Becoming CEO is a big deal, no doubt about it. As a proponent of gender equality, I am especially happy to see a powerful woman leader. So, when Rita Brasler was recently appointed CEO of Incite Analytics, I eagerly accepted the invitation to interview her. Below is our conversation.
Disclosure: This sponsored interview celebrates the successes of women in leadership, with Rita Brasler of Incite Analytics being a prime example.
Interview with new CEO Rita Brasler
I began the interview by congratulating Rita on her new position as chief executive officer of Incite Analytics. This organization is well-known for providing data-driven digital solutions to help companies solve sophisticated business problems.
When I asked her about the day she got the exciting news of the promotion from COO (chief operating officer) to CEO, she replied, “The founder and I had talked about this for some time, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. Nonetheless, I was pretty excited!
Next, I inquired about her related experience, looking to learn more about how she got to this top-level position. From there, the questions included the role of business analytics and career challenges as a woman leader. The full interview follows.
What was your career path, and how did it lead you to this leadership position?
I started with Incite Analytics as a part-time, entry-level technical developer and data analyst in 2011. It wasn’t long before I moved into project management, where I became the internal-facing head of projects and managed small teams.
Soon thereafter, I was promoted to middle management as a program manager, where I was responsible for achieving program goals and coordinating directly with clients. After that, I became the operations manager, accountable for day-to-day operations, including building business foundations and driving efficiencies across departments.
I then moved into executive leadership as COO, where I focused on developing the necessary practices, policies, and procedures to grow the business and execute on Incite’s long-term goals. I have just recently become CEO, and I am now responsible for Incite’s overall business strategy with an emphasis on driving company growth.
With you, Rita Brasler, as the new CEO, how will the direction of Incite Analytics change?
We will continue to help our clients by solving business problems, identifying with their visions, and helping them get out of their own way (🙂). We will also grow a new product of ours, Verus, which I am very excited about, as this has been my “baby” over the past few years.
Verus is a platform that provides visibility into project/program risk, progress, and status for a number of initiatives. It allows program/project leadership to identify high-risk projects, drill down into the issues and ownership, and ensure resolution before the organization is negatively impacted. I also intend to start marketing Incite in a more strategic way than it has been in the past.
Incite Analytics focuses on providing data to businesses. How can data analytics help organizations succeed?
Data analytics is the key to solving almost any business challenge – even when the challenges are complex and abstract, involving many players across multiple plants, departments, divisions, and regions. When combined with intuitive visualizations, data analytics can motivate people to take action, influence change, and drive results.
Ensuring the right information for the right people at the right time is critical in so many ways.
I see how it can be motivating. What do you think the future holds for business analytics?
The opportunities are endless as organizations increasingly see data as an asset. I see business analytics, historically an IT function, as a business function.
But this requires a cultural shift for many organizations. Business leaders are just starting to realize the power of data and that it’s more than hiring one person (or a few people), more than buying hot new technology, and more than throwing data in a lake – it’s a strategic initiative that requires people, skill, investment, technology, and leadership.
Let’s switch focus a bit. As a woman leader, what is a significant challenge you have faced in your career?
The biggest challenge is balancing all the responsibilities (and joys) and all the phases of motherhood with career – learning to make compromises and understanding, sometimes I cannot do that extra thing for the business (finishing up that report, sending out those emails) so that I can be with my kids (attend a school event, tend to them when they are sick, give those extra snuggles) or take care of myself (workout, sleep in a little, indulge in reading, which I love) –
And accepting those compromises as the balance of work/life. You can’t have it all, but you can rely on balance to feel and know you are enough – doing your best, bringing your best, and being present for your team, your family, and yourself.
To a woman wanting to advance her career, what would you tell her?
We, women, are lucky to be who we are. We are smart, capable, determined, focused, and hard-working.
Knowing and believing this is important, as is finding people to support you in your dreams (your spouse, business colleagues, mentors – no matter what gender) who hold you accountable to yourself and others.
We need to keep things in balance – take care of ourselves, take care of our family, take care of our team/customers – and from a human perspective, be empathetic, fair, and always open to learning.
Well said. Why do you think more companies should put women in top positions?
I think women are determined by nature to focus on a goal and get the job done, no matter what it takes. We can work with all genders to set objectives and focus to drive the highest level of delivery with empathy, fairness, and compassion.
Focus, compassion… Yes! I’m curious, who inspires you?
My husband Greg – for doing it all and always smiling; my 5 beautiful children; my mother, who taught me there are no limits to what I can do; my dad, for always challenging me to do more and be more; and my business partner at Incite, Matt Griffin, for believing in me.
Connect further with Rita Brasler and Incite Analytics
Reach out by email to Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn.
Discover more about the company’s analytics services through the Incite Analytics website. Incite provides analytical solutions built with a unique methodology to help visionary leaders realize business value faster and reduce risk.
Incite’s customized solutions provide intuitive visualizations with rich, actionable insights powered by descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. It also addresses the human factor that accompanies transformation, ensuring enterprise adoption, long term success.
Headquartered in Detroit, Incite has helped many prominent Fortune 500 companies solve their business challenges and improve their internal capabilities in both analytics and change management.
Wishing you all the best in your new position as CEO of Incite Analytics, Rita!
Top image: Meet CEO Rita Brasler. Photo used with permission of Red Roof Industries.