Product and Strategy teams to develop commercial evaluation and prioritisation methods for machine-learning products 
    • Applying understanding of data supply chains and the complexities of manufacturing and distributing data-driven products to assess trade-offs and recommend courses of action
    • Partnering with our corporate development team to create methods for evaluation of the data assets and capabilities of potential acquisitions
    • Ensuring that our data strategy implementation evolves with changing regulatory requirements, market dynamics and customer expectations.
    • Building and developing a high-performing team focused on developing and implementing pragmatic advice around sustainable, commercial and ethical data use

About you

    • You have a special blend of strategic thinking and wisdom gained from building solutions and delivering change programs
    • You have a deep understanding of the concepts of data supply chains and the complexities of manufacturing and distributing data-driven products 
    • You have a pragmatic and commercial mindset to assess trade-offs and make recommendations in context of our strategy and our values
    • You have exceptional written and verbal communication skills with a track record of articulating complex ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences
    • You bring consulting skills around shaping the problem space, critical thinking, communications and influence 
    • You bring strong personal credibility and leadership skills; you’ll be able to comfortably guide senior people through difficult tradeoff discussions and creatively build consensus

What you'll bring with you

    • A track record of creating and implementing data strategy including one or more of platform, ecosystem, open data or machine-learning strategies
    • Know how to build business cases and evaluation frameworks for data-driven products through commercial, ethical and technical sustainability lenses 
    • Probably have prior consulting or SaaS experience
    • Know how  to drive change in fast moving, complex environments with multiple competing priorities 
    • Proven experience facilitating discussions between technical and non-technical audiences at all levels 
    • Skills in building high performing teams
    • Familiarity with relevant regulatory and certification frameworks such as GDPR, CCPA, ISO 27001/SOC2, and Open data/open banking regimes
Why Xero?

At Xero, we are empowered to bring our ‘whole self’ to work. Our collaborative and inclusive culture is one we’re immensely proud of. We know that a diverse workforce is a strength that enables businesses, including ours, to better understand and serve customers, attract top talent and innovate. We care about learning together and celebrate our teams’ continuous improvement and career development. 

We offer a great remuneration package, including compelling benefits and perks, like Xero shares. We also support flexible working arrangements that allow you to balance your work, your life and your passions. Our Canadian Xero family includes Hubdoc, an automated data capture platform and we have offices in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. From the moment you step through our doors, you’ll feel welcome and supported to do the best work of your life.