Driving change

Natalie Shaw: Director of Business Intelligence at HeartLand

Natalie Shaw

Growing up in a fast-paced environment where change was the only constant, I had the opportunity to gain unique experiences and realized that I am capable of anything I set my mind to despite difficulties. I believe this concept can apply to anyone. Being true to yourself is a powerful element to creating your own path and following your passions, especially when it does not conform to a conventional one.

I have always been passionate about the Earth with a purpose to make a difference through my career. I knew early on I would study geosciences and aim to live each day reflecting my values through my actions, whether that be planting seeds or changing my lifestyle. This passion, combined with my natural curiosity and desire to solve problems, triggered my career in data analytics.

I initially joined HeartLand in 2020 for the opportunity to implement a geographic information systems platform, something unheard of in the industry at that time. The prospect of joining the company excited me because I am passionate about the societal and environmental benefits that landscaping brings to our communities. And I also wanted to develop a new program that would modernize how the company operated.

As a woman in the data analytics field in the landscape industry, I serve as a leader to a team that brings business ideas to life. The business intelligence team supports our operating companies by equipping our sales teams with a virtual prospecting tool and leaders with an integrated reporting system. In addition, we maintain a scalable cloud-based data warehouse which integrates data from all aspects of our business into one resource. This data is consumed by our business intelligence platform, where we gain insights into our business and automate reports. Knowing that our companies are gaining value from our analytical tools motivates me.

It is rewarding to witness the growth of our team and see how each member develops solutions and strategies to achieve what we once thought might be impossible. It is equally rewarding to witness how the systems we built in-house change how we visualize our business and bring new opportunities to track our performance, increase efficiency and drive accountability.

I believe in leading by example, and our team motivates me to grow each day and work to make a difference in our peoples’ and communities’ lives.

Nearly three years later, I do not think about being a woman in a male-dominated industry. Instead, I think about the women I work with in my company driving positive change and inspiring me. I am surrounded by people who support, trust and respect me, enabling a culture of growth. We have hired several women in leadership positions. There is a shift happening in the green industry, and I believe it has already started at HeartLand.

It can be daunting or overwhelming to start a new project or be a part of something new, but it is these challenging situations that enable our personal and professional growth. I have been afforded several opportunities at HeartLand to build and create new processes that did not exist before, alongside leading a team. This is a challenging mission, but I believe anything is possible with the right resources in the right environment.

Women in landscaping is a column brought to you in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Natalie Shaw is an active member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals Women in Landscape Network (powered by Bayer) which provides a forum for industry professionals to support each other’s professional growth. The Network is free to all industry professionals.

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March 2023
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