#51: CarMax AVP of Technology, Data & Analytics, Abhi Bhatt on Upskilling Talent and Using Third Party Data to Build Better Customer Experiences

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 “A lot of companies focus on innovation, but are you willing to take the chance or a calculated risk to change something in your existing models?”


Key Insights

Should There Be a Common Mindset Whether in Consulting or Working as an Employee? (08:44)

 “Just because you were in consulting, that doesn’t mean that this is a certain duration of you do things and you forget and you move on and you forget about that. I think if you do it right, you should always be thinking about not just for the impact you’re going to have, but for your clients or for the people that you are doing the work [for]. Even in industry today, you’re going to leave a mark.”

For Abhi, there’s no real distinction between the mentality of a consultant or an employee. From his perspective, it’s all about striving to make a contribution that will hold up over time.

Can A Good Customer Experience Lead To Taking a Job? (13:12)

“So, I walked away with a really good experience as an end customer from CarMax. And eventually, CarMax, in 2021, somebody reached out and said, ‘Hey, we are looking. We have an opening for this data leader in CarMax from a technology perspective.’”

Businesses are striving to attract talent. One obvious, if underrated, method to do so is to make sure customers have good experiences. Today’s customer may well become tomorrow’s leader at the company.

Who Really Needs To Be Trained Up Regarding Technological Advances? (23:41)

Part of being a good leader is being a teacher too and making sure all relevant parties are taught what they need to know to meet their goals. Abhi offers up a helpful reminder that leaders must really think through all the different people who need to be educated on pertinent information for the overall objective of the business to be successful. He sees those that need to be trained up in two different groups.

“One is going to be within your own team… As you get into newer technologies or in the cloud, there might be some skill gaps within the existing team members… And then second is then your consumers or the users of your data.”


About Abhi

A highly strategic, results-oriented and people-first leader with experience in working with big data, cloud, data, and analytics solutions/technologies. Expertise in defining and leading cutting edge transformation programs for cloud data platforms, IoT data solutions, data science & analytics, and building high-performing teams. Recognized thought leader, who advises startups, financial investors/venture capitalist firms on key trends and gaps in technology to build next-generation innovative solutions. Active public speaker at data and analytics events/conferences such as AWS reinvent, and other CDO forums.”

Get even more insights from data and analytics leaders like Abhi on The Data Chief.  

Episode 54