As Indiana’s tech community continues to grow and mature, it’s getting harder and harder to narrow down the winners for our annual Tech 25 Awards program. There is a wealth of tech talent in the Hoosier state, and they are making incredible moves. Join us in celebrating the Tech 25 class of 2021 through this profile series and learn a bit more about each winner.

Val Spangler is a Senior Manager of Business Intelligence (BI) Operations at hc1, focusing on providing real-world tech experience with a collaborative approach to information systems. Val turns powerful data into actionable insights, empowering clients to make the most of their hc1 solutions.

As the only woman and minority in a team of six, Val serves as a role model and her high performance brings immeasurable value to how her team thinks and solves problems. Val holds an undergraduate degree from Carroll University and an International MBA from Anderson University.

What led you to the tech industry and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?

I stumbled into technology by way of the business side of insurance. Having worked as both a claims adjuster and a marketing analyst, I quickly realized how technology not only improved customer experience, but also made my work life easier.

I worked closely with the BI team as a subject matter expert, and consequently, my curiosity in technology was piqued. I stepped into a role in Liberty Mutual’s BI team, and my love of data began.

My first job in tech was as an analyst for Safeco Insurance where I developed and analyzed Teradata SQL and Microsoft Excel reports for field staff and management. While with Safeco, I worked to enhance metric visibility by developing a more intuitive user interface.

When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?

My goal is to make the BI team’s life easier, interacting across all parts of the business and setting up the team for success. I continue to work with hc1 clients, delivering complex data into actionable insights through dashboards and reports.

I believe I am an emotionally intelligent leader who understands that the success or failure of a project rests on the quality of my relationships with my team and other departments and vendors.

What resources would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?

Though we work in technology, constant collaboration with our co-workers and external vendors is a must. I found Susan Cain‘s book, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” extremely eye-opening.

As a self-proclaimed extrovert and a “D” personality on the DISC profile, I tend to be gregarious and forthcoming with my opinions and concerns. This book showed me I could be confident in who I am but that I’m best served by allowing space for those not like me to share their opinions and concerns. This simple step has made me a better collaborator with my teammates and has allowed me to be successful in delivering on initiatives.

Val Spangler is a Tech 25 winner who is helping to grow and improve the tech landscape of Indiana. She was nominated by her VP of Business Intelligence, Chuck Girard.

Visit the Indianapolis Business Journal website to see the full listing and celebration of the 2021 Tech 25 honorees in the joint CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards supplement. You can also watch a video of the livestream from the CTO of the Year and Tech 25 Awards virtual event.

Read more coverage of the Tech 25 in this Index Feature Story and view and tag the gallery of photos from the event on Facebook.