Eric Spaulding

Consultant  |  SEI Cincinnati

Why SEI? What keeps you here?

I used to spend 50 weeks a year on the road as a consultant. The perks of frequent travel began to lose their shine as I met my wife and we talked about starting a family. I wanted to find a high-caliber firm that still provided the variety and challenge of consulting without sacrificing my wife’s career aspirations or time with our children. If you imagine these factors as overlapping circles, SEI was the only place I found that sits at the intersection of all of them. We have a great team that I respect and trust, and I thoroughly enjoy the work we do. At the same time, I have had the opportunity to be present at the births of both of my sons and all of the major milestones in their lives. My wife appreciates that I am in town so that she does not have to shoulder the burden alone of kid sick days, doctors’ appointments, and other extra-curricular activities. My only “frequent flier” status now is with my local coffee shop, and I couldn’t be happier.

What are your business and technical skills?

I have worked in the data management and analytics space for more than a decade and in a variety of roles. This has afforded me broad experience across the entire technical stack and in many different industries, everything from low-level ETL development to cutting-edge data visualizations. My perspective is that the principles of good data analysis and design transcend industries, and so I can focus my efforts on translating what I learn about a clients’ particular culture, market strategies, and challenges — whether in healthcare, insurance, law, or higher education — into solutions that save them tremendous effort and provide valuable insights into their business.

Where have you made the greatest impact at SEI?

Recently, I had the opportunity to take several years of research and prior project experience to build an analytics platform for a client in less than 18 months. The catch was that the client needed to see value quickly; waiting until month 17 to roll out a final solution with a big “ta da” was simply impractical. Instead, our team built a production-ready solution three weeks at a time, through agile design methods and around an architecture built for speed-to-market (in this case, getting relevant business analytics to end users as quickly as possible). The approach initially raised some eyebrows but its success has led to more opportunities with this client and also started conversations with several others who are curious about what we did that worked so well. It is exciting to see how creatively applying agile in the data analytics space has opened up new ways to deliver value faster, and to keep the business leaders sponsoring a data solution engaged frequently and throughout the implementation process.

What are your interests outside of work?

Although I am no longer the Monday-Friday “road warrior” that I used to be, I still get the travel bug from time to time. My wife and I prioritize visiting a new part of the world whenever we can. I usually try to capture what we do in photographs, and after visiting nearly 40 countries it is amazing to reflect on the experiences I have had that I could only dream about while reading National Geographic growing up! Closer to home, I volunteer with an organization providing financial literacy courses to the working poor in the inner city. It is easy to forget how much I take for granted from my parents, who taught me about managing my money from a relatively young age. My hope is that I can share my excitement for data (in this case, how to work with budgets, loans, and investments, and crunch the numbers to make wise financial decisions) and in the process to end generational poverty for some.

Want to learn more about Eric’s office?