Andera is an online enthusiast and passionate entrepreneur. She founded Dialego in 1999 with the goal of digitizing professional market research. The founding idea is still relevant for Dialego today, transforming a traditionally people- and paper-intense process of market research into a highly automated business by using technology. Today Dialego is an international market research company with offices in Aachen, Hamburg, London, Paris, and New York. Through customer focus sessions, user panels, global benchmarks, and artificial intelligence, Dialego manages to analyze and understand market segments for its customers.
In 2012, Andera founded her second startup, SmartMunk, a software company for cloud-based customer profiling and market intelligence. She also participates in committees at the state level to advise Germany’s political decision-makers on topics related to digitization. Andera studied business informatics at RWTH Aachen University, international business administration at Maastricht University, and computational statistics and virtual reality at George Mason University.
Andera expects leaders to be able to actively shape the digital world. “It’s a matter of attitude, more attitude than skill. A leader must feel empowered to shape the digital world. In a digital economy, a leader does not look fearfully from the bottom up at digitization and say that it is all far too complex and incomprehensible. Similarly, a leader in digital transformation cannot be hands-off and only delegate. Shaping digitization proactively means that as a leader, you have to go into the middle of the action and really understand the effects of your decisions and investments yourself—of course, without having to implement them all alone.”
Andera believes that “shaping digital proactively” is highly dependent on the context in which companies exist. “It does not mean that you always have to apply the latest technologies without reflection. It does, however, mean that we have to understand the latest trends, take inspiration from what we read, see, and hear, and then think about ways to use it in the context of our companies. That means advanced education, self-learning, and above all talking to each other within the team.” Andera promotes this mindset at Dialego through Dialego Insight, an in-house program for knowledge sharing where external guest speakers are often invited.