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Numbers driving change

National Christchurch

20 September 2021

Looking at numbers and interpreting what they tell us, then using the numbers to inform people and drive change ignites Elizabeth Plew’s enthusiasm for her data analysis role at Citycare Property.

“I am passionate about Citycare Property using data to drive decision-making, through improved systems to access information and by growing staff skills,” she says.

Her role as a Process Improvement Specialist sits in the middle between technology and staff and she works to bridge that gap.

“In the three years I have been here, my managers have encouraged and enabled me to work towards these goals and share my knowledge across the business.”

Elizabeth initially graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in political science and geography and worked as a research and data analyst in central and local government. She later completed a Master of Arts degree and a Graduate Diploma in Information Design.

Three years ago Elizabeth joined Citycare Property and she enjoys being part of a large organisation with lots of different people from varying backgrounds creating things together.

Initially she had a contract support role which quickly developed to utilise her wider skillset.

In April 2019 Elizabeth joined the Contracts Team as a Process Improvement Specialist.

Her role has now evolved into workforce planning. “We’ve been trying to find areas to improve across the business,” Elizabeth says.

She developed a series of online Excel training sessions for the office staff covering five different topics from beginners’ Excel to Pivot Tables and charts.

“We could see that there were lots of people who use Excel every day and I was trying to give them knowledge, to make them more efficient in their tasks,” she says.

It was a great success with more than 100 attendees logged in for the sessions.

“I find it really encouraging when you help other people to develop and grow like that – you see it raise their enthusiasm for their job and they see they can do things better,” Elizabeth says.

She thrives on driving change within the workplace.

“From a big picture perspective, I can see in the workforce in New Zealand and in the labour force globally we need to upskill people. There’s a technology revolution going on, so we really need to think about how we are equipping the people we have to do the work we have,” Elizabeth says.

Developing people is one thing; building the systems to help people to do their job better is another.

She worked on the second version upgrade of Citycare’s Event Manager job tracking IT system which involved  evaluating the software upgrade, using this as an opportunity to review existing processes and significantly improving the scheduling capability.

Elizabeth has also started learning some SQL (or Structured Query Language ) to help her build more direct links to data within the system. 

This year she’s part of a data analytics insights group working collaboratively across the business.

“Some of the challenges have been around making change by getting people to think about how we present data, and how we connect the data with real-time dashboards to make it useful and accessible for managers,” she says.

It’s an ongoing workstream Elizabeth is relishing.

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