Feeling a sense of purpose in your work is crucial to both your wellbeing and your work performance. As the demand for IT specialists of all kinds is high, it is safe to say that the ability to engage in meaningful and challenging work can be a deciding factor in choosing between workplaces. After all, most of us will spend a quarter of our lives at work.
We interviewed Olli Lindroos, a Data Business Designer here at Solita, to understand what motivates him in his everyday work. Olli has been a key player in many projects and customer relationships, including international sporting goods company Amer Sports, where he’s playing a big role in enabling the company to become more data-oriented.
Learn how Olli has found a new sense of purpose in his work, exactly what a Data Business Designer does and what it takes to succeed at Solita.
Hi, Olli! How did you end up at Solita?
I was fed up with doing things that nobody actually needed – or things that didn’t have a clear impact on people’s lives.
I had come across Solita at media and at events, where I had met some Solita’s experts. From those encounters I got the feeling that there are smart people working here and lots of possibilities for learning. I was eager to develop myself professionally and learn new tools. I thought Solita might be the solution to tackle my inner feeling of insignificance at work.
How did your career move forward from starting at Solita?
I came to Solit￼a three years ago as a Data Engineer. In the beginning I learned how to create cloud-based data platforms. I also participated in our internal Data Science education programme and had the chance to work with that topic.
However, as time passed, I realised that even if we’d have the greatest technological tools to use, customer needs to have ownership and understanding in what we do and how that impacts their business and end user experience.
This realisation led me to a new kind of role, where I started working more with our sales. I wanted to develop our sales process so that we’d offer smart solutions from the very beginning of the co-operation. This was a nudge towards strategy work. That’s how I ended up at my current work.
So, what’s your current work like?
My official title is Data Business Designer. In a nutshell, it means that I help Solita’s customers develop business through analytics.
The situation with many of our customers is such that they have a budget reserved for analytics – some even have a dedicated analytics team. They would like to utilise new technologies and turn their ideas into reality. However, what they don’t often have is the knowledge to turn those ideas and technologies into a uniting vision, inspiring story and a strategy. Basically, they don’t know how to get to the desired end goal. My role is to help with that, being the link between a developer and a visionary.
Can you name a highlight of your career at Solita so far?
I think the best part of my job has been when developers have told me how wonderful it feels that they are being listened to in decision making and when business reps are able to request really smart and advanced things from them. On my career, I have moved from feeling a sense of insignificance at my own work to a place where I can help other developers find purpose and see the impact of their work.
Also, one of the best aspects of my work is seeing when business reps don’t consider these “computer things” so mystical or magical anymore. Instead of talking about computer applications, we are talking about developing their business. It’s been great to notice this progress happening and seeing some real co-operation taking place.
All this is very true in our co-operation with Amer Sports. It has been one of the first places where the client has really engaged the developers in thinking about the business impact of the work we do. Doing things truly together and measuring the results has been the key learning for us.
What is the most challenging part of your work?
The most challenging part would be identifying the things that people really need and finding the best solution for them. It’s not always what they ask for – and that’s the challenging part. Understanding the real needs requires some time. Once we have the understanding, we need to define the thing that we’re going to start with and make a plan on how are we going to make it happen on a tight schedule, so that the end customers will be happy.
Another tricky thing is terminology, like analytics, data and AI. Sometimes it’s hard to find a common language with customers and define the actual issue that we’re trying to solve – or the business potential. How do we develop business so that everyone involved feels excited about it? That’s the challenge.
What does it take to work at Solita?
Generally, consultative skills are a good thing. It means that you have to be a good listener, you need to able to phrase your message so that the customer understands you and you need good team working capabilities.
On top of that, what is special at Solita, is that you need to have a very open mind to new things and different kinds of people. I think it’s great that you get to work with experts from various different backgrounds with different kinds of personalities. People at Solita are not carved from one stone. This enables learning – it’s enabled me.
Want to have a job with a clear impact? Want to learn from the large variety of experts of Solita? We are constantly hiring new talent. Check out our open positions and apply!