Inside the Beehive
Getting to Know: Nischal Padmanabha, Director of Data


Getting to Know: Nischal Padmanabha, Director of Data

Our employees are what makes scoutbee a special and vibrant place to work. We have many people with different backgrounds and personalities, but each person has a passion for the work that they do and our collective mission. This month, we chat with Nischal Padmanabha who is Director of Data at scoutbee

What makes working at scoutbee special for you?

The reasons that brought me to scoutbee in the first place were the interesting and complex product and the idea of using data to support internal and external customers around the world in achieving their goals. But what excites me even more is the captivating team spirit and working with so many dedicated and smart people. 

What challenges do you face every day and how do you deal with them?

At scoutbee we already have a lot of data, but our current challenge is to understand how we can support people with this data in the best way possible. We want to have the capability to start providing decisive insights to procurement teams to help them make their decisions stronger across industries and locations. Therefore, we are building and improving our systems, where the human intervention starts to reduce so that people can focus on complex, high value topics. 

What does a typical day at scoutbee look like for you?

Given that we are in a pandemic, my day is filled with a whole lot of Zoom meetings. But in general, I am constantly thinking about the positioning of our product and restructuring things in the data team to be able to create value mapping through data. My typical day in the past months included hiring a lot of people, and establishing relationships with external companies to support us in terms of data architecture. It’s very hard for me to say what my day exactly looks like as every day is so different. But what I can say is – there are some cool things that we are working on at the moment that are driving great value for scoutbee. 

What’s the best or most enjoyable part of the work your team does? 

If you have a curious mind, working in a data team provides endless possibilities. My team can be really proud that the insights driven by our data are in turn powering smart procurement decisions and connections that can ultimately have huge results – whether it’s identifying innovative new materials or components, helping to reduce CO2 in supply chains, or improving critical resilience.

“Whilst we are proud of our methods and algorithms, we are perhaps even prouder of what our work helps to build.”

It’s not the case that cool or innovative things can only come from within the product or engineering teams – as a data company, every single person at scoutbee should be able to understand our data and explore it with as many eyes as possible. This way all our teams help to shape ways in which our data can be most impactful for customers. 

What are you and your team looking forward to accomplishing at scoutbee? 

For the data team and I, the next few months will be about establishing data as the core of scoutbee and figuring out how this data is consumed optimally. We have different data consumers and they all have different data needs. Therefore, we want to build this out at scoutbee and connect all the different data points we have that drive the value for our business and provide us insights. Just a nice side note – we are also looking for a Master thesis student to join my team, focusing on natural language processing and semantic search as we want to look at information in a way we have never done before. They will also start pushing the agenda of knowledge graphs.

Which of the scoutbee values matters most to you and why?

Integrity is a very important value that I hold high regard for and I’ve been able to also see that at scoutbee. Not just within the data team, but also within the executive team. People are very honest and accept their mistakes and vulnerabilities. They are open about what they know and what they do not know and accept that they do not know everything. I personally think that this openness and integrity builds a good culture in the company and lays the foundation for the integrity of our products. It’s a constant work in progress to develop a good culture that builds good teams and good teams that build good products.

What would be the biggest thing that scoutbee could do for procurement and supply chain?

Information provided in a timely manner helps teams and companies make their best decisions in a very informed way. We want to build vast knowledge in companies that use scoutbee solutions. Decisive insights for procurement teams can empower them and also help them make their decisions robust across industries and across different geographical landscapes. Our vision is to become the Go-To-Product for procurement where teams say: “ If we have to do procurement, we want to do it through scoutbee.” 

Nischal joined scoutbee as the Director of Data in January 2021 in Berlin. He has been working in data for the past decade and gained experience at companies including omnius and SAP.

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