Part of our Team Spotlight series, featuring Crisp employees and what lights them up at work.
Role: Product Manager
Lives in: Bentonville, AR
Favorite grocery store product: Peanut M&Ms - her greatest vice and most bought item!
Product Manager Michelle Hood’s goal is to use technology to empower entrepreneurs and their teams. Armed with deep knowledge of the retail food industry and a comprehensive technical skillset accumulated over the years, Michelle joined Crisp to empower employees everywhere to make better decisions with data.
Curiosity meets technology
Michelle describes her career journey as “being at the right place at the right time,” but her ascension as a product manager is no doubt due to innate business acumen and a never-ending curiosity for technology. It began when she was recruited from her boutique marketing agency in North Carolina into an initiative to support entrepreneurship in the state, which involved addressing technical gaps and providing tools to entrepreneurs. When she moved to Arkansas where her relatives lived, she was tapped to help develop the entrepreneurial environment there as well. Now an expert in business-tech ecosystems, she became Project Manager for Zebra Technologies, which was building out the hardware and software capabilities for a much bigger company: Walmart. From there, Michelle became a Product Manager at CPG company Tyson, tasked with a range of projects to build successful products for Walmart including category growth, product development, production efficiency, and sustainability. Eventually, Walmart itself recruited Michelle, where she helped upgrade the company’s system of data and platforms soup-to-nuts, working with a variety of teams at the company to implement it.
Bringing data into everyday decisions
Given Michelle’s role in leading digital transformation projects, joining a company like Crisp was another natural step -- but it was especially relevant given her deep knowledge of how both CPG companies and major retailers use data. Michelle reflects that Crisp is bringing together her passions around food and data into one role.
Michelle’s interest in Crisp’s products came out of a personal need at Tyson and Walmart. The systems’ SQL data structures were mainframe-based, which meant that coworkers without data science backgrounds didn’t have easy access to insights. As Michelle explains, “most employees in CPG have to make big decisions based on whatever data they can get.” Trying to improve upon this in her own role, she discovered Power BI -- and not surprisingly, taught herself how to use it and then built it out for her department. Through this experience, she realized the power of data when put into the hands of business managers and their teams. When she heard about Crisp, she instantly understood the opportunity to “make data available for everyday decisions.”
“Not everyone is a data scientist, myself included. So how can we help people use data to take actions that benefit them and their companies every day?” -- Michelle
Taking it a step further
At Crisp, Michelle is taking this concept and expanding the capabilities placed in customers’ hands through Crisp’s dashboards. As she describes, “We can take the data a step beyond visualizations, and help people take actions based on what we’re pointing out in the data.” One Proof of Concept currently underway helps customers use retail data to run more effective, targeted digital marketing programs. For another project, Crisp’s store-level data will be used to build a brand’s online store locator -- something you’d be surprised to find many companies struggle to produce accurately. Ideas like these are what Michelle loves most about working at Crisp. “Not everyone is a data scientist, myself included,” she says. “So how can we help people use data to take actions that benefit them and their companies every day?”
When Michelle isn’t tackling these opportunities, you can find her mountain biking around Bentonville’s wilderness areas, cooking and baking, or with her running group -- where she might also chat with Walmart employee friends and bounce around new ideas. We can’t wait to see what the next one becomes!
To learn more about life at Crisp and view open positions, visit gocrisp.com/careers.