I never took calculus. I can’t code. I have no industry expertise in supply chains or Basel III. My most lengthy study of AI is watching Bernard reanimate Dolores on Westworld.
Based on the above, you could make the argument that I have no place in an analytics company.
But nine years and a few title changes later, I’m pleased to report that not only did I find my career footing at SAS, but the support I received from the technical and non-technical alike helped me understand precisely where I fit in this big, technical picture.
You see, SAS’ mission (aka the employee rally cry) is “to empower and inspire with the most trusted analytics.” But who empowers and inspires the people who … empower and inspire with the most trusted analytics?
Let me tell you a story.
I have a one-hour commute each way, leaving a lot of time to over think. One day, I had a scary thought: What’s my place in a company where my daily tasks don’t directly affect SAS’ bottom line and my skills don’t align to analytics? What’s more, if the novelty of subsidized cafés and lunchtime yoga wear thin, what will keep me motivated to make this crazy drive every day?
That led me to take a mental inventory.
Alli: What's so intriguing about training employees to use social media?
Alli: I meet a lot of people. I love understanding the disparate roles at SAS and what each person does to make it hum. By knowing the people and the roles, I understand SAS and our tech a lot better. And I make friends along the way.
Alli: What’s particularly gratifying about those meetings?
Alli: A tactic to avoid the awkwardness of talking about yourself on social media (in a profile for example) is to discuss things that inspire you or the last time you felt proud at the end of the day. Hearing someone piece that together is just plain fun to witness. An intern in the accessibility lab (who does not have a visual impairment) hearing a graph for the first time. The face of our #data4good efforts who speaks alongside members of the UN and the Wounded Warrior Project. A manager in R&D who wants new hires to know he can put on his headphones and code with the be best of them.
Alli: That's great for them, but what gives you warm-fuzzies about those interactions with employees?
Alli: My favorite times have been emails or messages saying, ‘I never thought I would, but I wrote my first LinkedIn article!’ or ‘Thank you for spending so much time helping me get my Twitter bio just right’ or ‘I always learn something new in our classes; I can tell you put a lot of time into them.’
I can safely say I’ll never develop a piece of software. I won’t be the person to articulate our value proposition poetically enough to change a CIO’s mind. But hopefully the people who have those talents will feel more confident, prepared and polished with a little help from me.
You can try out some of Alli's social media advice for yourself and get a glimpse of the amazing work she does at SAS.
When Alli's not helping employees, you'll probably find her traveling or snapping photos behind a camera!