My Story

By Marcia Tal

We treasure some experiences more than others, but we especially cherish special “moments” that were milestones or turning points in our lives or careers. Often those moments are so intense that we don’t need a picture to remind us – only the power of the emotion that overtook us.

Of course, this is not my whole story. But I want to tell you about a few of those critical “moments” that shaped my passion for data analytics and made me realize why I want to do what I do.


Across industries, business leaders are looking to translate “big-data” into insights that drive growth. My experiences have taught me that the path to this growth comes from integrating data, technology, analytics and talent into the business strategy. My unique set of experiences has transformed me from a global corporate executive to an entrepreneur, now building my own specialized firm. My journey is to leverage these experiences and moments to help clients achieve their growth.


I vividly remember my first day at Citigroup – then Citicorp – as Cleo, who was celebrating her “Quarter of a Century” inauguration, warmly greeted me.  I was not even 25 years old – and here was Cleo, working for the same company longer than I was alive! Now, after spending 25 years at Citi myself, I can still see the “Quarter of a century Club” balloon behind Cleo’s desk and I reflect on that memory with a very different frame of reference.


I enjoyed a challenging and rewarding 25-year career at Citigroup – leaving behind a legacy, the Decision Management function – which we embedded across the global franchise, in more than 30 countries with thousands of employees. The size, complexity and scale of opportunities I was presented with are what I treasure most about my career at Citi. The outcomes from these opportunities were tangible, lasting, and are still relevant today.


I remember the tenacity with which we worked to discover “first of a kind” industry practices that enabled expanded credit lending in the late 1980’s. After pulling an all-nighter, I realized the potential of using credit bureau information for existing customers. Of course, today this is standard industry practice, but at the time it was unheard of. This strategy – fundamentally dependent on introducing integrated data sets for targeting and predictive modeling – transformed the industry view of “existing customers” and expanded the eligible universe for lending.


I reflect on how we succeeded in generating greater than $1 Billion annual revenue through the creation and implementation of global Price Management disciplines. I remember sitting in a Board Room – with a “rotating” door of systems programmers and operations managers – and uncovering the hidden code inside our systems that prevented our policies and programs from delivering the expected results for our franchise. Line by line, calculation-by-calculation, policy-by-policy – I experienced the thrill of identifying and fixing the inaccuracies, thereby enabling our well-designed programs to transform customer experiences. Through this exploration, we introduced the use of macro-economic modeling integrated with our predictive tools. In today’s terms, we introduced descriptive, predictive and prescriptive modeling into our pricing discipline.


Perhaps my most rewarding experience is how I developed key business leaders for Citi’s franchise around the globe: understanding potential, creating development programs across markets, and providing career opportunities for analytic leaders. This is where my passion and profession cross – enabling the success of others to contribute to their maximum potential.


In planning for my next professional challenge, I pondered how I would use my decades of experience in banking and analytics – in leading organizations, cross- functional teams and people – to help shape tomorrow’s opportunities.  How would I bring my expertise and passion to create new “moments” for my clients? I undertook intense introspection to derive my vision.

Through this introspection, I realized how much knowledge I have to offer as businesses look for new ways to grow. I create and connect – and through that interconnectedness, I drive impact. I am passionate about learning, the discovery process, and utilizing discoveries to create solutions to complex problems. I believe, as Ron Baker reinforces in his book “Mind over Matter,” that economic growth revolves around the human mind and its capacity for invention, discovery, and the transformation of physical objects and ideas into valuable goods and services.


Now, I live in this “moment.” Right here, talking to you. My unique value for my clients is that I help organizations profit from the hidden value in their own data. I fundamentally believe that an organization’s growth opportunities can be harnessed through uncovering its undefined assets – from data sets to people. Helping is where, over and over again, I shine! This is what I am good at.

Please join me on my journey. I am not sure where it will ultimately lead. What I do know is that I’ve learned to dream really big – and I plan to have fun along the way!

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