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Customer Empathy at BBI


A core BBI value is “Be Customer Centric.” In this post, we hear from Director Julia Nakano about what that means in practical terms. Julia has been with BBI for over three years and leads onshore and offshore data/analytics teams.  

Thank you for taking the time to share with us, Julia. Let’s start with your career — how would you describe your background? 

I have over 25 years of IT experience delivering solutions across financial services, healthcare, transportation, and government organizations. I focus heavily on collaboration across functions, translating business needs into technical practicalities. I’ve worked in every step of the project lifecycle, from analysis, to design, to deploying across enterprises.  

What types of projects do you work on at BBI? What is your day-to-day work like? 

I work with data ingestion and DevOps projects primarily, but there’s a lot of variety from day to day. I collaborate with teams across three time zones and multiple projects. There is a core relationship element, meeting with clients to understand their business needs/challenges, as well as keeping them informed on accomplishments, risks, and any mitigation plans. 

Outside of that, I spend time gathering and analyzing data to present to stakeholders, troubleshooting technical issues, and researching trends so I can expand my own skills and the skills of my teams.  

What does it mean to you to be customer centric? 

Being customer centric means understanding the customer's challenges and prioritizing their needs and satisfaction. The customer is at the center of decision-making, product development, and service delivery. As a consultant, we need to understand their expectations, anticipate their needs, and consistently deliver value by providing our expertise and ability to offer tailored solutions, build utilities to automate manual tasks, and aim for continuous improvement. 

Ultimately, it's about building strong, long-term relationships with customers by placing their interests at the forefront of business activities. 

What are some examples of how a customer centric approach plays out in a project? 

We align with customers from the beginning, empowering them to actively participate in the project. In those early conversations, we conduct thorough research to fully appreciate their pain points and expectations.  

Then, throughout the project, we keep them involved — soliciting feedback on our approach, maintaining open and transparent communication around progress and challenges, and prioritizing the features that will have the greatest impact for them. 

Is there anything BBI does differently with customer relationships than what you've experienced in past roles? 

Our teams work hard to think outside of the box and be resourceful, I’ve seen our consultants share very innovative ideas. BBI as a whole also conducts demos to showcase solutions to common challenges, helping customers to modernize and save time. 

What advice would you give to someone new to the data consulting world? 

I would encourage them to be sure they understand what data consulting means. You do not necessarily solve the clients’ problems. Rather, you guide them to the solution and help them execute their plan through policy, procedures, governance, while leveraging your experience and expertise. 

It’s important to be self-motivated and stay curious, the field is constantly evolving. Build a strong foundation by investing time in understanding basic business and data concepts, you want to always deliver work you’re proud of. 

Communication is also key, every consultant should have exceptional presentation and storytelling skills. Related, networking will open doors for you, so be sure to build and maintain relationships with clients, peers, and colleagues. 

Lastly, be adaptable and flexible. That is how you continue to learn and create exceptional experiences. 

Learn more about our approach from CEO Ravneet Singh.