UC Berkeley School of Information

Experiments in Action (Elena Grewal, Airbnb)

Jan. 23, 2015

Making decisions based on correlation can be risky. At Airbnb, a two-sided marketplace with both an online and offline travel experience, engineers have found that experiments provide powerful insights to act upon, by making it possible to distinguish correlation from causation. However, it’s important to be especially thoughtful about the design and implementation of experiments, given the complexity of the Airbnb system. Elena Grewal, data scientist at Airbnb, will discuss how the Airbnb data science team uses experimentation to inform business and product decisions. Learn how Airbnb uses experiments in non-traditional settings, how experiments enable sound decision making across the company, and how the team has learned the potential pitfalls of experiment analysis along the way. Elena Grewal Data Science Manager Airbnb Elena Grewal is a data science manager at Airbnb. She leads a team of data scientists responsible for the online experience and offline travel experience. Her team collaborates with the product team, using experimentation and descriptive analysis to design and optimize the site, in addition to validating future product plans and inspiring those plans with exploratory analysis. The team is also responsible for data-driven products, such as pricing suggestions and search ranking algorithms. Prior to working at Airbnb, Elena completed a doctorate in education at Stanford where she built predictive models of friendships in schools.

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