Shipra Agarwal, People Data Analyst, Walmart Global Tech

Shipra Agarwal is a data analyst with experience in designing and developing across multiple applications and clients. She has technical skills and experience developing and maintaining applications using Informatica Power Center, SAS DI, and Teradata.

How has your journey as a woman in AI been so far?

These ten years have been exciting for me as a technologist! I started my career as a data consultant and today I am a data analyst at Walmart Global Tech. When I reflect on my various roles over the years, I find data analytics in retail to be very rewarding, given its ability to solve real problems for our customers. The work we do at Walmart serves a unique vision to help people save money and live better lives – and that sense of purpose makes me incredibly proud.

As a “woman in tech”, I didn’t find it different from other industry professionals. I always had the support I needed to grow and explore. That said, giving back is essential, and I’ve always believed in motivating other female technologists and helping them grow in their careers as well.

What kind of work do you do at Walmart Global Tech?

At Walmart Global Tech, our commitment to delivering exceptional customer service through technology and innovation inspires me to excel and perform at my best. In my role here, I work at the intersection of business, product, and engineering to turn data into actionable insights. This involves working with the product to turn an ambiguous business requirement into a precise engineering problem. I particularly enjoy pulling ideas that cover the feasibility and risk assessment of solution development, which lays the foundation for a successful product roadmap.

Currently, my focus is on improving the efficiency of experimentation platforms and designing metrics that enable data-driven decision-making for feature releases.

Why did you choose science and technology as a career opportunity? How difficult was it and what motivated you to continue?

Since childhood, my father has been my source of motivation and encouragement. He is an engineer in the Air Force and his work on the latest technologies for aviation inspired me to build a career in science and technology. My innate curiosity led me to explore the power of data that drives everything around us. At first, it seemed difficult to keep up to date with the latest technological developments. However, the problems we solve for our clients and the impact we create have always motivated me to take on new challenges and expand my learning curve.

What was the highlight of your journey?

I have worked with data in multiple roles and industries, such as telecommunications, aviation, banking, shipping, and retail. This field has allowed me to acquire an incredible amount of knowledge. Exploring information, predicting future trends, finding anomalies, making decisions or learning how to tell stories through data couldn’t have been more exciting!

I was a budding AI enthusiast when I joined the Walmart Search team. There was a massive amount of clickstream data, and I was one of the first to glean insights from it for strategic decisions. While I was apprehensive at first, today it is extremely gratifying to know that over the past four years my contributions have supported decision-making at various levels of the organization.

What has been your biggest challenge and greatest achievement as a woman in AI in India?

I have always been inspired to work with different technologies and perfect myself from time to time. Many of my friends and colleagues have taken inspiration from my background and explored a career in AI. I also managed to encourage a few friends to consider Data Science who were hesitant to join the job market after a long hiatus. I think as a female technologist, there is no greater achievement than motivating female tech enthusiasts to grow and shine in their careers!

Sean N. Ayres