Leo Schirmer

Leo Schirmer

Head of Business Intelligence

I find it very inspiring to collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary teams with people who are among the best in their field.

I joined Project A over a year ago as Head of Business Intelligence (BI). Together with ten other BI team members, I support our ventures in making good data-based business decisions providing the necessary numbers and analysis, in particular with our proprietary Data Warehouse (DWH). The DWH is the base for all key BI operations. It imports corporate data from different business areas which later can be used for analysis and reports for further application by other systems.

When we launch a new venture here at Project A, the BI team is involved right from the start because we are convinced that a strong data driven infrastructure is the backbone for successful online businesses.

We develop and implement a professional BI framework. At the same time we support our ventures in building up their own BI expertise, for example as advisors when recruiting experts or coaching the new BI team. So step by step, we enable them to stand on their own feet in terms of BI so we can slowly withdraw. Ultimately, it is our aim is to make ourselves superfluous.

I have always loved working with numbers. After having received my diploma in mathematics and computer science at the FU Berlin, I worked on an academic research project on the interface between mathematics and medicine. I really enjoy scientific work and I learned a lot during this time, but at some point I realized that I did not want to spend my professional life at University and decided to look for a new job startup ecosystem, whose dynamics I like a lot. Before joining Project A, I worked at Zalando and established their Marketing BI department. This is when I realized how exciting it is to develop practical business knowledge based on numbers.

What I enjoy even more than working with numbers, is the collaboration with my team.

For example, when complex challenges occur I can provide helpful impulses which enable us to develop a new solution together. It is very motivating when I notice our team makes progress through the exchange of knowledge and experiences. There is also an intense exchange between the different departments at Project A, which means that you always learn something new. This is particularly true for the BI team, which has touching points with almost every other team especially IT and Online Marketing. I find it very inspiring to collaborate on projects in interdisciplinary teams with people who are among the best in their field.

As the Project A portfolio keeps growing and we are continuously involved in new ventures, I always work on different topics, business models and industries, it never gets boring.

Another aspect that I really enjoy is that I have the chance to work with people with various backgrounds, in terms of area of expertise, experience and culture. My colleagues come from nearly 20 different countries, as a native Berliner I actually feel almost exotic.

One of the most interesting projects I have been working on is the collaboration with our venture Saatchi Art, the worlds biggest online marketplace for contemporary art, headquartered in Los Angeles. This is an exciting and complex topic with a lot of challenges. It was also my first project where I had the chance to intensely work with colleagues from the USA. Communicating across different time zones can be challenging, but at the same time it’s exciting to get to know a new working culture, and gain insights into the arts industry. I’m glad that I can participate in this impressive project, and contribute something to its success.