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February 2, 2024

Data Drives Decisions at Supernova in Indonesia

# Data/IT

A conversation with 28-year-old data analyst Carlos Alberto Lembono.

In Indonesia, Carlos Alberto Lembono is a 28-year-old data analyst focused on market research in the print industry, as well as sales-performance analysis, ad-hoc research, customer satisfaction surveys and competitor analysis. Carlos works at flexible packaging manufacturer Supernova, where he emphasizes the importance of market research in evaluating potential packaging opportunities for the company.

He frequently uses data-visualization tools like Microsoft Power BI, along with data language Python, when collaborating with Supernova's sales and R&D teams, to help them assess potential markets for the company's products and services. He's among a growing number of young industry professionals who are helping printers use data in powerful ways.

Amy Yu, Dscoop's Community Success Manager for the Asia Pacific & Japan region, chatted with Carlos about his work at Supernova, overcoming data challenges in the print industry, and more:

AMY YU: Could you share a bit about your professional journey and how you ended up in the printing industry?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Well, my educational background is in Chemical Engineering, but I found myself drawn into the market research division at Supernova, making it my first and current job.


AMY YU: Your current role is quite different from your educational background, and I bet it wasn't what you initially anticipated. It's refreshing to see young professionals in the printing industry, which is often perceived as an unconventional choice for the younger generation. Not only that, it's quite uncommon for a company in the Southeast Asia region to recruit a data analyst. Now, let's talk about your role. Do you enjoy market research?

Being a data analyst in this industry provides valuable insights, and I hope my experiences can serve as an eye-opener to Supernova.

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Yes, indeed. I primarily handle sales operations, sales performance analysis, competitor analysis, market sizing and various ad-hoc research tasks. This includes customer satisfaction surveys and competitor analysis, all crucial components of our market research efforts. I believe it's a unique position. Being a data analyst in this industry provides valuable insights, and I hope my experiences can serve as an eye-opener to Supernova.

AMY YU: Sounds challenging. Do you collaborate with colleagues, and do you find your job significant?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Certainly, I work closely with a team of two or three colleagues, each specializing in different aspects of our tasks. I work together with other departments as well. I firmly believe that market research is crucial in our industry, given the diverse scope of the packaging business beyond just food and beverages.

AMY YU: That's interesting. Can you share an instance where your work directly impacted the company's decision-making?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Absolutely. One important situation was when the government changed the rules for making cooking oil. Big companies started making smaller packages because prices went up. We looked into this and found new companies entering the market. We suggested working with these smaller companies, so we could keep selling our packaging. In my role,I look closely at the Indonesian market and study how printing and packaging quality differs in various areas. Because each sector has different needs, our detailed research and advice on digital printing packaging quality play a big role in deciding where the company goes. For example, for bigger industries, we focus on getting a high printing and excellent packaging quality for accuracy. But for small businesses, we don't need as many details in the printing. Hence, we can carefully optimize production and cost in printing.

AMY YU: Impressive. Now, let's talk tools and technology. What software or tools do you use?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: On a daily basis, Microsoft Excel is my go-to, along with Power BI. In specific cases, I delve into Python for more advanced analysis. While our data might not match the scale of tech industries, these tools suffice for our needs.

AMY YU: How did you learn Python? I'm pretty sure you did not learn that along with your Chemical Engineering Degree in college, right?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Well, I developed an interest in data and took it upon myself to learn Python. I attended a boot camp to further enhance my skills, integrating coding into my daily workflow. I employ Python for tasks such as data cleaning and advanced analysis. This coding language allows me to efficiently handle and analyze data, contributing to the success of my role as a data analyst.

AMY YU: That's impressive dedication. Moving on, how do you work together with other departments like marketing and R&D?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Collaboration is a daily affair. Our small team work together with different departments, including marketing, production and R&D. Sales seeks insights into potential markets for specific products, while R&D relies on our data for new applications or product development. I work alongside with the marketing team, assisting in forecasting, market sizing, and predictions. I also help the production team, and one of my tasks is to study the production waste and discover ways to make production more efficient. This means checking waste during production and seeing if we can find a way to reduce the waste further or use affordable materials instead. This effort not only improves the printing process but also ends up saving costs in the long run.

AMY YU: How do you collect and access data for your analysis?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: I use various methods, including regular ones like Excel macros provided by the internal team. For ad-hoc research, I explore multiple data sources, consult friends working in different industries, conduct desk research, and utilize external reports and news.

AMY YU: Are there any challenges unique to your industry or your role?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: One major challenge in my role is acquiring data due to the niche nature of our work in flexible packaging. The data we gather must be highly relevant to our specialized field. Another challenge is ensuring the quality of the data. I need to be critical about the data I get because sometimes it's not accurate. We carefully choose data providers, critically evaluating their offerings to ensure accuracy.

AMY YU: Now, for our final question. Does your company focus solely on packaging only?

CARLOS ALBERTO LEMBONO: Yes, Supernova specializes in flexible packaging. We make packages for lots of famous brands around the world. We want to give great service to customers, so we deliver fast and design the packages ourselves. We use the latest technology and help different industries like food, household stuff, and personal care.

Thanks, Carlos, for shedding light on the multifaceted world of data analytics in the printing industry!

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