StatSoft Employee Spotlight Blog…Olivier Lebret
- Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Olivier Lebret. I’m 43 years old, and I’m the Managing Director at StatSoft France. I was born and raised in Mirecourt, a small village in the East of France, capital of the stringed-instrument manufacturing and the lacework, and I’m now living in Paris.
- What is your professional background? I’ve got a Master degree in Economics, University of Nancy (France), 1993. I had lots of mathematics and statistics courses during this cursus: descriptive statistics, probabilities, parametric and nonparametric statistics, econometrics, multivariate analyses, time series/forecasting, financial mathematics… It was very useful for the localization of the first French version of STATISTICA 5.0!
- How long have you worked for StatSoft? This is 17 years now that I’m with StatSoft, and 15 years as a Managing Director at StatSoft France. I started as a translator at Headquarters in Tulsa, and was offered the position of Managing Director of the new wholly-owned subsidiary of StatSoft, Inc., that was created in November 1996 in the suburbs of Paris.
- Just what is it you do at StatSoft? Over the past 17 years, I’ve been doing many things, including localizing the software and its documentation (electronic and printed), teaching classes, or working as webmaster and marketing manager. In fact, I’ve touched every aspect of the job, from the administrative and human resources management to the most advanced tasks with technical support and sales. This is quite challenging, and honestly, I never had the time to get bored since I started with StatSoft in 1995!
- What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? StatSoft France is responsible for the French speaking countries (and sometimes we are helping our friends from other subsidiaries on their respective market too). We have many occasions to travel and discover new cities, in France and abroad. I like that very much. A few years ago, I was given the opportunity to teach a training course with a customer close to Barcelona in Spain. I never had the chance to go there before, but I loved this city and its unique atmosphere so much that I returned there several times since.
Another aspect that I like very much is when a customer is having a very complex problem to solve, and we can address it with STATISTICA (sometimes with a good amount of creativity). For instance, it took lots of imagination to fulfill the desires of Mr Mazoué at 3M France, but together we succeeded (including sometimes by using functions in a way that was not designed for it in the first place). He is now very pleased with the output, and his application runs smoothly and provides automated capability analyses for the operators and reports for the management. I want to take this opportunity to thank Mr Mazoué again and other customers like him for their close collaboration over the years.
- Please tell me about your most rewarding or satisfying experience, your proudest moment(s), since you joined the company. Every time we release a new version of the software or print a new manual in French, and hear positive feedback from the users that not only the quality of the software is very high, but also that the French version of the program and its documentation matches the quality of the original US version, this is extremely satisfying.
There are countless goods and services that have “STATISTICA inside.” Whenever I go to the grocery store, when I’m using my mobile phone, when I drive my car or take the plane, when I just walk in the street, or when I simply do my stuff at home or in the office, there is not a single day where I’m not “touching” something that has “STATISTICA inside.” This is something I’m very proud of.
- Any exciting projects you are working on? I’m currently working on several big projects. Among them, I’m talking with a few large prospects that are considering purchasing a corporate license of STATISTICA for deploying over several countries, and with schools that will adopt STATISTICA globally as their standard for their courses as soon as September 2012. This is very exciting to see such a large recognition for our software, and for the French version in particular.
I am also personally involved in the localization process of our new Decisioning Platform, a new powerful tool that seamlessly integrates and automates rules for effective and efficient scoring. Banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, telecommunication providers, marketing departments, and countless others will like this new Decisioning Platform as it addresses their analytics needs in a very nice and efficient way without requiring IT support for the deployment.
- What is the strangest request you’ve ever had from a caller or customer? More than 10 years ago, one of our customers called us after making the decision to offer a STATISTICA license along with its documentation to his girlfriend as a Valentine’s present. Not only was this request unique by itself, but this gentleman also requested that we put a nice wrapping paper around the box before shipping it… We did it, but never heard from any of them again! The story doesn’t tell about the lady’s face when she opened the box, not if this couple ever married since…
- Before working here, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? After my diploma, I had the opportunity to work at the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) as a research officer for 17 months as part of my national civil service. I was in charge of demographic studies, and wrote several articles that were published in the local monthly review. This was quite challenging for a young student, just fresh from school, to manage the entire project from extracting and analyzing the census data, writing a few pages summary with illustrative maps, and present the results to the local radio and to the press as well as officials and elected representatives.
As far as the most unusual job, I was working in a call center as an agent to pay for my studies. I did all, surveys, sales, prospecting, but the funniest one was the “Mystery Calling” to evaluate the telephone service quality levels of our targets. I had to imagine a different scenario each time and play a role with all my contacts (administrations, bigger and smaller industries, service companies, …). I had lots of fun doing this, and it was really an instructive experience for me.
- Are you married? Do you have kids? No, I’m not, and I don’t have kids either. But I’ve got a lovely cat, Zeitoun, and two fish tanks with many colorful guppies inside that are so relaxing to look at!
- What are your hobbies? I like very much travelling (Roma, Barcelona, or London are some of my favorite cities) and nature in general (I’ve got great memories of the US west coast, especially Crater Lake in Oregon; France has a lot to offer with this respect too). I like gardening and DIY (I spent hours redesigning my new apartment in Paris, including moving walls) and love music and dancing too.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? This is really hard to say as the world is changing so fast…I hope that statistics and data mining will make the world a better place. Hopefully, my actions will contribute, at least a bit, to make it a safer, a cleaner, and a nicer place to live for the next generations worldwide.