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Meet Our People: Erin Hartz

Erin Hartz is driven by tackling new challenges and spreading joy to those around her. She brings her teaching background to her work as a BI Consultant where she excels at making data more accessible to her clients and the community. She works with clients to help identify what data is important and actionable to them, then works to pull in, organize, and visualize their data (primarily using SQL and Mirosoft Power BI) in a meaningful way.

“My goal is to have a positive impact, big or small, on someone else every single day.”

Get to Know Erin

What was your experience like going from teaching to becoming a consultant?

Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming a teacher, and I am so happy I pursued that goal for myself. I loved teaching high school math for seven years. Teaching mostly juniors and seniors I got to work closely with students at a really crucial point in their education. Throughout my years teaching, my favorite part of my job was always developing the relationships with my students and watching them grow. Each year at the school, the seniors cast their votes for who they believe to be their most influential teacher to receive the ‘Senior Choice Award.’ I was so honored to receive this award three years in a row because it meant that I was really connecting with my students.

Although my passion for teaching still excited me, I knew I needed a change. I wanted to push myself and look for a new challenge. This was when I decided to take a coding class and became interested in software development. After doing my research I learned that a data analyst role would be the best for me. When searching for jobs I noticed that SQL was a required skill, so I found free resources online and taught myself. After securing a job as a data analyst I began working on mostly internal projects. I realized that I missed the external interactions, so I worked my way into Business Intelligence (BI) Consulting. I love to problem solve by working simultaneously with people and data.

Do you have any mentors at KSMC?

Allison Grayson is one of biggest professional role models. She is an intelligent, driven, bad-ass female. I admire the way she is so confident in herself and is never afraid to ask a question. Allison and I have virtual coffee chats every other week where she shares her advice on what it takes to be a successful woman in the workforce. I have loved learning from her and working alongside her at KSMC.

What inspired you to pursue a career in the tech and data industry?

My first coding class peaked my interest in the tech and data industry, but my overall passion for finding new challenges was what drove me to make a career change. I would tell any professional that is considering a job change to take full advantage of all the free resources available online. Another piece of information I found to be helpful was to remember that it is just as important to research the jobs that don’t interest you because that will help you better understand what industry and career path best suits your interests.

What impact you are looking to make on KSMC and our clients?

My goal is to make data accessible and readable to everyone. I want to make sure that data is used for good in order to provide transparency. I worked on a project with the Carmel Police Department to create a public dashboard that gives their citizens transparency to see what actions are being taken on specific topics. There is so much data out in the world that it often becomes cluttered and impossible to make sense of. Altogether, I strive to give people access to data so that they are able to make better more informed decisions that can help impact their trajectory in the future.

Are you involved in any volunteer opportunities?

Before the pandemic, I taught an adult basic education class at the Marion County Jail. Once a week, I would go in and work with the individuals to help build their basic reading and math skills. Because I am no longer able to visit the jail due to COVID, I have begun virtually tutoring young students. The transition to virtual learning can be hard for students, so I help outside their normal school hours to make sure they are staying track in their education path. These have been perfect opportunities for me because it helps fill the gap of teaching I was missing in my current job. It brings me so much joy to make a positive physical impact on someone’s life every day through these two programs.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to read, bake, and hike. I have been reading tons of murder mystery books and baking like crazy. I made and sold hundreds of bagels over quarantine and donated the profits to the Bail Project since I had to stop volunteering at the jail. Then as our first COVID-friendly activity, my husband and I hiked Mt. Mitchell in the Appalachian Mountains in November. It is actually the highest peak East of the Mississippi River!

What advice would you give to a young woman entering into her new career?

Try not to second guess yourself. I spent too much time in my twenties second guessing if the interactions I had with someone were good enough, if my project was good enough, or if I reacted correctly to a situation. If I had spent less time worrying, I could have spent that time focusing on the positives and gaining more confidence. Often, you are your own worst critic. Those little mistakes you make along the way no one thinks twice about. A good way to help this is by seeking out people you aspire to be like and getting to know them. I have had so many strong independent females as role models and mentors in my life that have helped me grow along the way.