We’re back with another member of the MicroStrategy team! Recently, we sat down with Thomas Leuchtner, our Vice President of Product Management for Cloud Services, who filled us in on what led him to MicroStrategy and some of the changes he’s seen in the data analytics industry over the past 20 years.

What led you to MicroStrategy?

I have a background in analytics and security, and MicroStrategy has a focus in both of these areas. Because of this I had a unique opportunity to change roles and play an important part in the future direction of this company. There were a lot of other things going on in my life that all pointed me towards the DC area, too. So I couldn’t turn down the new position.

Now, I get to talk to interesting customers, assess the market and work with industry analysts on a daily basis to build out a prioritized roadmap for our cloud services engineering team. Figuring out how to deliver the best value possible in that area has been a really rewarding experience so far.

How do you think data is impacting businesses?

There’s no doubt that data has a huge impact on the way businesses function. My brother runs a small company in the toy industry, and he’s gained a true competitive advantage from using analytics. He has the ability to look through all sorts of interesting data to gain better insights into his own company.

These same benefits are happening with our customers. They’re able to look at rich data from various disparate systems—about who they’re selling to, what’s happening with their website activity, how their customer support center or distribution chain partners are functioning—and make sense of what it means. Data, and MicroStrategy’s platform in particular, is able to give you a view of your business activity and help you make future decisions. It’s a very comprehensive and effective way to analyze work.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in BI and data analytics over the past few years?

From where I sit at the center of analytics, security and cloud services, there’s a tremendous amount of innovation going on. When you look at virtually any area of any industry, everything has been digitized over the last 10–15 years and is now being tracked by analytics.

Fundamentally, BI has moved from a backward-looking system to a predictive system. Now you can foresee potential changes in your business and make better-informed decisions about where you want to invest. It has changed from a departmental reporting mechanism to enabling really strategic decision making. Every organization that works with data analytics has the opportunity to grasp a competitive advantage. It’s a very interesting vehicle to leverage, and it’s certainly helping organizations innovate faster and more efficiently.