Justin Garrity was always drawn to the visual arts—everything from painting to filmmaking. He even painted professionally for many years. This creative side eventually led him to interactive arts. “My passion grew in two areas, data visualization and user-generated content,” says Garrity, who went on to become the president of Postano, a visual marketing platform. “As Postano grew, it led to a conversation with Ragy Thomas, the CEO and founder of the customer experience management platform Sprinklr,” he says.
In 2106, Postano was acquired by Sprinklr, which provides partners like Sonos, Philips, McDonald’s, and AAA Club Alliance with the tools to create and manage experiences (many on social media). Today, Garrity is the VP of Product Management, where one of his main responsibilities is working on product features at Sprinklr that are rooted in data visualization.
“Data visualization is the way we can interface with computers and see the patterns in the data that reveal true insights,” he says. “I am delighted to come to work each day and look for creative ways in which to make new types of experiences that unlock the mysteries in the data.”
Here, Garrity talks about a recent project helping the World Health Organization visualize COVID-19 data, how being creative has helped him find success, and what he loves about Sprinklr’s company culture.
What attracted you to work at Sprinklr?
When I was at Postano, I learned about Sprinklr as the most innovative and advanced platform for brands to connect to modern and social platforms. After multiple conversations with Ragy, leadership, and various teams at Sprinklr, it was ultimately the people and culture that attracted me to want to work there.
What are you responsible for in your role?
I’m responsible for three distinct areas of the business. First, I run the Channel Partnerships team as part of the product and engineering group. “Channels” within Sprinklr are defined as platforms that connect consumers with brands, such as Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. I also oversee the visualization family of product features at Sprinklr, including Sprinklr Display, Sprinklr Presentations, and Sprinklr Gallery. Finally, I run the design services team, which focuses on helping brands build compelling visual experiences with our visualization and consumer-facing features.
What is Sprinklr’s approach to innovation?
At Sprinklr, we look at modern channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat as a unique way in which brands and consumers can connect. We believe there is tremendous power in data and content generated on these platforms that can be leveraged to create compelling experiences. This past year, we have helped create amazing experiences including broadcast TV social-driven visualizations, massive interactive command centers, stunning UGC campaign galleries, compelling and dynamic presentations, and more.
What is the most rewarding project you’ve worked on recently?
The project that was the most rewarding and unique this year had to be the WHO COVID-19 dashboard. The World Health Organization needed help visualizing the COVID-19 data they were collecting from countries to help keep citizens informed across the globe. We worked with them to build a dashboard that is updated each day and serves as a source of truth during this ongoing pandemic.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced since working at Sprinklr and how did you overcome it?
It was the first truly global company I have ever worked for. Sprinklr doesn’t just sell to brands around the world—it has team members from every major department located in every corner of the world. Learning how to work effectively in a global company takes some practice and the rewards are tremendous.
What do you like best about the company culture?
Sprinklr’s company culture is active and real. The values were established well before my joining and still guide the company today. These values give an authenticity to Sprinklr that both the staff and our customers recognize. My favorite value is, “Never, ever give up. Ever.”
How has your creative side served you well throughout your career?
Painting is the practice of applying layers of paint in a specific way to create a distinct experience with the viewer. I find myself always thinking in terms of layers. When building software, this model of layering features one on top of the other to create a distinct experience is invaluable.
What other skills and traits are necessary to succeed in software development?
I was also an independent filmmaker for many years, or at least tried to be. I ended up making some shorts that were recognized many years ago. Filmmaking is a collaborative process involving an entire crew, and there are many similarities with software development as it relates to communication skills. No one ever sets out to make a bad movie, but often bad movies are made because of a breakdown in teamwork and communication. Software development is also a team sport. It is also important to stay curious and constantly look for new approaches in the field.