How data and analytics are taking us next level
Vistaprint is on a mission to become one of the world’s most iconic data and analytics companies. Why? So we can help small businesses thrive. We have the determination to do it, and the full backing of a $1.5bn business. At Vistaprint, data and analytics have a place at the executive table, helping to propel transformation across the group and the products and services small business owners count on. I’m incredibly proud to be the first Chief Data Officer in the company’s history, leading the new Data and Analytics organization – DnA, for short. I want to share how it feels to be part of constant evolution at a company obsessed with putting customers first.
Why I made the leap
I joined Vistaprint in 2019. Drawn in by the ballsy, entrepreneurial spirit I saw during a pilot on Vistaprint marketing materials from my vantage point as a partner at McKinsey & Company. This client switched a pricing experiment from the typical 3% to 20% of the business, launching in a key market to maximize learnings – fully dedicated to the quest of everyday fair prices. Vistaprint were no strangers to running their business with data at scale. Yet I could see the untapped potential of data and analytics and how I could help take customer experience to the next level. As an advisor, typically, you ask yourself: would I want to work at this company? Ninety per cent of the time, it’s a no. I left a job I loved to become Vistaprint’s new CDO.
The most brilliant part about working here is the ability to be a changemaker, and be right in the thick of collaboration. Our open culture is so cool. Anyone can pitch an idea to anyone and run with it. We’re also evolving into a full remote-first company that specializes in cross-functional working. People collaborate together across continents – we’re one tight-knit global team. And because our transformation journey is really only just underway, DnA team members get to influence both Vistaprint’s future direction and near-term impact. It’s such a draw for people.
Smart data products powering small biz solutions
Vistaprint’s vision is to be the marketing and design partner to small businesses worldwide. It’s a real ambition, and I feel it personally on so many levels. I was a micro business owner for a couple of years, aged just 15. Working from home between studying, advising hospitals on IT and building websites. I know something of what it feels like to fly solo without a team behind you.
Whether it’s a baker in San Francisco or a winemaker in Bordeaux, small businesses are the engine of every economy the world over. It’s heroic. Vistaprint is their runway to awesome design, print and digital solutions that deliver every advantage needed to succeed. What’s making me jump out of bed in the morning? The quest to deliver amazing value and customer experience powered by cutting-edge data products and data-driven insights. I’m not kidding!
With a brand-new tech stack and DnA in the hot seat, we’ll do this by hyper-personalizing the customer experience end-to-end, at scale, based on a deep understanding of needs. Of course our mission extends to our internal customers. Democratizing data for our colleagues who drive their decisions based on data every day across the entire business value chain. From optimizing advertising to show more relevant content, over optimizing manufacturing schedules to get products shipped faster, to using natural language processing to enhance our customer care service. The aim is to build an incredible suite of data products and micro-services that Vistaprint can grab, then create a unique journey for each small business owner we’re serving.
It’s fantastic that everyone in the company is so thirsty for data and analytics – they see the potential for DnA to create wow moments across a gazillion customer touchpoints. From more personalized offers, relevant content and automated design proposals, it’s all uniquely tailored. The customer will never have to spend valuable time searching for the right product – our work here means it will already be right in front of them.
Fasten your seat belt
To truly excel at customer experience, we need to make real our promise to turn Vistaprint into an iconic data-and-analytics-driven company. Reaching that big vision requires enormous groundwork, while thinking and acting creatively.
We’re making multi-year investments not only across software engineering, data, analytics, product, UX, customer service and marketing, but also in a cloud-based, service-orientated, data-rich technology platform.
We’re committed to data as a product and the data mesh concept. They work at speed, with laser focus, testing, learning, making mistakes, course-correcting – creating new methodologies to continuously improve.
Our DnA team has already grown into a diverse, intrepid, super-dedicated team of analysts, engineers, data scientists, product managers, data architects, governors and more. We’ve gone from 120 to 280 people in the same twelve months that a pandemic hit, with space for 125 more roles at the time of writing. We’ve got over 25 empowered data product teams building more than 50 new data products, and counting.
Everything that’s ever been done with data – we’re fundamentally redrawing it across the value chain to enhance our customers’ journey. Just imagine all the opportunities being unlocked as we revolutionize our own business to become an extension of every small business owner’s team! As a DnA team member you’re not one of 3,000 engineers optimizing the last 0.01% of a search algorithm. Instead, you’re building the first 80% of a data product or an incredibly analysis from the ground up, being a data evangelist, creating personal impact, and making a tangible difference to small businesses the world over. Who wouldn’t make that leap?
Keep up to date with our DnA journey via our blog and on LinkedIn