D.C.-based consultant Hassan Naeem opens up about his unique career path, his passion for data & analytics, and life at SEI.
If there’s one defining characteristic about SEI D.C. analytics leader Hassan Naeem’s career, it’s an impressive sense of adaptability. In fact, Hassan has adapted not only to a variety of client engagements and workplace experiences, but has navigated successfully through a range of interests and endeavors. He has founded a sporting goods and apparel brand, worked as a freelance actor, and currently, teaches fintech courses at George Washington University.
What has remained steady amidst his varying pursuits through the years has been his interest in business and technology consulting. It appealed to him from the very beginning. As he puts it, “If you want to see action, consulting is the way to go.” As a career path, it enables talented people to elevate their skill sets rapidly and advance their growth, and it offers on-the-ground exposure to diverse experiences, verticals, and practices. Hassan notes that no two projects are the same.
Beginning his consulting career at Deloitte’s federal practice, Hassan developed a robust knowledge of data & analytics by working on a variety of projects. Soon after, he moved to PwC to help launch the firm’s healthcare analytics practice. However, his journey in consulting was just getting started.
Data & Analytics on the Cutting Edge
Hassan learned about SEI through a former colleague. On their recommendation, he met with the SEI Washington, D.C. team and CEO Bill Gallagher. He was struck by a young, growing team whose ambitions aligned well with his own. More than anything, he was excited by the unique opportunity of building out the firm’s data & analytics practice. Hassan accepted an offer and never looked back.
Having been at SEI for two and a half years, Hassan is sometimes surprised at how far the firm’s data & analytics practice has come — “from a budding practice to an endless pipeline of new opportunities.” Today, SEI helps solve clients’ toughest business and technology challenges by leveraging the newest developments in data, including AI, blockchain, automation, advanced analytics, and more.
Hassan and his team often work with a client from initial strategy development through to implementation, building on multiple workstreams. Starting with strategy, they develop data engineering pipelines that allow for advanced analytics and that often enable the team to introduce AI and machine learning capabilities. They also help clients scope out contracts and services with third-party vendors, ensuring that clients always find the best solutions, not just the easiest ones.
Today, Hassan continues to play a key role in defining SEI’s data & analytics capabilities as the organization grows and takes on increasingly challenging projects.
Life at SEI: “We’re Really a Family”
Beyond promotions, client wins, and business development success, Hassan’s favorite thing about the firm is its people. Through building out proposals, collaborating on presentations, and sharing wins, he has developed strong relationships with his colleagues. “We have a support system like no other,” he observes. “Our relationships extend beyond just work — we’re really a family.”
Nominated to be a member of SEI’s national Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Council, Hassan is also a driving force behind efforts to make SEI a leader in these areas. According to Hassan, what brings SEI consultants together is a culture of collaboration and ambition. He observes: “Regardless of what background, ethnicity, or gender, all of our consultants have the same killer instinct and humble nature that allow for us to thrive together.”
The SEI Difference
Hassan claims that in addition to its culture, the firm’s flat ownership model makes SEI a great place to work. He feels free to pursue what interests him — so long as it makes good business sense.
When he first met with D.C. Managing Director Patrick Donegan, Hassan expressed interest in fusing his background in data & analytics with his interest in sports. Patrick was immediately open to the idea. With support from the team, Hassan was able to develop a practice around sport analytics that catered to the needs of the athletics industry. Today, SEI works with a number of national sports franchises, delivering custom-fit technology and analytics-focused solutions.
Hassan sees SEI as a unique player in the data & analytics space. SEI consultants can tailor their recommendations and approaches to different projects because their backgrounds are varied, and their expertise isn’t limited to any specific industry or or part of the data lifecycle, he claims. Hassan regularly works with data engineers, data scientists, and data journalists who have years of technical experience and the ability to bridge the gap between technological innovation and overall business strategy.
Most of all, for Hassan, what distinguishes SEI is that the organization is always looking toward the future of technology. “It’s about the latest technologies and practices for clients, and the best tools and practices to hire for current and long-term demand.”