Employee Spotlight: Melissa Griffith
By Melissa Griffith
Aug 12, 2022
What’s your role at Aclaimant?
I am a data services associate, meaning I work closely with our implementation and customer success teams to both build out our product to our clients’ needs and maintain our clients’ databases and workflows.
What do you do beyond work?
I love spending time with my friends and engaging in my hobbies. Most recently I have gotten into taking care of my houseplants, all of which were given to me as gifts over the years. I also love to cook, paint, read, and go for walks around Chicago or wherever I’m traveling.
What’s it like to work on your team?
On my team we are always learning, adapting, and getting our hands dirty. There is so much to know about data, software, and risk management that it is crucial to be open and flexible. As such, our work can be humbling and there is no room for ego - we are always open to helping each other out and sharing knowledge.
What about your work inspires you?
I really appreciate that our work here at Aclaimant aims to keep people safe and to help companies track and maintain important insurance claim information. I also think it is amazing that we provide risk managers with invaluable tools to conduct their work and save time so they can focus on other aspects of their jobs.
Do you have any favorite company traditions or things you enjoy about the culture?
Being open is a huge part of our culture here. It is easy to talk to people on any team, and everyone is willing to troubleshoot and lend an ear. I have gotten to meet and work with some amazing people here and I look forward to getting to know everyone even more.
How is Aclaimant’s culture different from previous companies you’ve worked for?
At Aclaimant, there is real dedication to each employee’s work/life balance. We have flexible PTO and sick time, which helps us focus on work when we are working and also gives us enough time to unplug and unwind. We also have outstanding benefits. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Aclaimant’s culture, however, is our dedication to sustainable growth. Rather than trying to maximize everything all the time, leadership at Aclaimant is willing to engage in measures that protect employees, their jobs, and our business as a whole, which I really appreciate.
How do you encourage and support remote culture?
One of my favorite ways to navigate project work in this remote environment is by suggesting we hop on a Zoom call whenever there’s something we need to sort out. It’s too easy to resort to sending lengthy Slack messages or emails, when often enough a 5-15 minute voice or video call is both more informative and personal. Maintaining human connection in the workplace helps me stay engaged. I also have developed a newfound appreciation for all the little daily moments we share together during these calls - from seeing people’s pets walk across their desk to hearing about everyone’s skincare routine.
How has working at Aclaimant advanced your experience with data management? What are some of the tools you use to work with data?
What is the most challenging part about working with people or teams who are not data savvy?
It can be challenging to communicate different aspects of data structure, or how data is stored, and its repercussions on client workflows. For example - if a risk manager is interested in having a dropdown question on a form, it matters if they want the user to be able to select one or multiple options. Single select options are stored as “strings” or phrases, while multiple select options are stored as “arrays,” or sets. Since these data structures are unique, we program the use of these data types in distinct ways - and we store this data in different formats, too. Even as someone who has been working with database management for the better part of 5 years, these concepts can seem abstract, and use cases that seem similar on the surface can actually require separate configurations. However, I sincerely enjoy confronting these challenges and working with other Aclaimers to gain a better understanding of our client's needs and how to best meet them.
What advice would you give someone looking for a data role?
Don’t be afraid to teach yourself things you don’t already know! You do not have to have a STEM degree in order to break into this line of work or be successful in these roles. While my own BA in math and philosophy gives me a leg up when it comes to familiarity with data, code, and formal logic, much of my team is comprised of people with backgrounds in arts, humanities, and history. These are the people who trained me on our product, and whom I continue to collaborate with every day. In the professional world, and particularly in the SaaS industry, workers learn the proprietary software their companies have developed - so you don’t need to come into this industry knowing everything! What you need is a curious mind and a self-starting attitude.
Any parting words for an inspiring Aclaimer?
Whether you are trying to start your career in SaaS or you are looking to lend your skills and expertise to a new company, Aclaimant is an amazing place to work. The open, collaborative culture here is very welcoming and understanding, making it easy to succeed if you are willing to put forth your honest effort.