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Community Team Member
Community Team Member

Scout Spotlight - Katie Garrison.png

Hi everyone! Each month at Sisense, we will highlight different internal experts in our Scout Spotlight. We will learn from Sisense subject-matter experts and experienced industry professionals from Sisense’s Support, Engineering, Account Management, Professional Services, and Customer Success teams. Below is a transcript of this month's Scout Spotlight, highlighting the magnificent Katie Garrison! 

[Sofia]: Hi everyone! My name is Sofia Losada, Community Programs Manager here at Sisense. Thank you for joining us in our next installment of Scout Spotlight! 

Each month at Sisense, we will highlight different internal experts in our Scout Spotlight. We will learn from Sisense subject-matter experts and experienced industry professionals from Sisense’s Support, Engineering, Account Management, Professional Services, and Customer Success teams. 

Today, I’m super happy to have Katie Garrison here. She is a Pre-Sales Solutions Architect and a member of our Field Engineering team here at Sisense! 

Katie, thank you so much. Let’s go ahead and dive into our questions.

[Katie]: Sounds good to me. 

 

[Sofia]: Awesome! What is your role here at Sisense and what led you to join the team?

[Katie]: I’ve been at Sisense for about four years now. I’ve been in quite a few roles at this point, but right now I'm part of the Pre-Sales Solutions Architect team. I joined pre-sales about eight or nine months ago and it's been a fun journey working with prospects and learning about those technical challenges as we're trying to get Sisense to be the right fit.

So, my previous roles at Sisense was all in customer success. I started out in support, doing enterprise elite, and then I moved up into the level four (L4) team and got to work on those more technical, R&D, code-heavy problems.  

I joined because I liked solving problems. Back when I was looking for my next job opportunity, back in like 2018 or so, Sisense was just starting to get into like the cloud native and Linux space, so it seemed like a good mixture of learning and getting better at Kubernetes,  the cloud-native Linux technology, and machine learning to learn more about the data space. 

 

[Sofia]: Perfect! Wow, you have so much experience here at Sisense. That is awesome! So talking about the BI industry, what trend do you find most interesting and why? 

[Katie]: Sure, so I think the most interesting is the meeting-people-where-they-are kind of concept, where we have had this evolution of sending out very static reports, and then we had things where things would be interactive but you had to sign into a particular website and then go look for your analytics yourself.

I really like this newest trend, it's not even really a trend, but just where the industry seems to be going, of meeting people where they are and bringing infused data into all of their different workflows. It makes it easier to use your insights without having to go to a bunch of different places.

I also like the version control trend as well. So [the ability to] work more like developers to be able to have a better idea of what has changed and be able to look back on the evolution of what you've published out to your end users.

 

[Sofia]: Perfect, awesome! Talking about Sisense, what is your favorite Sisense feature? 

[Katie]: Sure, I have two; one that really helps me in my daily work life, and then another is just for fun to work with customers on. 

The one that helps me in my daily work life is infused analytics for Slack, which is one of our newer features. I use it every day to get a better idea of the deals I’m working on and where I'm needed when I'm prioritizing my own list each day and throughout the week. I have a better idea of these things that need my help now versus things that are coming up in the next quarters. It gives me a lot of info at my fingertips, without having to put a lot of effort into it. 

Then the feature that I like to work with customers, and in the Community as well, is the headers API, the Pivot 2.0 API, all of the jquery scriptings that we can do in Sisense. I really like embedding a lot too–all of those different code-heavy scripting type features.

 

[Sofia]: Fantastic! So now comes my favorite question. Thinking from the customers’ perspective, in your opinion, what is one thing Sisense customers can do to optimize their experience with Sisense?

[Katie]: Sure; I’d say coming from support and a little bit of the pre-sales side of it too is, I think doing your best to keep up with the latest releases. I know it's easier said than done because depending on your deployment, it can be challenging to update on a particular cadence, but when you aren’t as up to date with some of the releases, you miss out on a lot of features that would be really nice to have or that might fix the things that you're missing in your current version. 

Be sure to read the release notes to keep up to date with what's coming out. Sometimes there are new features that will fix the issues that you've been writing these workarounds to so, I'd say like a combination of trying to stay current but also keep your eye on what's coming out and the release notes, because it might make some workflows a lot easier.

 

[Sofia]: Very true! No truer words have been spoken. So, also talking about customers what are the top three resources they should have in their toolkit?

[Katie]: Yeah I'd say I have three that customers should use, but I honestly use them as well, so I think Sisense employees can do these too. 

Of course, I’m going to put number one as the Sisense Community because I'm on there pretty frequently. 

[Sofia]: Thank you! 

[Katie]: Here’s a plug. I love the conversations out there. I’ve learned things from other Sisense employees. I’ve learned things from other customers and our Partners on better ways to do things, clever tricks, and even just thinking through how can I solve a problem in a different way because there's 10 different ways to probably solve any of these problems you run into or use cases.

The next one would be the Sisense Support Knowledge Base, which is not quite the same as Sisense documentation, but these are [resources] primarily written by folks in the field engineering teams and some of the other associated teams. I really like those articles, because they usually focus on one particular workflow or one particular error message or not quite something that warrants a full-blown document, but here's some tips from the field that we've figured this out and could be useful to the team. They're usually a little bit more long form so, I think it's a nice middle ground between documentation and Community – kind of that middle longer articles that field folks have written. 

Then,  my third one is the Sisense DevX site. I'm on there almost every day at this point, to reference tricky ways to do different scripting functions. I know there's always new content being added so I'm always like looking around looking for what's going to help me write the latest script.

[Sofia]: Perfect and thank you for the Community shout-out! I appreciate it.

[Katie]: Sure thing! I can't wait to see it keep growing.

 

[Sofia]: So now going to our softball questions; these are the fun questions.  What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

[Katie]: I think it's a combination of a few pieces. I don't even think one person has said this; this has just been as folks have been in the industry and being working professionals. A lot of folks have been saying things like don't be afraid to try something that you might not be an expert in. I even use it in my personal life. 

Five years ago, I don't know if I would have felt confident enough to get on a Linux system and get into debugging and solve my own problems, but a little bit of belief in yourself and just don't be afraid to mess up–what’s the worst that could happen? You just got to make a new machine. You learn something hopefully out of it so just don't be afraid to try things and be open to new opportunities. 

I think other advice is just to be authentic. To a degree, I feel like authenticity will bridge a lot of the gaps when you're not communicating or running into issues. I feel like just being authentic really helps both professionally and in your personal life.

 

[Sofia]: Absolutely! We've made it to the last question. So outside of work, what book, are you currently reading?  What show are you currently watching? What do you do when you’re relaxing? 

[Katie]:  I guess we'll mention a book because I’m off-and-on on reading. At the beginning of the pandemic, I was reading a ton and then I kind of fell off and now I'm back into it. I think I got the ebbs and flows, but right now I'm reading The Power Of Moments

This book is a little bit of a work read but is also a personal read. It talks about how both in work and in your personal life we tend not to remember the whole journey. We tend to remember the peaks.  We sometimes remember the worst pits in what you can do both in professional and like maybe even when you're giving demos, and also in your personal life when you're thinking through what's going to make a good impact on my vacation or what I'm doing when I'm not working. How do you engineer, or just put a little bit more thought into having higher peaks and less of those pit experiences.

[Sofia] I love books like that! I’m going to check it out right after this interview. 

[Katie]: I’ll send you the info! 

[Sofia]: Thank you! And with that, you made it! This is the end of this Scout Spotlight interview. Thank you so much, first of all for your time, but second for being such a great advocate for Community here at Sisense. 



For our customers, do you have a team you're interested in learning more about please leave a comment in the Sisense Community and I’ll be sure to reach out.  Other than that, Katie, again thank you again and have a great day! 

See you on the next Scout Spotlight!