Kendra Vant

  • EGM - Data
  • Xero

Kendra is an industry leader in building data-driven products by harnessing emerging artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve problems for businesses and industry globally.

She has had a rich and varied career working in New Zealand, Australia, the US and Malaysia, leading data and engineering teams at companies including SEEK, Telstra, Deloitte and now Xero. At Xero, she heads a globally distributed team of developers, machine learning specialists and data practitioners using emerging practices and technologies to make data work harder for small businesses and their advisors.

After doctoral research in experimental quantum physics at MIT and postdoctoral work in applied quantum computing at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kendra worked in bespoke software development and then in generating business insights from data before focusing on applying machine learning to create personalised experiences in an increasingly connected and digital world. She gets her greatest satisfaction from working with smart people to solve difficult problems that have a positive impact on the world.


  • Commercial machine learning at scale – the joys and the pitfalls

    The art and science of applying machine learning techniques inside a for profit company is a world away from pursuing algorithm improvement and fundamental in a research setting. I will talk about the end to end process of building smart products within a SaaS company today.