Rising to the Challenge
STAFF SPOTLIGHT: BRETT ROBINSON, BUSINESS ANALYST
Brett Robinson, Business Analyst at Corner Alliance, boasts a background just as diverse as his role at the company. With a J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and a Sports Management degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, it’s no wonder that Brett acts as “someone who can play any position on the field.”
His passion for data and problem solving make him an essential part of identifying areas for improvement, development and growth of business processes and strategic planning. We are sharing Brett’s story of how he got to Corner Alliance and why his role is just the challenge he was looking for.
For you, what is fulfilling—and challenging—about this role?
Brett Robinson: I have a lot of freedom with what direction I go in when designing and implementing a new system or process. And a lot of freedom to analyze information and raise questions. I get to focus on what the data is telling me and use it to inform how we move forward with a project. It challenges me to be both creative and to problem solve.
Is there one business process design and/or implementation you’ve engineered that you’re particularly proud of? Why?
BR: I’ve managed a lot of different projects that affect our internal processes and evaluations. I’ve worked heavily on designing a system for the leadership team to track and forecast financial data. And recently, I built a way for us to track and analyze company data related to our internal culture, which I think is great because it shows how committed Corner Alliance is to its cultural development.
I’ve also enjoyed helping project and portfolio managers design tools to improve their project management and planning, as well as how they report information to their clients. For example, I helped one team develop a tool to capture grant recipient data. We had an opportunity to simplify a database built by the clients’ former contractor, while automating a lot of functions that streamlined their data reporting process.
In what ways does your focus on process and methodologies contribute to the growth of the company overall?
BR: [It] helps the company refresh how we are looking at data and information. [This includes:]
Confirming or denying beliefs about what we think is happening, and
Discovering inefficiencies and strengths so we can refine how and why we operate the way we do.
You have a background in both law, and in sports! What drew you to this business analyst role?
BR: I love problem-solving and puzzles and this position scratches that itch! I get to work with numbers and spreadsheets to problem solve, which is similar to what I was doing while working for NHL teams and player agents.--but I also get to use the critical thinking, writing, and analytical skills I developed in the legal world.
Are there skills from these previous experiences that are particularly helpful in your business analyst role? Which ones, and why?
Problem Solving. People come to me because they have an issue they need analyzed and resolved, or they (typically our CEO) have an idea that they need help figuring out how to develop.
Critical Thinking/Analytical Skills. I have to make sense of information and figure out what it’s telling me and how it can be used to accomplish our goals. Or, how the information can be utilized to inform and guide strategies.
Communication/Interpersonal Skills. I have to be able to communicate what I’ve developed and designed to the end user and how they can utilize the information. Additionally, I have to think of the different types of people who will be utilizing whatever I created because everyone interprets and processes information differently. If I don’t think about that, it can detract people from using the process or tool. It’s important I understand the person, or people, that are using the product to ensure it’s “user-friendly.”
What inspired you to join Corner Alliance?
BR: It simply felt like the right place for me to develop and be challenged. There is something about getting outside my comfort zone that I’ve grown to love; it’s why I went to college out of state, picked up and moved to Ohio to pursue my dream of working for the NHL, and then moved again for law school.
For you, what sets the company apart from others you’ve worked for, or are familiar with?
Corner Alliance presented that challenge of being outside of my comfort zone, but the staff showed me a supportive culture that I had not experienced in prior careers. It gave me a creative outlet, let me solve problems, and provided me with a runway for growth. They (the leadership team) are genuinely interested in their people, figuring out what makes them tick, and how they can better support their people.
Corner Alliance is a company where your mission matters. What does this mean for you?
BR: If I have an idea or goal, they are going to figure out a way to support me in that endeavor and give me an opportunity to see it through.
What insight might you offer to those considering to apply to the company?
BR: You’re coming into an environment where people are very passionate about the work they do and helping people. It’s a supportive environment, but provides a lot of freedom in the work. I think the company is looking for people who are passionate and genuine, have a creative and innovative spirit they can bring to the client, and want to be challenged to grow, and on the leading edge innovation and development with our government clients.
Interested in learning more about current career opportunities at Corner Alliance? Visit https://www.corneralliance.com/careers.