What led you to MicroStrategy?

When I was offered the opportunity to join MicroStrategy, I thought about how my career path could be an asset to the company. My background as a former management consultant and investment banker, and time in the U.S. Treasury Department during the financial crisis, were roles where I served as an expert and trusted advisor to private and public sector organizations. At MicroStrategy, I thought I could bring my experience in solving business problems for clients, in a way that uses our platform to develop leading-edge solutions for our customers.

Furthermore, I was really excited about MicroStrategy’s position in the business intelligence space. The industry is dynamic and evolving, but the company is uniquely positioned amongst its competitors. With a product portfolio that spans data discovery, analytics, and visualization, the company can deploy enterprise-wide solutions in ways that other legacy and emerging vendors cannot. The company’s ability to couple this with mobility and security solutions, including the many emerging use cases for both physical and logical access, allows MicroStrategy to truly stand out from the rest.

Most importantly, however, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Michael Saylor. He is a visionary, truly brilliant, and a highly regarded thought leader in the business. The executive team that he has brought together is one that is motivated to transform the entire industry. The team is aligned, collaborative, and has a strong sense of camaraderie, and I wanted to be a part of it.

What has been the most enjoyable part of your MicroStrategy experience?

At the broadest level, the most enjoyable part of my MicroStrategy experience is the opportunity to be a part of a great organization, and to help breed a winning culture that is positioned for success. At the most tactical level, two things get me most excited: 

First is our customers. When I speak with customers that have partnered with us for years and years, hear their enthusiasm about the product, and learn about their dedication to MicroStrategy, their excitement is infectious. I love engaging with them, hearing their many innovative use cases, and determining how we can grow their business and ensure they are successful and happy. I’ve really enjoyed trying to solve their most pressing business problems.  

Second is our MicroStrategy employees. While I’ve only worked here for a year, the one thing that has become very apparent is that we have a group of super talented, passionate employees that care about our customers, our product, and each other. What amazes me as a global organization is that this is consistent around the world, whether it is here in DC, or in Warsaw, London, Japan, or other regions. My vision for the Services organization is to develop every one of our employees to be trusted, expert advisors who put customer success first. This means bringing agility to employee development in a way that continuously hones our technical skills. I will end with a quote from Gary Hamel: “Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty.”

What is the biggest piece of advice you’d give someone looking to break into the data analytics industry?

My biggest piece of advice is to possess a strong dose of intellectual curiosity. The space—both the industry and the companies within the industry—is always changing and moving very quickly. You have to bring an agile approach to business problems for both yourself and your clients, and constantly think about how data analytics software can resolve those issues.

Intellectual curiosity manifests itself in many ways, but one suggestion is to immerse yourself in the landscape, and learn everything you can about the industry. Who are the big players and what are their offerings? Who do they target and what problems do they solve? Read technology blogs in order to hear about the movers and shakers, and learn as much as you can about their products. If you follow along closely, you can stay up to date with their announcements and roadmaps, and see what others in the community are saying about them.

For me, though, it’s all about diving in head first and not being afraid to ask questions. You’ll usually find the answer, and people are much more willing than you’d realize to lend you a hand. You may even make a connection that ends up impacting your career. Keep these things in mind, and you’ll get very far in the industry.