We're continuing to give you a peek Inside aytm! Today, we're featuring our brilliant Director of Digital Transformation, Brianna Boyer. Brianna has been with aytm since the fall of 2013. With a passion for sports, British panel shows and Minesweeper, Brianna describes herself as logical, curious and passionate.
In her spare time she has been known to solve LSAT analytical and logical reasoning practice problems for fun 🤯. Learn more about Brianna below.
Can you tell me a little bit about what you do here at aytm?
Initially, I worked in research services handling all aspects of data and analytics--programming, data processing, analyzing and reporting of advanced methodologies like conjoint, MaxDiff, and TURF. I learned that I love helping clients maximize their learning on the aytm platform. Often this meant guiding them through analytical territory that could be intimidating, but that led to deeper insights. As aytm evolved its Customer Success focus, I took the opportunity to channel my passion for boosting clients’ research powers—empowering both more powerful researchers and more powerful business results.
What does a typical day for you look like?
I try to start each day with a bit of quiet time to take in what needs to be done, organize my priorities and roughly time block a schedule. The day doesn’t always comply with my plans, but whatever I’m working on, it’s always supporting our clients. I may be building a tailored capabilities deck, onboarding a new client, or preparing training on how to leverage advanced techniques to create stronger research. Championing the voice of our clients is deeply important to me. In my current role, I’m leveraging both my quantitative powers and my qualitative abilities to advocate for client needs and build solutions with my cross-functional partners.
How did you decide to get into (your field)?
Market research definitely chose me, not the other way around. I had just relocated to Dallas and was looking for new opportunities. I didn’t have any particular field or job in mind; all I knew was that I loved math, logic, and any type of puzzle. When I saw the job listing for a research assistant to a market research consultant, my interest was piqued, and I eagerly awaited news if I’d get an interview, then get the job, and the rest is history!
What’s your favorite part about working at aytm?
I’ve loved watching aytm’s growth from a small player working with startups to an industry-recognized survey platform working with some of the largest companies in the world and being able to truly say I’m part of the team after making the move from vendor to employee last year. It’s also been incredible to see the growth of some of aytm’s early clients, like 23andme, and seeing results from our work in the wild, from spotting ads on TV to seeing new products on the shelves of my local store.
Before working at aytm, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
I helped run an ecommerce business for several years that specialized in a niche line of guitars made in Japan during the late ’80s. I’ve never played the guitar, so it was a foreign world for me to dive into from the technical know-how needed to have conversations with customers (“it looks like a single-coil but it’s actually a stacked humbucker”) to the forums connecting the small but tight-knit global community around this common interest. Sometimes I check eBay to see what prices are these days or check the old forum and stumble on images I took of guitars and components back in the day; always a fun(ny) trip down memory lane.
What’s a fun fact about you that might surprise people?
For me, working from home sometimes means working from a recording studio. My husband is an audio engineer who will run recording sessions during the day and it’s not uncommon for colleagues and clients to get a surprise taste of that on calls. In just the last couple of weeks I’ve been accompanied on calls by a soundtrack of drums, saxophone, and flute.
How do you balance your career and personal life at aytm?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was tough. There are two major things that help my balancing act -- having grace with myself and dedicated spaces that over time I’ve associated with certain mental states.
Giving yourself grace is the best thing I’ve worked on over the last couple years. Realistically I’m not the best 9-to-5 person and market research isn’t always the best 9-to-5 industry, and that’s okay. Beating myself up over that or trying to force myself into the perfect box mirage hurts my productivity and happiness as a human being. I don’t feel guilty working late when I offset with a longer mid-day break or late start used to address personal needs. It’s not a luxury that’s always afforded, but when it’s there, it can help maintain that balance more naturally versus the mental accounting game of trying to hit a theoretical zero in balancing the work-life checkbook.
Creating dedicated spaces is often harder than it sounds, especially when working from home. In my multi-purpose home office set-up, I place my chair on the right side of my desk during work hours then during personal time I close and push aside my laptop then move my chair to the left side of my desk when I’m using my home PC. It’s a small literal shift, but it creates a noticeable mental difference.
Have you picked up any fun hobbies or discovered any hidden talents during quarantine?
I have gotten really good at timing my food delivery orders so they arrive within a few minutes of my target eating time. I’m far better at that than timing how to cook multiple dishes so they finish around the same time and can be eaten in one sitting while still being hot.
What advice do you have for prospective aytm candidates?
Be yourself, which I’d say applies to work and life in general. No one is served by someone trying to be something they’re not, particularly not oneself, as putting on a front every day can be exhausting and lead to burnout in record time. If a role speaks to you and feels in your wheelhouse, awesome! If it seems like it might not be a great fit or you wouldn’t be fulfilled by the role, that’s okay too. Don’t try to force a fit.
Which aytm Core Value is your favorite and why?
I love aytm's emphasis on empathy. Personally and professionally, putting yourself in the shoes of others and understanding their perspectives can unlock a lot of insights you might otherwise miss. Something I remind myself of often is, "you don't know what you don't know." That helps keep me curious and my eyes open. In my role, that translates to listening to our clients' needs, observing how they interact with aytm, and thinking through how to improve their experiences.