This episode features an interview with Anahita Tafvizi, VP and Head of Data Science & Business Operations at Instacart. Instacart is the leading grocery technology company in North America.
As a senior executive at Instacart, Anahita drives key operations and strategic decisions across all company product pillars and ensures data investments are aligned with the long-term business strategy. She leads a team of over 150+ Data Science and Strategy individuals across all company product lines including consumers, shoppers, advertisers, and retailer products. Previously, Anahita was the Director of Finance for Google Commerce, Retail & Travel, as well as the Head of Finance for YouTube Ads and Head of Analytics & Data Science for eBay Ads. She is passionate about building high-performance data and strategy organizations with a focus on agility and impact. Anahita earned a Ph.D in Physics from Harvard University.
In this episode, Anahita talks about structuring her data science team to reveal opportunities for new efficiencies that guide Instacart’s 4-sided marketplace, her approach to hiring the leadership team and overseeing 150+ employees, and reveals recent data science initiatives fueling product-led growth.
Anahita Tafvizi is currently the Vice President and Head of Data Science & Business Operations at Instacart. As a senior executive of the company, she drives key operations and strategic decisions across all Instacart product pillars and ensures data investments are aligned with the company’s long-term business strategy. She is passionate about building high-performance data and strategy organizations with a focus on agility and impact.
“How can we make the experience of buying groceries on Instacart not just more convenient but also more efficient and delightful? To inspire product strategy, we spend a lot of time trying to understand patterns of shopping so we can build personalized experiences.” - Anahita Tafvizi
(01:17) Anahita’s path to data science
(03:04) Instacart’s 4-sided marketplace
(04:56) Structure of the data science team
(07:10) How business teams can unlock new insights
(09:51) Benefits and drawbacks of virtual teams
(12:45) Data needs of product-led growth
(14:30) Key data science techniques, tools, and skills
(16:30) Recent data science initiatives fueling PLG
(19:16) Instacart's data maturity
(20:20) Data access for business context
(22:00) Approach to hiring data science leaders
(23:30) Career growth paths in data science
(26:37) Increasing internal talent bench
(27:59) Driving efficiency in an economic downturn
(32:08) Key insights on grocery delivery services