WIA After Hours

Episode #

7

Building Analytics Teams from Scratch with Jen Seale

Jen Seale
Head of Analytics
Olive AI
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Overview

Jen Seale, Head of Analytics at Olive AI, joins us to discuss her strategies for building and growing high-performing analytics teams.

This episode is sponsored by Panoply. Visit panoply.io/wia for 30 days free.

About Jen

Jen Seale has built and led transformational analytics teams over the past decade in diverse organizational environments such as Olive AI, CoverMyMeds, and Nationwide Insurance. With a passion for illuminating customer value and a knack for systems thinking, Jen builds analytics teams that balance the needs of the business with the strengths and developmental needs of her team members.

Jen holds Master's degrees in both Literature and Computer Science and became obsessed with the power of data to tell and endorse stories worth hearing early in her career.

Relevant Links

- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:08] Lauren Burke:
Welcome to Women in Analytics After Hours, the podcast where we hang out and learn with the WIA Community. Each episode we sit down with women in the data and analytics space to talk about what they do, how they got there, where they found analytics along the way and more. I'm your host, Lauren Burke, and I'd like to thank you for joining us.

Today, I am so excited to have Jen Seale joining us. Jen has built and led transformational analytics teams over the past decade in diverse organizational environments, such as Olive AI, CoverMyMeds, and Nationwide Insurance. With a passion for illuminating customer value and a knack for systems thinking, Jen builds analytics teams that balance the needs of the business with the strengths and developmental needs of her team members. Jen holds Master's degrees in both Literature and Computer science and became obsessed with the power of data to tell and endorse stories worth hearing early in her career. And I previously worked with Jen at CoverMyMeds, so I know just how amazing of a leader she is.

So welcome, Jen. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us.


[00:01:20] Jen Seale:
Yeah, I'm very excited to be here. Thanks, Lauren.

[00:01:22] Lauren Burke:

Absolutely. And so you've been in the technology space for over 15 years now, holding leadership roles in both analytics and software development within multiple different industries. Could you tell us a little bit more about your background, the path you've taken over the years and how you self-selected into analytics?

[00:01:40] Jen Seale:

Yeah. It was kind of a long road to get there. When I first went to college, I wanted to be an English professor. And so I got an undergrad in English, double majored in English and Philosophy. I went on and got a Master's degree in literary criticism. And then I realized that I didn't want to get my PhD, that I wanted to, you know, have a bigger impact on the world than I thought that that would be able to provide for me. And it turns out there's not a huge job market for people with master's degrees in, um, literary criticism.

So I was already at Purdue University, and I went back to school at Purdue to get my undergrad in Computer Science. And I loved it. I fell in love with it right away. Just I think the language component. It was really interesting to me and made it really easy for me to move from English to Computer Science. When I graduated, I got a job here in Columbus. - that's what brought me to Columbus - at Lucent Technologies, working as a Software Developer.

And about a year into that, I went back to school and got a Master's Degree in Computer Science. And then the same kind of thing occurred to me, like I had been working as a Software Developer there for, uh, three, three and a half years at that point. And I just felt like I really wasn't positioned to make a big impact. That people were just, you know, a project would come up and they would give me an assignment and I would do that assignment, and then that was it. And I wanted to like be more creative, right? And just to have like a larger role.

So I looked around there at the time and I noticed that in testing, it was very, very, uh, prescriptive and not really well done. And I thought I'd have a, a huge impact if I moved into the testing realm. So I moved over there and I, I had them purchase for me like a test automation harness. That I could click into. And the very first thing that I realized in that role was how critical having data is and how critical having clean data is. Because you can't test, like automation test at scale, without data.

So that put data on my radar as like a very, very important thing. From Lucent, I moved to Nationwide Insurance. And I was there for about a decade, and over that time I probably had eight different positions, both in the IT side and on the business side. All of them centering around data, some aspect of data. So I got to see data and the importance of data from every possible perspective around an organization.

Finally, after a couple years of kind of sitting on a cabinet, so like a top level leaders cabinet, as an individual contributor. I decided I wanted to be a leader at that table, right? Like I wanted kind of a cabinet around me. And that was when, of course then I had to go back down, cuz you can't just do that, right? You go back down and start at the, the bottom level as like a frontline manager.

So I did that, I don't know, over the course of several years. I had several different teams there, both on the software side, on the process engineering side. And then finally my dream job opened up over a data team. And so that's when I first started like feeling like I could make big decisions in an organization about what we showed, how we showed it, right? Like the cadence of it and like just being really creative around the messaging around it. And it just was really where I came into my own.

From there I went to CoverMyMeds to kind of set up their data analytics function for their Pharma organization. Which was really the first time that I got to build something from the ground up, right? Just knowing, figuring out like what we needed and how we were gonna do it, and building it up over time and always having that vision and kind of living into it, right? And then figuring out, like, what's next.

And then from there, I feel like at CoverMyMeds we got to a point where they didn't need my vision anymore, right? Like things were set up, everything was working, and it just felt like kind of more of a game of inches, right? It was like operational excellence, which is not my forte. There's people who just click into that and love it, right? Like, how can I make this just a little bit better? But that's not me. I like the big broad strokes of like going bold.

So I joined Olive AI about a year and a half ago to kind of do the same thing, right? It for one of their acquisitions who didn't have any analytics. I came in and kind of set up an analytics function for them and it's kind of expanded from there over time.

[00:06:43] Lauren Burke:

That's awesome. So you like building the teams from scratch. You like starting with the vision, growing it and once it's built you kind of want to do it again, right? That's the fun part.

[00:06:56] Jen Seale:

That is the fun part for me for sure.

[00:06:58] Lauren Burke:

So you've built multiple analytics teams now from the ground up, starting with hiring the literal first analyst on that team. How has your approach changed over time and what has remained the same?

[00:07:11] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I think it's more remained the same than it's changed, right? The environment changes and so you have to optimize for different things based on the environment. But I feel like my approach hasn't changed, right? You have to kind of come in and kind of figure out like what you wanna do, what's possible in this environment, right?

Who are the people around you? I think the people around you kind of fall into three categories, right? There's the people who are going to be your biggest advocates. They look at you as like, you are going to change the world. You're gonna change my world and make my job better.

And then there's the people who are indifferent or don't understand, like what value you're going to bring. And then there are the people, especially when analytics hasn't existed before, the people who feel like you're stepping on their toes, right? Like they kind of had some play in that space before and you've moved their cheese, right? They're not happy about that.

And so you have to kind of in every context kind of figure out who those people are, right. And where everybody falls. And then where you can get the biggest bang for your buck, right? Usually, I really, really try to go with my advocates. Cause they're just the easiest people to please, right. They already want you to win. And so if I can identify them and identify for them the biggest things, right? Like something that will change their life that they will then advocate for me when I'm not in the room, right? That's where I always start.

[00:08:43] Lauren Burke:

That's a great place to start. The third thing you mentioned, the third type of person. I feel like that's a very common type of encounter you have when you are introducing data and analytics to an organization that may have relied more on the opinion over data kind of perspective for a while. So how do you go about having those conversations, that attempt to change the perspective, change the direction from relying more on the kind of gut feeling, the opinion to believing in data, trusting your data, maybe questioning it healthily, right? But being open to it.

[00:09:22] Jen Seale:

Yeah, for sure. I think it's just the always being there with the data, right. Like no matter what the conversation, you have to be, you know, as an analytics leader in that space, you have to be prepared to say, "Actually, when I look at this, it doesn't seem to support your story. So am I missing a nuance?" Right. "Is there a nuance here that is just not represented in the data that I need to take into account?"

And that way it's kind of more non-threatening. I'm not saying you're wrong. What I'm saying is I don't have access to this, the same kind of organizational context that gives you this gut feel. All I have access to is the data, which seems to contradict what you're saying. And then you either learn something that you didn't know that will make your data better or they'll have to back down because the data is the data.

[00:10:15] Lauren Burke:

Right. So have the data to back it up. And make sure that data is there and ready to back up the points you're making?

[00:10:21] Jen Seale:

In every conversation. Yeah, you kind of have to go in prepared for battle. I was just talking to someone about this the other day. Like if you approach meetings that you know are full of naysayers, as going into battle, right? So you are going to do everything you possibly can prepare for that meeting. I feel like usually you don't have to fight, right? If you don't, right? If you don't do everything that you could to possibly prepare and you come in, then suddenly, like you find yourself in the midst of a battle and you're not backed up at all. So I feel like people can sense when they can sense your weakness.

[00:10:59] Lauren Burke:

The one thing you don't want them to ask about, they'll ask about it. That's a good way to think about it, going into battle. So that's the first note for everyone. Write that down.

[00:11:11] Jen Seale:

Arm yourself. Come prepared.

[00:11:14] Lauren Burke:

So communication skills are very critical in analytic and data driven environments, as we just spoke about, and as most people in the area know. So for someone who's a new analytics leader, who in the organization is it most important for them to seek out and try and build and maintain relationships with as they're trying to set that vision?

[00:11:34] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I mean, it's gonna depend on strengths and weaknesses, right? And where those people fall in those three categories. But I got some advice. It wasn't early in my career, it was probably in the middle of my career that, I mean, I consider myself a thoughtful person and this never occurred to me. So I like to pass it on.

When you are being evaluated, like when your performance, just in an organization is being evaluated. The people who are in the room are your boss and their peers. And so you should align yourself with your boss's peers. Because if you can solve their problems, then they're going to be in the room to advocate for you. And not only in terms like that. It's one thing in terms of your performance review, it's another thing in terms of when you think about wanting to set up or build your team, whether it's analytics or any other team. Your boss and his or her peers are also the people who are all fighting for the same amount of money and the same positions within the organization.

So if they think that you can solve more problems for them, then they can solve on their own. Then they're not only gonna back up like your performance, but they are also gonna advocate for you to get more funding on your team because they find the value in that.

That's fascinating. Again, like it just didn't really occur to me the politics of that, but you should keep that in your mind because that will definitely be how it works, right?

The same with your peers. So whoever your peers are in the organization, if you can solve their problems and have them advocate to their boss about how great you are and how wonderful you are, and how you need more resources so you can solve more of their problems. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You will get the funding that you need because you are solving real problems for the organization.

[00:13:32] Lauren Burke:

That makes so much sense. And that's a really good perspective to have when you are trying to ask someone for something, whether it be time, whether it be additional team members, whether it be funding, right? It helps if you have, not only who you're asking, but everyone else that can influence that saying, well, I know they definitely would use this well because I personally have benefited from what they've done before.

So when you're thinking of projects as you're getting started with your team. Priority-wise, what is most crucial to invest in upfront?

[00:14:06] Jen Seale:

Yeah, again, it will depend, right? A lot of times you'll be told what is the most important.

But patterns that I've seen, especially in analytics, is that they build up like a nascent analytics team. Will be a bunch of people treading water, doing ad hoc analysis. Because nothing has been set up for them to do anything more. And so every question around data, about counts, you know, volumes and rates around things, that's what they spend their time doing. Which is really unfulfilling for anyone who's analytics minded, and really low value for the organization. Because until you start to invest in something where you can leverage each one of those ad hoc analyses into something greater, they're all just one-offs and you can't make any more of them.

So typically the very first thing that you need to invest in is getting an environment set up so that you can do self-service. If you have, even if you have three analysts, you can ask them, right? Like, what is over the course of the last month, what is the number one thing that all three of you have done? What's the biggest ad hoc request? And then make that so that people can find that on their own, right?

Even with just a couple people, you can invest in getting that set up. And as soon as you give that power, like you kind of democratize that, right? So people can fish for themselves. Not only does it free up your analysts to do other things, but it also gives the organization who may not be very familiar with the power of analytics, it gives them a taste of what's possible, right? So that, again, that's where it's like, "Oh, well you did that and that was really cool, and now we have this, and so I wanna invest more. What do you need to get more of that? Because I'd like that a lot quicker than you can do it now."

[00:16:07] Lauren Burke:

Right. And a lot of those things are very visible, like you said. So if you're building a dashboard, a report, an application. That's something that is probably gonna be shared with others, put in front of more people, likely leaders, who then when it comes back to the funding question, the adding new team members questions, they're gonna be more likely to say yes because they've seen what a smaller number of that team can do. And with more people, you can have more of these things, more help, more things that people even not on the data side, the tech side can be using and really basically just upping your productivity at a whole new level

[00:16:40] Jen Seale:

Right. And if you are in the type of business that has a customer and you have reports or data that you wanna get in front of that customer, usually the customer team, the customer success team far out numbers the analytics team. And being able to get numbers in their hands more quickly, showing that you are focused and obsessed with the customer and the customer's success usually I find is the fastest path forward in terms of growing your team and just garnering goodwill across the organization. I would start there.

[00:17:17] Lauren Burke:

Yeah. That's a great example of then one of the relationships that's helpful to build is customer success. Because that gets in front of the clients and the clients will definitely speak of the things that benefit them, right?

[00:17:29] Jen Seale:

Yes. Another kind of winning pattern that I've seen is partnering an analyst with a product owner and perhaps engineering, depending on the environment to solve very specific problems. Like having those three people in a very small, high performing team to churn through everything that you wanna know about the product. Everything you wanna know.

Like if the product is something that could have a lot of different outcomes, right? Not all of them good. And you have to kind of sort through and analyze that data and then figure out for all of these error things, like let's categorize those errors and then why are we getting those errors? And you have to dig in. That type of relationship where you constantly have that data visualized so that you can see what's happening and you know, quickly make improvements to the product is another like fast path to success of something to do first.

[00:18:30] Lauren Burke:

That's a great idea too, because then all of those people have that domain knowledge and they are learning from each other. Instead of you having a team of people that all have a little bit of insight into a lot of things, you have three very specific people that all could be experts for that product. Right?

[00:18:48] Jen Seale:

Right. Have a shared insight and a shared empathy and a shared understanding of what everyone is dealing with in that environment, which is just really powerful. I find that then all three of them will advocate for each other outside of that room. Right? Like it's a just a wonderful kind of wholesome system there.

[00:19:08] Lauren Burke:

That's great, and that leads really well into talking about the right people. So as you're growing that team, as you're setting up those niche areas, how do you ensure that you are attracting and hiring the right people to grow your team?

[00:19:23] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I know I probably said this when I was interviewing you, right? I always think of my team as like the Avengers. I want a team of superheroes where every one of them has their own strength, their own like superpower that they're bringing to the team. And then we all learn to work together.

And so I think as a leader, it really starts with knowing, especially if you're, if you're starting from ground zero, like knowing yourself really well and understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, right? Like what do I, what do I do well? What do I enjoy doing? What do I need to compensate for? Because I'm either not good at it or I don't enjoy doing it. And then finding the next person who has the technical skills to do what you need them to do, but also has the soft skills to complement what you need them to complement for you.

And then after that, it's really just more of the same, right? Like I need someone who can do this thing, but I also need this soft skill set. I need this certain personality. More than anything, like in every, every person that I hire, I look for someone who can, who wants to own something. Who just is going to fully own it.

I kind of talk about like being an octopus. I look for octopuses, right? Like I want someone who I can set down in a function and they're going to crush it, but they also have eight tentacles that are kind of in other things. Because that's what really strengthens the team. Like I don't want someone who's just focused on doing their own work. I want them to be able to look at what they're doing and look at what someone else is doing and find the synergies between that. Like, we're going about this wrong, I think if we work together, we could solve this in a way that would benefit us both.

And so, you know, I've kind of built out a pretty extensive, like how do I unravel that in an interview, right? And so that I can really begin to see people's personalities. And a lot of it is just like asking the same thing in different ways and looking for authenticity in the answer.

Like I feel like people are performing, right? And every interview is gonna be a performance. It's like your first date, right? You're trying to impress and that's great but I want people to be authentic in what they're putting forward. And I want to be able to know that they know themselves and that they're being honest with what they're gonna bring to the team.

One of the things, and this is my favorite interview question that I still ask today is like, okay, if I have a golden ticket and I'm gonna give you that golden ticket and you can attach it to something in your current job and it will go away, you'll never have to do that thing again. Like what would you attach it to? And I always ask this kind of at the end of the interview, and it's a disarming way, right, to talk about like, what do you hate most about your current job?

But interestingly, like I could have someone who's interviewing for a position where they're going to be in front of clients all the time, like they need to be on their A game. They just told me how they can impress every client, how they can impress every executive, right? Like talk, talk, talk. When I ask them that question, they'll say things like public speaking or putting a deck together, right? Like, it's just like, um, um, okay. I don't think you're gonna be a good fit for this after all, , right? That's part of finding the right people.

Another thing that is finding the right people is maybe it's someone who's already on the team and just needs to grow. And really being in tune with what people on the team want in terms of development and where they wanna go and how quickly they wanna get there and how much you should push them to move into a direction that may be uncomfortable for them.

Like on my teams, I've never hired an external manager. I feel like management of the team and understanding it should come from within. And so I always reserve that for like growth through the team, right? I always want people to have room to grow and move around so I can keep the team together for as long as possible. Not by keeping people in one position, but you know, like moving them around 2, 3, 4, 5 times over the course of a couple years so that they feel like they're constantly learning and growing.

And so sometimes finding the right people is just moving a person from one place to another.

[00:24:03] Lauren Burke:

That's a really great idea. And then as well, if you have those internal people who already have that background knowledge, they've worked in a role adjacent to the one you would like to put them into next. They have those relationships with people, they maybe know who they could talk to when they get in this new role that has an idea for a project or how they can most help out.

[00:24:24] Jen Seale:

Yeah. And then they're also able, especially if you move someone on your team from an individual contributor to a manager, they're able to manage someone so well. Like just they're able to get that new person on board and tell them everything they need to know and what to look for and all of the nuances of things, and who's gonna be their friend and who's not. They already know all of that. So it's a win-win.

[00:24:47] Lauren Burke:

That's awesome. That's such a great point. So once you've found the right people, so those people who work well together, they have the right technical skills, they produce meaningful contributions, maybe they are the perfect person to move into that next role and keep on the team. How do you ensure that your team is a place they want to stay, especially through more difficult situations like organizational changes?

[00:25:09] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I feel like, I mean, we've certainly had some organizational shifts. They can be so destabilizing and you just have to, you know, be radically transparent and honest about everybody needs to manage their own risk, right? Like there's no promises for the future. If that seems inherently risky and you can't do that because you're not at a point in your life where you can be without a job for two months if the business suddenly shut down. Then be authentic to that and I'll help you find another job. Right? Like there's, there's no, like, this isn't the only place there is to work. And I feel like when you are transparent and honest and like really invested in your people, they will open up and they'll be like, "Okay, I, I can stay here because I feel like I'm cared for." Right? Even if outside of the team things are really hectic.

Also, like I just, I really think it's so important to let people play to their strengths. And I feel like sometimes with a smaller team, when you're just setting things up, like there's just stuff that people are gonna have to do. But once you hit like, I don't know, six or seven people maybe, you can really align people with the work that they are passionate about doing. And give them ownership of that. And that just changes the game. You don't feel like you're taking orders, right? You feel like you are, you know, you're putting your stamp on that in the world.

It changes people's experience. It makes them want to stay. And to do that, oftentimes it's like, it's really important to build a bench. So if you have work, you know, there's just work in analytics where it's just not that much fun, right? But there's people who enjoy that. There's some people who just love digging into the tedious nature of things and can, you know, cross every t and dot every I. And let them do that. Right. But then there's other people who like that just zaps their energy, right? Like they just, it's like watching paint dry, you know? Align them to work that fills their bucket.

One more thing, help people leave, right? It's so important. Like people often, I mean, even if they love the team, right? Like you, you can love your work, love the team, love your manager, and all of that gives you this false sense of security. Like you just wanna stay there, but like you've already moved on. Like you've already outgrown the team, you need your next thing, or you're soured on the company.

You need to be able to tell when you've reached your limit, and it's time for you to go right for yourself, for your team, like it's just you've gotta go find your own path. And I think when people see that or they see, like I don't want anyone to be like retired in place, right? So when they see like, hey, this person followed this career track and then like, they were kind of stuck there and it seemed like they were, you know, not as helpful or they just didn't have the same work ethic or attitude. And then they went on and moved. Like they can see this healthy career investment.

The other thing I think is really important, especially when you have really disruptive kind of, changes in leadership or organizational changes or the company's not doing well. Is to have, I mean, even just do this with yourself, do this with your manager if you can. Like, this is what I'm staying for, right? Like I'm staying here because I want to do this. This is the thing that excites me and I want to have this experience for my resume.

And I'll be like, "Well, how long is that gonna take you? Is that like a three month thing, a six month thing?" And they're like, "That's like a six month thing." It's like, well, let's get it on the calendar to check in in six months. Let's write it down and six months from now, let's check in and see, did you get that. Because it's really easy for your entire life to pass you by and you never get back to those goals, right?

Like you could be someplace for three years and you're like, you know, I though that I would get this experience and that experience never materialized because of X, Y, and Z. Now I feel like I've wasted three years of my life. Don't fall into that trap. Set very specific goals. And if you haven't met those, like maybe this isn't the place for you, right? Go find someplace else.

[00:29:35] Lauren Burke:

Right. Know that sometimes you won't always be able to do everything you want to do, but make it as easy as possible for everyone to do as much as they can of what they most enjoy.

[00:29:47] Jen Seale:

Yes. Otherwise, work is just a drag and no one will be happy.

[00:29:50] Lauren Burke:

I'm sure that ends up being a more productive team when everyone is excited about what they're doing and know that they have opportunities. And know that if they ask to do something specific, if they say they are really interested in doing this, or they want to do this six months down the line that someone is listening, someone is willing to advocate for them.

[00:30:11] Jen Seale:

It makes a huge difference, right? A huge, I mean, think of, think of in your own life where people advocated for you or pushed you to do something that was maybe outside of your comfort zone. It's, it's a game changer.

[00:30:23] Lauren Burke:

I absolutely agree. We've spoken a lot about the leadership perspective. What could the individual contributor, for example, the individual analyst or data scientist, be thinking about to ensure that their team is the most successful and productive?

[00:30:36] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I mean, I look for people who are constantly thinking about that, right? And are not shy about speaking up, like in the team meeting about like, "Uh, this isn't working, this seems stale. I feel like we can make a better use of our time."

If your team isn't working to your satisfaction or you think it could be much like, start saying it, demonstrate it, right? Own the experience that you want to create around you and see where that goes. I can think back to so many people, like my favorite people on my teams were the ones who spoke up and had an idea and would try that idea. And they'd move the team forward. From just being a natural leader, just being fearless right in doing that.

There is some risk to that. And I would say if you've tried that and tried that and you just feel like you're being shut down, right, and you're not being listened to, you're not in the right place. It's a perfect test of like, can you influence your surroundings to be what would be fulfilling to you? And if you have no influence, that should tell you where you are and whether you should be there.

[00:31:53] Lauren Burke:

That makes a lot of sense. It's a very good judge to see are you in a place you're happy with.

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So what are some new developments or technologies that you're excited about in the data and analytics space?

[00:32:50] Jen Seale:

You know, in my personal space, something that I'm very excited about. Since I've been in analytics. So much of, you know, these wonderful kind of dashboards, you know, the exploratory nature of dashboards where you can filter and slice and explore everything like in Tableau or another visualization tool. I feel like that has been saved for internal analysts, like internal folks. And then what goes out to customers is just this flattened version of that, right? Like people are doing all this exploration and then they take a screenshot of it and put it in a PowerPoint and send it out. Or, you know, like you build your PDF and flatten it from Tableau and email that.

For the first time like one of my what excites you about going to work, right? What experience are you getting from this? We are building dashboards that will be embedded in the products so that the customer will be able to interact with those in the same way that we will. And I find that shift so exciting to be like, what you can do and how you can do it right. And the joy, right, that you can spark in customers will just be amazing. So I'm super excited about that.

And kind of paired with that, what that leads to you is analytics being less of reporting or just playing with data and it will free us up to really move into the value picture.

So I feel like every place I work, there's this like, what's the value story? There's the so what, right? Like, why are all these things important? And that is not a question that can be answered from analytics alone, right? That's a really, really cross collaborative effort between everyone. Product needs to lean into that, customer needs to lean into that analytics, you know, engineer. Like all of these things need to come together.

And I feel like having the customer looking at their own data like changes that entire playing field. right? Cause now it's not just the account managers who are the holders of, you know, the keepers of the data and the messengers of the data.

They see it, they see it every day, and now the value story is bigger and more interesting. So that's just a development that I'm pretty excited about.

[00:35:14] Lauren Burke:

That's super interesting too, and I feel like part of what makes dashboards so helpful is the interactivity, right? So how you can make changes, how you can look at things from a different perspective. And maybe by putting that specifically in front of a client, they're going to look at something with a different perspective than they might have. Maybe they'll change some filters, maybe they'll change the timeline. And maybe they will find something that basically shows them either that value that they're looking for is there, or they can report back and say, "This is actually something that we'd be more interested." Right, Help them help themselves.

[00:35:47] Jen Seale:

Right. Right. So it just, changes the nature, the relationship of analytics across the organization. So I'm excited to see how that unfurls.

[00:35:59] Lauren Burke:

That's awesome. Even adding another layer to self-service, Right. Where now even the client can self-service with some of that.

[00:36:06] Jen Seale:

Right. Yes.

[00:36:08] Lauren Burke:

That's great. So the final question that I like to ask everyone, what is one resource that's helped you in your career that you think might help others?

[00:36:15] Jen Seale:

Yeah, I'm glad that you asked me about this ahead of time cuz I gave it a lot of thought. I think the book, I have it here in front of me, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I think I've read this five or six times now. I feel like it was so influential in me understanding the nuances around how you can influence people with data.

It's a fascinating, fascinating read and I would definitely recommend that everyone read it and really think. Like if you could read it with a group, I think it would be even better if you read it with your team or with others and then got together and talked about the ways that you could use what you learned there.

Right? To influence, right? To make your reporting better, to make your dashboards better, to make your messaging better. Just the simple things of like reducing cognitive dissidents, right?

Like if people don't like the colors of your dashboard, if they're hard on the eyes, they will be more critical of the data because they're mad to begin with, right? They don't like it. And so it like puts them in this foul mood, right? And that's fascinating. You need to know that, right? And analytics and there's, just a lot to unpack in that.

[00:37:34] Lauren Burke:

I like that you recommend reading it with your team because I think back when we had a analytics team book club that was one of the ones we reviewed and then would review once a week together. So that's definitely a great read for anyone, either alone or with your team if you want to discuss it with people.

[00:37:53] Jen Seale:

Yeah, for sure. I love that kind of team reading as well. Because then it gives everyone kind of a common vocabulary, a common language to talk about things. Right? And then to even depending on the subject, like call things out. Like we all went through this training together and you're not adhering to it. Right? That kind of accountability.

[00:38:14] Lauren Burke:

Right. Giving people the tools they need to challenge things they're seeing and knowing that the people they're challenging those things with will have the background to understand why they're doing it.

[00:38:25] Jen Seale:

Right.

[00:38:26] Lauren Burke:

That's awesome. This is a great resource. Thank you so much for sharing. We will definitely add that in the link section.

So finally, how can our listeners keep up with you?

[00:38:35] Jen Seale:

Yeah. LinkedIn is probably the best place. So whenever I'm speaking someplace or if I'm writing something, I will post it there.

[00:38:43] Lauren Burke:

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Jen. This was such a great conversation. You added so many great points about how you can grow a team, maintain that team, find the right people, and make sure that they are staying and that they are contributing in a way that they find meaningful.

[00:39:00] Jen Seale:

Thanks for having me, Lauren. It's been a pleasure.

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