Here at Attentive, we’re proud of the talented people who make this company a great place to work. Our ongoing series, Attentive All Access, highlights the extraordinary members of our team to share a glimpse of who we are and what it’s like to be part of our company.
For our latest edition, I chatted with Anjuli Garg, Director of Data Analytics, to learn about her role at Attentive, as well as her hobbies outside of the office. Born in Delhi, India, and later relocated to the US, Anjuli graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Minor in Business Administration. She then went on to earn her MBA from NYU Stern with a concentration in both Technology and Business Strategy.
Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from?
I was born in Delhi, India, and moved to the United States, to Cleveland, Ohio, when I was 13—right in the middle of seventh grade. Before moving, I’d never seen snow before, so going from 100-degree temperatures in Delhi to snowy winters in Cleveland was a lot of fun for me.
What’s a fact about yourself that would surprise most people?
People are often surprised by my terrible taste in movies. Like… really terrible movies. For example, I’ve watched Anaconda—plus all four of the sequels—and I enjoyed them all. I find these cheesy sequels totally enjoyable, and I like mindless entertainment. I mean, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda? A classic.
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of the office?
I am very active in my children’s school, previously serving on the Board of the Parent Foundation, which is responsible for community events and enrichment. I also continue to participate as a class parent, which involves giving and coordinating presentations in my daughters’ classes and organizing family social events. I also do Bollywood dancing and a lot of reading in my free time, mainly mystery novels. Going through this pandemic, my family has gotten into doing 1,000 piece puzzles. It came about as an after-dinner activity; a way to keep ourselves off our screens. At first, we were able to do them in roughly six days and now, we’ve got it down to about four and a half days. We tried a puzzle with 750 pieces, but it seemed too easy after 1,000.
How long have you been at Attentive and what interested you in joining?
I joined Attentive in September 2019. I heard about the opportunity at Attentive from Sean in HR whom I knew from my time working at FactSet. After meeting with the different team members at Attentive, I was really excited by the open and collaborative culture and the bigger possibilities for my career. I like having a lot of responsibility and being able to take ownership, so that’s also something that excited me about the role here. When I joined, I got the chance to build a team and start the Business Intelligence and Analytics functions at Attentive.
What’s your role at Attentive? How would you describe a typical day?
I manage the Analytics team, which currently consists of three people. We typically start the day off with a team stand-up, which has been especially helpful during this time of remote work. In a general sense, we’re responsible for taking Attentive’s data and turning it into an actionable format that internal stakeholders can use to make data-driven decisions. For example, we’ve worked on gathering data for the leadership team, Sales, and Client Strategy to give them more access to important metrics that they review daily.
Generally, the majority of my days consist of meetings and keeping tabs on the various initiatives we’re leading at Attentive with different teams. I also dive into our business intelligence platform tools to review dashboards, complete code reviews, and oversee the implementation of metrics that we’re trying to calculate. One example of this is the COVID-19 microsite we worked with Marketing to produce, providing the data behind the trends.
This team is still very new, so we’re still establishing procedures and doing more forward-looking planning on how we’re going to evolve to better support the needs of the organization.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the adoption of our dashboards in decision-making that ultimately helps the business grow—that’s really exciting to me. I also love getting random Slack messages about dashboards we’ve created. After our team’s presentation at the most recent company meeting, I got a bunch of messages like, “I’ve been using this,” or “I didn’t realize that all of this data was integrated here.” It’s rewarding to see the team’s hard work pay off.
As a working mom, how do you balance your personal life with your work at Attentive?
It’s not easy. A lot of planning and organization…and a fair amount of juggling goes on behind the scenes. There’s definitely a vast difference between pre-COVID-19 vs. during COVID-19. I’ve had to learn to manage expectations at home and at work. I have had to block off consistent time in my calendar for the family lunch. My husband and I both have had to be a lot more flexible when it comes to meetings and taking care of the kids.
The culture at Attentive is very supportive. I feel as a working parent, people understand that my kids might pop into a meeting randomly, and it’s not a big deal. I feel Attentive values the work I do and understands that I have responsibilities outside of work that require attention. On some days, I have events for the kids which means I need to log off early or be unavailable for a period of time. There’s a lot of trust being placed on employees here, that we can be flexible while still getting our work done, and that’s a really nice benefit.
If your parents or grandparents had to describe what you do, what do you think they would say?
They would definitely say, “something with data,” so not too far off. I recently went home for a week and worked remotely from Ohio. My sister was there, too, so I randomly asked her. Her answer was the funniest: “You manage people who do iPhone marketing.” That’s not quite accurate, but I’ll let it slide!
What kind of advice do you have for others who are looking to grow a career in Business Intelligence?
The tools that are out there to do the analysis are learnable with both effort and diligence. While you need to be data-oriented, it’s equally important to be interested in the business and strategy. You won’t know the right questions that you need to answer with data if you don’t know why the people are requesting the data. The key is to be curious, motivated, and learn how to ask the right questions to help your stakeholders.