Last month, we announced the appointment of Scott Jones as our Chief Executive Officer. Scott has a 25-year track record of success building and managing go to market teams in enterprise software. His experience will aid in scaling the company and capitalizing on the growth of the global data analytics market, which is expected to top $105 billion by 2027.
Prior to joining Incorta, Jones served as president and chief revenue officer for automated analytics company Alteryx. He has also held sales leadership roles at Tableau Software, SAP and Business Objects. Here are some of his thoughts on the opportunity, and the role:
Q. What made you want to take the helm at Incorta?
I was really excited about the vision of Incorta. That is, delivering a unified, easy-to-use data and analytics platform that allows business people to execute on the three major dimensions of an analytic workflow--the data; the reporting or storytelling, and lastly the data science or predictive analytics.
Anyone who uses data in doing their job knows that current technologies don’t facilitate a seamless self-service experience that provides the agility and velocity digital businesses of today require. I have believed for many years that there had to be a better way to allow people to access data than building complex ETL processes to take the data out of their point of origin, which is typically a transactional system, and put it in a data warehouse. It just seemed terribly inefficient, expensive and complex. Incorta solves that with its revolutionary Direct Data capabilities, allowing our users to connect directly to the data and run complex queries fast, essentially cutting out the middleman--in this case ETL and data warehouses.
Q. This is your first CEO role. Have you always aspired to this position?
I have always found leading people, serving others, and being a part of a winning team incredibly rewarding. So I've been a student of leadership and enjoyed learning more about what makes leaders great. High performing companies are filled with great leaders throughout the organization, top to bottom. Title or no title.
Q. Are there any CEOs you’ve worked for, or who you admire, that have influenced your thinking about the role?
I've been influenced in my career by too many people to name. As far as CEOs that I have worked with, there are two that really stand out for me. The first is Bill McDermott, who had an incredible run as CEO of SAP and was the CEO when I was there. The second is Christian Chabot, the founder and CEO of Tableau, who I had the pleasure of working with for three years. Both of them shared a few things in common. They were incredibly mission driven, and were able to articulate a bold, clear vision for the organizations they led. They were inspiring, not just to the people who worked at their organizations but also to their customers and partners. They were great listeners and really passionate about solving customers' problems.
The other one, who I've never worked with, but I find incredibly inspiring is John Legere, the former CEO of T-Mobile. I loved the way he and that entire organization shook up an industry and embraced the mantle of the underdog. To see what he and the entire T-Mobile organization did is really amazing and inspiring, and he's certainly a leader that I would love to emulate.
Q. What are some maxims that you live by?
I love the quote from Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” It's really true, and it resonates with everybody.
I think as you mature, you appreciate what you respect and love about other people and what you don't. I have found that I'm much more drawn to people and more apt to perform better as a member of a team that’s motivated by empathy and humility rather than ego and pressure. I hope that’s become part of my leadership DNA, and I want it to be part of the character of Incorta.
Q. Thinking about the trajectory of the business intelligence and analytics industry over the course of your career so far, talk about some of the progress and changes you’ve seen.
When I started in this industry, I saw a very IT-oriented, very rigid system of giving people access to the data they needed to run the business. That was not necessarily by design; it had more to do with the immaturity of the technology.
We’re seeing a much more business-centric, easy-to-use, flexible, agile approach today. I think there have been several enterprise software companies that have been leaders in creating a user experience that is much easier, and dare I say entertaining. Salesforce and Tableau come to mind.
Today, I see probably the best partnering I have ever seen between business and IT. Given the dynamics of COVID, digital transformation, data-centered business decision making, and movement to the cloud it makes sense that lines of business and IT are tied at the hip. I believe this heightened level of collaboration will bring accelerated investment and return to all.
Q. Let's say Incorta gains mass adoption. What does this future look like? What will companies be doing with their data that they're not doing today?
Well, they won't be waiting for their data. They won't be bouncing around between multiple different products. Anyone from IT to the C-level will be able to make really informed, creative decisions about every element of how they manage their business and the relationships they have with their customers.
It's clear that there's far more we could be doing with data, analytics and data science than we're doing today. I think we're in the very, very early stages of adoption and impact. I expect and believe that Incorta will play a big role in moving that pursuit forward.