Data Product Lead

Kai Yi Yong

Kai worked at Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing company, Grab, preventing cashless payment fraud using machine learning and data-driven heuristics. Now she leads the build on Haystack.

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Get to know

Kai Yi Yong

We're one global team but we've got our own stories. Here's what makes us tick.

What was the greatest lesson an early job taught you?

"I learned how energising a good team can be – being surrounded by kind, fun, and smart folks is a force multiplier for everyone involved. Personally, it motivates me when times are tough and great teammates are a huge help for avoiding/coping with burnout."

What tech do you avoid in your personal life?

"The Echo/Home/Portal general category of listen-y smart home things. You can rig them up to do some really neat things, but they’re also terrifying and not very well regulated! (The same goes for social media, but I’ve been a bit less successful at avoiding that.)"

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

"Deep sea exploration isn’t unknown, but I frequently watch livestreams of ROUV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) expeditions. A lot of it is rather boring, until they come across a cool rock or creature. I love tuning in because the crew are a group of interdisciplinary scientists, and in their commentary it’s clear they’re learning from each other even as they teach the audience."

Why did you want to join the SP team?

"What SPC does, and what I’m doing here, is very different from all of my previous experience – and while that’s exciting it’s also very daunting. Meeting the team and seeing how supportive they are of each other gave me the confidence to try something new."

What topic, model, theme are you learning about? What have you learned?

"It’s a bit cheesy, but the biggest thing I’m learning right now is how little I know. While I’ve always been adjacent to it, I’ve not fully stepped into the product management side of tech before. Trying to learn even simple things like how communicate the reframing or scoping of a problem and solution is humbling."

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