A love for backcountry skiing, hiking, bicycling, running and cooking has led Kathy Bachmann, Analytic Partners' recently appointed GM of the Americas, to push herself to complete three half marathons in the past two years and a 50-mile bike ride.
“It’s mentally empowering to complete these things you once thought not possible,” she said.
Bachmann also plays ice hockey on a woman’s team.
“I often equate my role in business to my position on the hockey team,” she said. “I play the center, so I’m playing offense and defense interchangeably. The center is a unique role. You skate the full ice and see the full ice -- everything that’s happening. It’s up to you to make successful snap judgments.”
As an overachiever, the new role puts Bachmann in charge of overseeing strategies for team, product and revenue growth in North America and Latin America.
“Think of it as being a COO for the region,” she said, noting her years of experience as COO for Comscore, and Throtle.
Overall, Bachmann brings nearly 30 years of experience in management, strategy and business development from companies such as Comscore, Throtle, Neustar, MarketShare, Quest Diagnostics, Cendant, Merrill Lynch, and American Express.
Bachmann describes herself as a “corporate athlete and data geek.” And why not? She has worked at many marquee companies. Data & Programmatic Insider caught up with Bachmann to talk about how past experiences landed her a position at Analytic Partners.
D&PI: I noticed you were a strategy intern for Intel.
Bachmann: Yes, way back during my internship between my first and second years of getting my MBA at Wharton. I wanted to get into tech. I got the chance to live in Portland. I highly recommend it. Blue skies every day. I worked in their financial organization, but also did special projects. I remember developing a weighted average cost-of-capital model, so we could make tradeoffs around relative investments for key initiatives that we thought we should pursue.
D&PI: In grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Bachmann: There was the moment of drawing images of pretty gowns in fashion design while in second grade, but I quickly moved past that. I started to think about business by the time I was in high school.
I grew up on a farm in Ohio, so my parents had their own business. I always loved this complex problem solving of never enough of what you need. In farm life you never have enough equipment in the right place at the right time. Business is like that. You’re always trying to optimize in the moment. You need to solve this problem of not always having the correct information because things always change.
D&PI: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received and whom did you receive it from?
Bachmann: I’ve been lucky to have some really great mentors. One of them--Guy Gray--showed me how in business you could be really nice and good to people and they don’t need to be separate. People walk around with the perception that they must be sharp and shrewd. I believe you can be really good natured and be successful.
Guy was my COO at Cendant and my manager. This was when I was building a new capability at the company to better use customer data and insights in marketing across the portfolio of travel brands such as Orbitz, Avis, Budget, Wyndham Hotels, and others.
D&PI: What is the best piece of advice you can give?
Bachmann: One key piece of advice that was impactful for me is that sometimes you have to go slow to go fast. In rallying teams for big changes or new ideas, it’s important to take the time up front to effectively communicate the new ideas or plans, create space for people to internalize it, and listen to feedback and concerns. It’s only after effective upfront alignment and planning -- and possibly changes to the idea -- that a team can move forward at speed to implement. I’m thankful I was exposed to this early in my career as a management consultant. It has been instrumental in all of my roles, from large enterprises to privately held software-as-a-service companies.
D&PI: What types of books do you read?
Bachmann: Mostly nonfiction. For example, I wanted to improve my culinary skills, so I read The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. He’s all about simplifying learning. He turned cooking into 17 skills and chapters. I read the entire book and did all the exercises. My eggs are better than before, so I upped my cooking skills.