ChainXY Team - January 9, 2022
ChainXY Champions Christine Peng
CHAINXY IS ALL ABOUT KNOWING MORE.
ChainXY is all about knowing more. For example, do you know the amazing team behind our high-quality, curated chain list data for retail, restaurants and shopping centers? We love celebrating their accomplishments, which is why we’re so excited to share our ChainXY Champions series to highlight our greatest resource – our people.
Today, we’re championing our Customer Support and Quality Assurance Analyst, Christine Peng. She’s been a rising star with ChainXY since September 2021.
So, Christine, let’s get started!
What has your career growth been like since you started at ChainXY?
When I first started, I worked exclusively with the Quality Assurance (QA) and Customer Support (CS) teams. Over time my role has expanded to a unique one that fit my interests. In addition to my previous responsibilities, I also design maps for our marketing materials and scrape data with the Development team’s Python experts.
What motivates you about working here?
The variety of work that I do keeps things interesting.
Every day is different – different problems to solve for our clients, different people calling to learn different ways to use the data, different maps to make and different things to learn from my colleagues here.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
My favourite part of any day is cross-referencing our data with Google Maps for QA purposes or making new maps based on our data for Marketing purposes. I’ve always loved maps. I used to go on Google Earth just pretend to travel around the world. It feels like fate that I’m looking at and making maps in my career.
What is something most people wouldn't know about you?
I think my family’s immigration story from Beijing to Canada is an interesting one. My family are first generation immigrants, but that’s something my parents didn’t plan. It was something we had to do because my sister was on the way.
China’s one-child policy was in effect at the time, and this led to so many unintended consequences for a lot of people. Parents had fines levied against them, their friends, families and colleagues. Those that couldn’t afford to pay would have to find another way.
Children were abandoned or born in secret with no documentation, no chance at formal education or government support. Many women were sterilized after their first child or endured forced abortions. Today the ramifications are everywhere. An aging population suffers without enough youth to care for their elders. Generations of men remain single. I hope it’s different today.
It’s interesting to reflect on how one decision, one action, one sibling has completely changed my family’s trajectory. Leaving your country to learn a new culture and language isn’t easy, but we are healthy, happy and thriving. My sister and I received a great education. I’ve now started my career, and my parents are so proud.
What is one thing you could not live without?
Google Maps is such an integral part of my life. Without it, I don’t know how I would even get around.
Navigating by memory isn’t really a thing anymore – it’s kind of like electricity. You don’t realize how much you rely on these tools until service is down. A couple months ago, Google Maps was down for 2 hours. People lost their minds. Google Maps is the gold standard.
You can learn so much information that’s open source in Google Maps and I’m excited to see what the future of mapping holds – like indoor mapping. I can really see that becoming part of our daily lives in the future.
What's it like working on the Customer Support team?
What about working with the Quality Assurance team?
On the QA team I work primarily with Chris Shopland. He’s all the way out in Ottawa, but he trained me from the start and has always been a great support to me. Along the way he’s shown me how to be more meticulous in every step of the QA process.
When I see how he works, it inspires me to be more detail oriented so I can be on top of my game and provide that same level of support that he gives me. He’s a skilled and strong leader, and I can’t imagine ChainXY without him.
How is it working with the Development team?
I feel very much supported by everyone on the Development team. They take time out of their day to teach me about data scraping. If there is a question I have or a process I don’t understand, I know I can ask Connor, Jan, Cindy or anyone. They’re so good at what they do, so I get to learn from the best!
Who inspires you at ChainXY?
Honestly, I think everyone is inspiring in a way.
Sometimes the distance of remote work makes it harder to connect, but I constantly learn new things about my coworkers, their interests outside of work and how they’re trying to improve.
One specific colleague who inspires me is Oszkar. Since his onboarding, Oszkar has grown and shaped ChainXY in ways that this company had not seen before. His work ethic is unparalleled - he is always the first one in the office and last to leave. His agenda is constantly packed to the brim yet he is always there to provide a strong support system for the team.
I’m so lucky to work within a very strong and well-functioning team. We work primarily remotely, but we still find ways to support each other every day and I find strength in that.
What's the greatest lesson you've learned so far in your career?
One thing I’ve learned is to not be afraid to reach out and ask questions.
If you’ve got a burning question about what to do or how to do it, someone else has the answers. It could be a stranger on LinkedIn, it could be your colleague in the office.
You never know what you might learn when you ask questions – the answers can surprise you. That's such a key lesson for me: never hesitate to ask.
What are the coolest trends you’re seeing in the data?
Looking at individual chains and the number of locations over time is something I love doing. Especially after the pandemic! It’s interesting to watch which chains bounce back and which chains need to change strategy. Within the last two years, it didn’t really matter if you were a small, emerging brand or a large, mature brand – numbers were way down either way.
Today we’re seeing a revival for a lot of the larger chains, but many mom-and-pop franchises are still struggling – especially in the restaurant industry. Many have pivoted to providing outdoor spaces for dining and shopping. It’s so nice to people being outside more happening on a global scale.
What’s something fun about working at ChainXY?
I love travelling, so it’s fun to be able to find chains across the globe.
One fun little thing is being able to see new restaurants – like I didn’t know that X chain existed in this part of the world. I’m in a new city, let’s check it out. I learn more about places to explore in the real world.