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Hands-on data science where ESG matters most

An interview with Nipa Basu, Global and North American Practice Director, Digital Intelligence, GHD Digital


Nipa Basu, PhD

Dr. Basu leads the Digital Intelligence practice at GHD Digital. Founded in Australia with a headquarters in Irvine, California, GHD is a 94-year old, 10,000 person global environmental, design and construction engineering firm. 

Trained as an economist, Dr. Basu has an extensive background in data science and statistics, including a previous role at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) as Chief Analytics Officer. She spent over 19 years at D&B, beginning as a “hands-on predictive modeler.” “In those days,” she noted, “we didn’t call it data science.”

GHD has long had geographic information systems (GIS) and data management (DM) groups. GHD Digital, launched over five years ago, includes a more recent data science and AI group as well as the GIS and DM groups. 

Dr. Basu leads a staff of 100 in various data-related areas at GHD Digital. During the interview, she noted an interesting contrast between D&B, which as a financial services consulting firm did a wide variety of modeling work facilitated by a base level of data readiness, and the engineering services focus of GHD, which is much less simulation and modeling focused. “The [engineering services] industry as a whole,” Basu said, “ is behind on their digitization journey. I’m still convincing them why they should go on this journey.”

At the same time, firms such as GHD with its expertise in environmental cleanup and compliance has its finger on the pulse of corporate sustainability. The engineers have a first-hand view of where their clients stand and what the data and analytics needs are for environmental, social and governance (ESG) improvements. 

Most industries need to do a much better job with data collection and quality, data sharing, broad industry ESG benchmarking, real-time dashboarding and harnessing the power of current data science. The experiences that Dr. Basu shared in this interview are really quite encouraging. I hope you find this interview as compelling as I have.

Podcast interview with Nipa Basu, Global and North American Practice Director, Digital Intelligence, GHD Digital

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