What does happiness take? A knack for problem-solving is a good start. Ten years into a career in data science and 12 months after joining DnA as a data product manager, Sanant Sampathkumar reflects on balancing work and life, and the unique culture of Vista.
The value of introspection
I constantly look at how I’m progressing – in my career, in life – to measure my ‘happiness quotient’. Pre-Vista, as an IT business analyst, I realized I was a good rather than excellent programmer and should pivot. Promotion to product owner came through sleeves-up style leadership – I made up for lack of management experience by getting underneath technical pain points.
That ability to influence through action and a desire to solve problems with data is also what landed my current role. At Vista, I encourage my team to reflect on where they’re at and lean into a holistic view of achievement.
Nowhere quite like Vista
At the Customer Value and Performance Modelling domain, I’m focused on improving results for our lines of business. And I speak from the heart when calling out what’s different about working at Vista:
- I can get help for our relatively small team anytime because of global remote-first working. This always-on support is grounded in awareness that people contribute from across the globe: colleagues working outside of Indian Standard Time adjust to make sure I don’t extend too much into the evening, for instance. This might appear ‘small’, but I know how frequent late-night calls can affect physical and mental health.
- Although it was a bit overwhelming at first, I’ve come to love the matrix organization of DnA and its start-up nature within Vista. We’re truly agile – adapting to changing tools, technology, and participative leadership.
Learning over knowing
I have a growth mindset and see the same attitude playing out across Vista. That ‘learning over knowing’ approach, plus a leadership team that operates with conviction, is how DnA is energizing Vista’s transformation to a data-driven business. My progress mirrors these bigger changes: the scope of my role has grown significantly in 12 months. I arrived to manage goals around core transactions and customer tables – the lifeblood of reporting and data science models across DnA. Now my work embraces subscription data, too – a big focus for Vista.
Stretch is a sweet spot
The trust placed in me is motivating – I’m starting to see the impact of my work. We’ve made reporting on shipping profitability easier with new features. Improved the speed at which the Product, Pricing and Promotion domain can implement customer segmentation and their ability to identify coupons used against future pricing initiatives. And perhaps most importantly, supported the launch of the Vista-Wix partnership, born to increase small business success with integrated online and offline marketing tools. Foundational data tables related to customer subscriptions were applied to customer overlap and retention stats to hack growth, trial conversions and inform product decommissioning.
Success comes from the small stuff
I’ve reaped rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Something simple like lining up pre-breakfast calls with US-based colleagues gives me exercise time ahead of the core work sprint. Or joining monthly DnA learning circles and chapter meetings to sharpen product management practices, and prioritizing time to find a good place between ambition and burnout. So far, the compound effect of these step-by-step decisions has been huge and continuous learning, along with better personal welfare.
The domino effect of inspiration
There’s a culture of giving at Vista DnA, and it’s inspired me to do the same. We’re growing fast, so I chose to invest time in hiring some of our new change managers, helping to expand the team in India. Getting hands-on with interviews and talking to candidates about why they should join us became a truly gratifying pursuit.