Big data can take you to big places – just ask Toni Casas, Product Owner at DnA, whose love of all-things analytics has made him a product catalogue data expert and one of DnA at Vista’s longest standing employees.
What is your role at Vista?
I’m a Data Product Manager of the Product subdomain (part of the Pricing & Promotion, Product & Personalization Domain) at DnA. We oversee the curation and exposure of all product catalogue data, such as product taxonomy or product attributes, so that the wider DnA team – and the rest of the company – can monitor and optimize the product portfolio.
Tell us about your biggest success story?
One of my proudest moments in this role was when I was asked to make a decision on the new product data model as we migrated away from the old monolithic one. However, the challenge was that the new product model from Technology was not aligned with DnA – so different stakeholders were expressing strong views against it. I then led the team to resolve these concerns and reassured every stakeholder that the new product data model would work.
What’s your favorite part of your day?
One of my favorite parts of this job is assessing my team’s progress against our roadmap and providing updates to stakeholders on Slack. It’s a moment for me to reflect on the value that we deliver to the business.
You’ve been working for Vista for ten years now. Could you tell us about your career route?
I first started in a technical position as a Software Support Engineer, but after a few years, I realized that my passion was more around big data. I started talking to different managers in analytics at that point, and they were super supportive from day one. I was then offered a position as Data Analyst where I could finally put into practice all my skills around big data. Later on, when DnA made the decision to build several data product teams, I was asked whether I would like to work as a Data Product Manager. I took the opportunity – and I am enjoying every bit of it!
In my experience, Vista is fully engaged in developing its employees. They ensure employees grow either by engaging them in challenging projects, helping them to learn new skillsets, or by allowing them to switch to different positions over time.
How does collaboration work within Vista?
To work effectively, I have a constant dialogue with many different stakeholders: from marketing to finance, technology, and other DnA teams. Leveraging Zoom, Slack, and Email, from regular updates to ad-hoc one-on-ones with key players, having a workforce that embraces communication helps me as a Team Lead to understand what everyone’s needs are.
What does Vista offer that other tech companies don’t?
While other tech companies like Google and Amazon have only just recently unveiled their post-pandemic hybrid work policies, we are already nearly two years into our shift to permanent remote-first – which means we have the flexibility to work when and where we want to.
Vista even has a seven-person team fully dedicated to Remote-First Team Member Success and they’re supported by a Remote-First Leadership Team, who work together to provide the resources we need to stay productive, collaborate easily, and have more time to do the non-work things we love, and continually improve the team member experience.
Remote-first working has helped me achieve a much better work-life balance, and I hope other companies will soon realize the benefits that remote working can give their teams. I’m a big advocate!
What are the benefits of Remote First?
We understand that beyond work everyone has personal lives. Some may have family commitments, while others may have pets to take care of, and some may want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. For instance, I have four cats, and I love being able to spend time with them during the day instead of just in the evenings as it was before the pandemic.
Being able to work from home with a flexible schedule also allows us to save time commuting – time that can then be dedicated to ourselves or our loved ones. And the big advantage is that we are as productive (if not more!) than we were when we went into the office five days per week, so employee satisfaction goes up without sacrificing productivity.
Any final advice for those exploring a career at Vista?
Connection is important – knowing the right people and building relationships will help. People wanting to switch careers need to keep one eye open, have an open dialogue with their manager, avoid staying inside their comfort zone, and explore what paths others take for inspiration.