Ready to meet another member of the MicroStrategy team? Today, we’re talking with Susan Cook, our EVP of Sales for North America.
At the beginning of her career, Susan never intended to work in sales, but a suggestion from a mentor turned out to be career-changing advice. She’s seen first-hand how far BI and analytics have come, and thrives on her curiosity and passion for technology. Read on for Susan’s perspective on everything from her job to the industry as a whole—including why she jokes with her team about getting an MBA every day.
How did you get into the sales and analytics space?
A mentor of mine came to me and said, “you’re selling more software as a consultant than most of my people do.” I scoffed at the idea of going into sales and said, “no way. I actually care about my customers.” Turns out, it was the best piece of advice I ever received, and it changed my whole career trajectory for the better.
In terms of analytics, I have a finance degree and I’m a business person at my core, not a technologist. I love analytics because it’s fast-paced and interesting all the time. I love helping businesses improve and get smarter. We’re driving a real, impactful outcome for our customers.
What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in BI and analytics over the years?
Innovation in the space is constant, fast, and furious. Along with the technological changes, “big data” has become an overused term—and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. We use data every day: Amazon can tell you what books you’re going to enjoy most based on your history. Cell phones and tablets are the first things we look at in the morning and the last things before we go to bed. That’s mobility’s impact on the way we consume information. It’s scaled to handle a vast amount of data.
Are there any moments during your time at MicroStrategy so far that are especially memorable?
One recent highlight was receiving a SmartCEO 2016 Executive Management Award for my approach to mentorship, addressing team challenges, and commitment to driving company growth.
Another memorable moment happened at this year’s MicroStrategy World. During the conference, I led a gathering of our company’s female employees where we discussed the importance of support and networking with our female peers.
What do aspiring analysts or BI professionals need to know to be prepared for the future of the industry?
My best advice is to be infinitely curious. I don’t think you can read enough or learn enough. You just have to wake up every day and ask questions about everything. I joke with my team that I love selling analytics because I get an MBA every single day of my life. If I’m talking to a bank, I’m learning how analytics can help them be better. It’s the same with retailers customizing promotions to the customer or a restaurant or manufacturer or high-tech company. Every day you learn a little bit more about what their business is about.
Interested in joining the team? Find out more about career opportunities here.