Skip to Main Content

Culture Spotlight: Data Analytics’ Zach English

In our first installment of the culture spotlight series, we spoke with Lydia Johnson, Spaulding Ridge’s Salesforce Solutions Architect Manager. Today, we’re sitting down with Zach English, Senior Associate for Analytics in Delivery.

Zach’s enthusiasm for data is infectious. Through our conversation, we can learn about the impact data can have on our clients and how Spaulding Ridge takes a personal approach to this evolving area of business.

Spaulding Ridge: Hi Zach, excited to have you. To start off, tell us about yourself and your role at Spaulding Ridge?

Zach: Hi, it’s great to be here! At Spaulding Ridge, my main role is leading projects with our analytics clients. I work across various industries, helping with data strategies, integration, and analytics. I handle complex projects, creating visualizations and data science solutions to aid decision-making.

Also, I oversee Power BI matters and enjoy advising both clients and colleagues on how to make the most of the tool’s best practices.

Spaulding Ridge: What keeps you motivated to stay in this field?

Zach: I think with analytics and data specifically, everything’s changing so, so quickly. Two or three years ago, a lot of the technology we use now hardly existed. Snowflake, dbt, and Fivetran were just getting started and now they’re key to how we work. Personally, I get bored easily and I love to try new things and challenge myself. Data and analytics are always evolving and changing, and there’s always a new problem to solve, a new tool to do it with, and a new client challenge to lend your skills too. So that ever-changing landscape of new opportunities and challenges is what keeps me motivated.

Spaulding Ridge: The term ‘Data’ might make it seem like data solutions is a less personal aspect of our business. How do you see the human impact of our work?

Zach: Being the Power BI lead for the data solutions practice, I work a lot with data visualizations. People outside of data sometimes don’t realize how crazy it can be behind the scenes or recognize all the work that goes into getting visualizations completed. With visualizations, it’s about the story the data tells, through the work that people put in to make a data set understandable to non-data users, executives, and other people. Sometimes you’re building new visualizations for people who have been looking at the same excel reports for ten years. That side of it really gets people excited, and it’s a great example of the hard work that the team puts in behind the scenes.

Spaulding Ridge: Can you walk us through your process for understanding and meeting the needs of your clients?

Zach: Absolutely. It starts with that first conversation. We’ll hear things like “We really want to up our game, we want to move to cloud-based technology,” or “we see the need to be more data-driven as a business to fit our clients and consumer’s needs.” We start from there and we ask questions to understand the client and their problems. But also, as consultants, we see a lot of organizations with many kinds of data challenges, so it’s also important to be able to take one experience and relate it to another client to make sure that they avoid problems you might have seen in the past.

It’s really satisfying to share what I know about data challenges or problems and see the client light up when we arrive at a solution to a problem they’ve struggled with for years. Seeing people get excited about it is rewarding.

Spaulding Ridge: How do you ensure clear communication with your team to deliver the best possible solutions?

Zach: To communicate with the team, you need that understanding of client problems. We’ve got a lot of great team members both in leadership and fresh out of college here at Spaulding Ridge that are willing to jump in, be challenged, and tackle problems. All they need is communication; to hear a client’s problem articulated in terms of data.

Having communication and trust within the organization to get the problem solved is a big value add for our clients. I know that somebody, somewhere at Spaulding Ridge will know how to solve a problem even if I don’t. I can reach out to the team, and somebody will have either seen the same thing before or have some technical insight into how we could solve it.

Spaulding Ridge: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Zach: In my work on data visualization, the most rewarding part is at the end of the project, when you can show the client the end product. They’re not just getting a dashboard—they’re getting a way to understand things quickly, make decisions, save time, or save money. Seeing people light up at this new tool or deliverable that Spaulding Ridge provided is really exciting.

In addition to that, I think the team building aspect is really rewarding. It’s so exciting to see younger bandmates growing their skills, connecting with clients, and helping to deliver projects.

Spaulding Ridge: Last question: In your time at Spaulding Ridge, how does the company’s culture align with your own values and keep you engaged?

Zach: Everyone I have met at Spaulding Ridge is people-first. They do a good job balancing “humble and hungry,” as we like to put it here. My bandmates have a good balance between working hard and respecting your work/life balance and the boundaries people put on working. Some bandmates have kids, some prioritize working out in the morning, and all of them need a day off sometimes. Everyone is super understanding of whatever you need to do your job well.

We do work hard, but we also look out for each other. I’ve felt those values through my manager, through people I’ve worked with, through the executives, and through everyone here.

Spaulding Ridge: Thank you for your insights. It was a pleasure having you!

Zach: Happy to be here!

Our bandmates like Zach help companies around the world transform their business processes while upholding our values of “All Business is Personal,” “Culture Forward,” and “Efficient Execution.” We’d love to hear from you about how those values can help your organization—reach out to us today!