When most people get bored, they binge watch a new show, read a book, or maybe pick up a hobby. SpotOn Data Analyst, Stephany Santa Cruz is not “most people.” Restless waiting for her US work visa to be approved, Peruvian-born Santa Cruz turned a career interlude into a career opportunity by going to business school to earn her MBA. While she could have filled the time with any number of diversions, Santa Cruz saw an opportunity to enhance her skills by pursuing a higher education degree. She made the most of the moment.
Throughout her eclectic career, Santa Cruz’s desire to maximize a moment has been a unifying thread. Whether for Disney World vacationers, international business travelers, or small business owners, Santa Cruz is passionate about the user experience—that is, the practice of taking a good experience and making it great.
“I really like evaluating a situation, product, or experience, and figuring out the subtle ways I can optimize it,” Santa Cruz explains. “There is almost always room for improvement if you know the right questions to ask, or the right places to look.”
When working with an international trade company, for example, Santa Cruz’s role was pretty straightforward: create an itinerary for people traveling to attend shows in countries like China, Russia, Dubai, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia. But when she realized that for many of the business travelers, this would be their first international trip, she took extra care to minimize points of friction and build in opportunities for the business travelers to experience an element of tourism. Santa Cruz had to try to see the trip through their eyes to understand how to make it the best possible experience. “In my desire to help them have a good experience seeing the other side of the world, I had the fascinating experience of seeing the world through their eyes. It gave me a new sense of empathy.”
Work visa in hand, MBA under her belt, Santa Cruz had been contemplating a new career path when a friend suggested an open role in behavioral analytics at her company, SpotOn. The role, which focused on optimizing customers’ digital experiences, felt tailor-made to Santa Cruz. She had not considered that the thing she had intuitively done across her career and industries could be so precisely articulated: the job was to make things better.
As a Data Analyst for SpotOn, Santa Cruz feels she has found the perfect role to bring together her wide range of experiences. In her work optimizing customers’ digital experiences, Santa Cruz evaluates how SpotOn's clients and their customers are interacting with products by looking for patterns, evaluating user flow, and finding ways to make it simpler and more intuitive.
She’s not just analyzing the data to tell her where things are going well or where they can be improved, though. She’s looking at it to help her understand the specific nuances of the decisions a user is making.
“My biggest win was to build the checkout conversion funnel for SpotOn Order,” Stephany says. “To this date, this funnel allows us to track how well the product is doing in terms of conversion and highlights where the point of frictions are in the process that could be causing drop offs. I love that my role is to tailor the user’s experience to make it the best it can be specifically for them and our customers.”