Digging In is a regular series of blog posts profiling UDig employees. We hope this series helps you get to know our team and understand why we dig what we do! Today, we are sitting down with Reid Colson, Senior Vice President, Data & Analytics.
UDig: Tell us a little bit about your background and your role at UDig.
RC: For the past 25 years, I’ve described myself as a data nerd. I’ve worked in all sorts of roles surrounding data. My first job after grad school was working as an analyst / statistician at a payments company called TeleCheck. When I was there, I built a predictive model for approving cash advances at casinos – so, right out of grad school, I spent a ton of time at casinos which was pretty fun! I’ve held numerous roles since then at Markel and Capital One, and now I’m here. At UDig, I run the data practice. Our engineers work across all of our markets on client projects. A lot of what we do is in the realm of data engineering, reporting, and analytics. Currently, we’re in the process of formalizing our data science offering. I love working in data because every day is like a treasure hunt, there’s always an actionable insight lurking in your data and it is an interesting challenge every day.
UDig: Why UDig? What made us the right decision for you?
RC: Believe it or not, my first exposure to UDig was as a client. I visited UDig for a project agile kickoff and I really liked the culture that I saw here. After spending years in big corporations, I was looking for a change. I knew that I wanted to work somewhere smaller, so I reached out to Andy. I found my observations about the culture to be true. We have a fantastic team that really enjoys working together and creating value for our clients. Folks work together in a very authentic way and stay in touch even when working remotely and across different projects.
UDig: What does “We Leave You Better” mean to you?
RC: To me, this means that when we are doing a project, we are looking to advance our client’s capabilities. Here, we’re not creating a situation in which the client must rely on us forever, which I think is unique.
UDig: What has been your favorite part of working on the Data team?
RC: The people, 100%. We have such a great team, and they really are a team. They work well together and they’re a tight knit group. When I began working here, I could immediately tell that this was a group of people who had strong connections and care for one another. They know each other well and go out of their way to stay connected and support one another. When it comes to being successful as a team, it’s important that the group likes working together. You’ve got to like what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with – a good culture yields good results.
UDig: What’s important in reaching a successful end goal when you’re working on the Data team?
RC: It’s important to know the business objective of your data initiative. I like to start by figuring out what the client is trying to achieve and then work backwards to see how data can best support that objective. As long as the business goal is clear, you will never encounter a situation where the right use of good data doesn’t provide some benefit to an organization.
UDig: What is your favorite procrastination tool?
RC: Good question, there’s so many to choose from! I really like Reddit because it has such a wide variety of information. I like subs where I can learn about other people’s side projects – especially small business ideas, those are fun to look at. I actually have my own sub called Golf Simulators, where people can talk about, well, golf simulators! It has about 8,000 followers now. I’m also big into video games, my favorite genre is probably sports.
UDig: What did you want to be when you grew up?
RC: Easy, pro-golfer. I played on a team in high school and then after about two years of not playing in college, I realized I should probably start studying.
UDig: What’s the most played song in your library?
RC: Lately it’s been Beer Never Broke my Heart, by Luke Combs. Aside from being pretty funny he can flat out sing. I’m not the most musically literate so I often listen to a podcast or an audio book.
UDig: How would you spend your day if we told you to take the day off?
RC: I would get my family together, head down to Lake Gaston, and take a boat out. We love being out on the water and don’t get to do it very often. Gaston is one of our favorite places to go – it’s really nice out there and my family and I always have a ton of fun spending time together there.