Note: Over the next months I’ll be posting interviews with a number of key members of the Cicero team here and on my LinkedIn account. Stay tuned!
What brought you to Cicero Group?
Prior to joining Cicero, I worked at an early-stage financial technology company in Boise where I interacted with clients daily to solve complex software problems. I really enjoyed the work and the company, but my wife and I wanted to move to Salt Lake City. I was in the midst of exploring opportunities in Salt Lake when I spoke with a close friend and recent Cicero hire named Dan Groberg. The more I spoke with Dan about consulting and Cicero, the more I became completely enthralled by the prospect of working at Cicero. My previous experience at the tech company has guided my work creating Cicero’s first standalone client product – a dashboarding tool we call Euclid. The best part of my day, however, is when I get to dive deep into company data using sophisticated analytical tools such as R, SAS, and SQL.
What kind of projects are you working on right now?
I am working on optimizing operations for our in-house call center. The call center operates ten hours a day, six days a week. Research Agents administer surveys on topics such as political opinions, healthcare patient satisfaction, brand awareness, and employee exit interviews. Respondents are generally registered voters or customers of our clients. The call center is the beating heart of our research operations. It is exciting to help lead the call center and work with them to implement changes.
What are you reading?
A book by Daniel Kahneman called Thinking Fast and Slow. Every chapter of the book highlights peculiarities in the way our brains process information. I am reading the book because its author was awarded the Noble Prize in Economics. The way we make decisions is the basis of behavioral economics. I can apply what I learn from the book at Cicero in my client presentations: our brains cannot handle statistics with the ‘fast’ part of our brains – we can only handle statistics with the ‘slow’ part of our brain. Often clients only have 30 minutes to download months’ worth of work from a single PowerPoint presentation. The way the data is displayed matters. I try to put extensive thought into synthesizing weeks of intense research into a simple, actionable graphic for the client.
What is the best part about working at Cicero?
I am passionate about the work we do – we really push each other to do our best work. This team does amazing things for clients, including predictive models, financial analyses, and data-driven insights. With the collective brain power of the entire firm, no client request is impossible. Each coworker lifts me up and pushes me to be better person.
If you could help all your clients understand one principle or strategy, what would it be?
Sample size. To get the best analysis, you can’t skimp on the sample size. If the client deliberately chooses a small sample size for cost savings, then extra assurance of the results might not be available. If you are paying Cicero for the robust analysis, it will be worth it to pay a little extra for a little bigger sample just to be that much more sure of the results.