Today we sat down with Dustin Hudson—Director, Engineering—and talked team collaboration tactics while working remotely, his dedication to building the best XM platform in the industry, and why data analytics is near and dear to his heart.
Describe your role at SMG.
I am a Director of Engineering, and I oversee our reporting and framework lanes. In practical terms, that means I have multiple teams composed of Software Engineers, Test Engineers, and Technical Team Leads working together to deliver the best possible reporting platform for our clients, while also developing the tools and standards that improve our speed-to-market and overall quality. We cover a lot of ground—everything from our smg360® reporting platform to case management and enterprise hierarchy tools.
What’s been key to keeping your team connected + engaged while working remotely?
With everything going on right now, keeping that team identity can be really challenging. Luckily, as technology professionals, we are comfortable picking up tools like Slack or online meeting platforms—both to collaborate on work issues as well as just stay in touch with each other. We do daily scrum meetings to make sure we’re all up to date with current progress, regular 1:1 meetings to keep up personal contact, and frequent virtual get-togethers to play games or just chat as a group. We highly value collaboration, which means team members go out of their way to keep constant communication.
Insights are a differentiator for SMG. How is your team helping us deliver richer insights through the platform?
Our mission is to be the catalyst for change, and that means building and operating the best customer experience platform in the industry. Everything we do revolves around getting powerful insights out to our clients. Sometimes that’s big, direct things like expanding our smg360 platform to support more kinds of data via rich, intuitive visuals and interactions. Sometimes it means working on the foundational technology behind the scenes that lets us leverage our clients’ organizational hierarchies to tailor insights to the right audience. And sometimes it’s building the tools that enable us to operate on the forefront of development best practices. We’ve got lots of irons in lots of fires, but they all come back together to deliver actionable insights.
Brands are ingesting more data than ever. What role do analytics play in giving clients a holistic view of their experience management data?
This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve spent 15+ years working with data across all kinds of initiatives—everything from logistics and supply chain optimization to financial analysis to CX/EX analytics—and at the core of it all is the more data you can bring in, the more you can accomplish. As we work on smg360, one of our core tenets is being able to incorporate almost any kind of data and present the relevant insights in powerful, easy-to-understand visuals.
Success for us is when our clients are able to look at the analytics we provide, quickly understand where they stand and what they need to do, and then take meaningful action—when we can bring all those different data streams together, from our research-driven in-house surveys to online ratings to contact center records all the way to the fine detail of transactional data and beyond. It’s all about getting to that holistic 360° view of the business and enabling clients to pull out what matters most to their customers, patients, and employees.
What’s your proudest accomplishment at SMG?
That’s a tough one, just because I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of really cool stuff in my time at SMG, and there’s a lot more in flight right now. Case management was a pretty big win in my eyes—we’ve had a lot of feedback from clients that case is solving real problems for them, and that means we delivered value. That’s definitely not just my accomplishment though. The credit really goes to everyone who worked on that project across all of our teams.