Employee Spotlight With Data & Integration Specialist, Christopher Bohl

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“During my time at Bangert, I’ve enjoyed helping our clients get the data they need in the format they want. Every report or question is a small, sometimes big logic puzzle, which is a wonderful extension of my passion for complex systems.”

It’s important to recognize employees who continuously deliver quality work. Christopher Bohl, Data & Integration Specialist, has a passion for problem-solving, working with data, and helping others. In our conversation, we delve into what qualities a good report writer should have, how reports save time and money, as well as a tabletop game that Christopher has been co-creating. Learn more about Christopher by reading below!

Before working at Bangert, you used to work for a corporation. What do you like most about working for a family-owned company? What have been some of the biggest changes?

The best part about working at a smaller, family-owned business is the level of separation between the people in charge of the business decisions and the clients. In the corporate world, the idea of someone in upper-management speaking directly to a client is almost unheard-of but at Bangert, it’s hard to think of a day when Reid, our COO, wouldn’t speak directly to a client or a week where our CEO, Kurt, wouldn’t. The fact that the people at Bangert who make business decisions understand the relationships between their employees and their clients makes all the difference in the world for both parties.

Why do you enjoy helping customers?

I would say that I generally like helping people. Also, the assistance they need from me leads to interesting logic problem-solving that I really enjoy, it’s a hobby for me. Even when the task is challenging, I like helping our clients achieve success.

You’re no stranger when it comes to report writing, what do you like about writing reports?

Writing a report is kind of the inverse of a logic problem, you start with the answer, work your way back, and figure out how you got that answer – and then you tell the computer how to do it. So, it’s the same idea where you’re just solving logic puzzles, which I’ve done for a long time. My dad and I would spend hours on lateral-thinking problems when I was a kid and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed. Report writing tends to fall within that same type of thing. 

It’s also part of the reason I like working with data in general – it falls back to my hobby of logic puzzles. The way that data is interconnected in a database is all just one big logic structure. Finding the most efficient way to use those links to gather information just ends up being a very intriguing puzzle to me.

What makes a good report writer? 

Having the ability to think logically, outside the box, and memorize things by rote. Also, a good report writer needs to have strong attention to detail.

How do reports save time and money?

When you spend hours searching through your system to gather data, those hours spent manually finding the data often have a pattern to them that can be automated. When you can automate it, the computer can go through that data so much faster. You can go from spending hours and hours going through individual, separate reports that may already exist, or go through separate modules of your accounting software, just gathering pieces of information to fill out a form.

Alternatively, you can spend a bit of time building that report, tell the computer those links, and it spends a minute grabbing all of that data for you. You can save anywhere from an hour, tens of hours, to even a week depending on what type of situation you’re in. So, not only do you save money in paying people but you’re also saving that time for other work that employees can do.

You’ve been working on a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) with your friends named Danger Ranger, what prompted you to create a tabletop game?

Usually a tabletop game session takes 3-12 hours, depending on what kind of group you’re playing with, and as my friends and I are getting older, it’s difficult finding a time for us to get together. We tried to come up with an answer to how can you play something that doesn’t take a lot of time to get into if it’s new for someone. For instance, with Dungeons and Dragons, you could easily spend 4 hours, or even more,  just creating a character. We wanted something where you can just quickly hop right into it, have a more intuitive ruleset, while also having all of the key pieces that go with a tabletop game. The length of time it takes to learn a ruleset behind a role-playing game and the length of time it takes to build a character and get into a session are the biggest hurdles, especially when you introduce somebody who’s new to the game.

Our whole idea behind Danger Ranger is intuitiveness, speed, and we also wanted it available to play through a mobile device and still have the full experience. The plans for it in the future are to look towards monetizing it by print first and then by app second!

Have you started any new hobbies during quarantine?

My hobbies were already aligned with quarantine, however, I recently started doing yoga to get some exercise but I wouldn’t quite yet call it a hobby.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic?

I’m looking forward to feeling comfortable to go and sit down in a restaurant. A dishwasher keeps you from spending hours doing dishes but it’s still annoying to have to do your own dishes.

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