Meet EI: Q + A with Brandi Daniel
This week, we sat down with Brandi Daniel, a Senior Research Manager in our Seattle office, to talk about how she ended up in research and analytics, her number #1 passion project, and the best piece of advice she's ever received. Enjoy!
What’s your role at Edelman Intelligence? What kind of work do you do?
I'm a Senior Research Manager in the Seattle office. I have been very fortunate to lead a wide variety of work and clients but I would say I predominately handle strategic communications research, focused on helping clients not only gain insights prime for the media, but also use said insights to help them improve as an organization.
Previous places of employment?
I am not your typical researcher! My journey began on the East Coast as a Financial Analyst for Norfolk Southern, a railroad company. There, I used my logistics foundation to make a positive impact on the domestic and international logistics teams at The Home Depot. However, something felt off in my career path. My younger self was struggling to find delight in having an indirect impact on the customer, a struggle that began my journey to research. The Home Depot’s Consumer Insights team felt like a great place to take my very analytical background closer to the end-customer, but first – I needed to learn research. I decided to move across the country to LA and begin this new chapter with a fresh look on life. After my bold move to quit my job, move across the country, and pursue a new career in research, I managed to find my way to Hall & Partners, a global boutique market research agency. My partner and I then moved to Seattle for her new role (fun fact: she’s also a researcher). I just switched offices, with no guarantee that Hall & Partners would have room for me to stay long-term. Right as I was getting settled into my new life in Seattle, a friend of mine reached out and presented me the opportunity to join EI, expressing the joys of research through a communications lens. It only took one visit to the office and meeting a few people on the team to know that I had found the place where I was going to thrive!
You came to Edelman Intelligence because…
Market research is super fun no matter where you do it, but Edelman Intelligence offers me the opportunity to cultivate my creativity as well. At EI, I have grown into a member of the team who takes a creative approach to her work, from brief to insight delivery. Although it was the creative freedom that brought me to EI, it was the team, the work, and the environment of the Seattle office that has kept me here!
Describe Edelman Intelligence in three words.
Imaginative, persevering, fascinating
Working in research and analytics: accident or design?
Accident – I didn’t even know market research existed until I met my significant other. Once she told me what she did, I thought to myself, "that sounds like fun!" Research as it was described to me felt like a perfect solution to mix my love for brands, problem-solving, analytics, and getting to interact with people. The people part is by far my favorite – the things that I have learned over the years in this field are beyond fascinating.
Describe your typical work day in 5 emojis or less:
#1 passion project you are working on right now:
It's that time a year, though it may seem early, to get started on ideating the annual Halloween Shopping Survey. Last year, we were able to help our client, The Value Village, not only see how this holiday has changed over time, but also improve the retail experience for its customers. Coming up on our third year, the challenge is to refresh our perspective and find ways to truly push the design of our research to ensure we achieve relevant and innovative insights around a holiday that stays consistent each year. #challengeaccepted!
In your opinion, the coolest thing happening in the world of intelligence right now is...
I would say the coolest thing happening right now is the need to understand the relationship between humans and AI. Beyond what new tech will exist, we need to ensure that it doesn’t further isolate us from each other and learn the ways it can be used to good!
A culture of collaboration must _________________.
... be comfortable with the slight tension that comes right before resolution, when opinions differ.
What three skills do you think are essential in your role?
Being strategic, being a lifetime learner, and being positive
Best piece of advice you’ve ever given or received?
"Under any circumstance, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next." - Don Miguel Ruiz
What I love about this notion is that it gives space for empathy in everything I attempt to do. I share this with others often. I feel that we so rarely do anything in a perfect setting, but we often expect the results of our efforts to reflect that kind of environment.
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