Meet Your Data Success Team: Hayley Distler

Get to know Propeller’s world-class team in our ongoing employee spotlight. Today, we talk to Hayley Distler, who serves as a GIS specialist on the Data Success team. Hayley is based in our Denver, Colorado, office. 

(For more insights into the work the Propeller Data Success team does, check out this blog post.) 

What do you do at Propeller?

I’m part of the Data Success team. I work with all aspects of the data that’s been uploaded to our data visualization and analytics platform.

I make sure everything looks correct with image settings and ground control points when users upload their images. I’m the real pair of eyes that assures data quality for your 3D site surveys. I’m also one of the people who you’ll speak to if you’ve got an issue with your upload or your survey. I’m the first line of defense for customers’ data problems.

What’s your career background?

I have my bachelor’s degree in environmental science, with a focus on geography.

After I graduated, I worked for the United States Geological Survey for two years working on remote sensing and photogrammetry projects that looked at both high- and low-res satellite imagery. These projects mostly focused on wetland mapping and wildfire burn detection.

After that, I worked for a civil engineering and survey firm and started working with drone-collected data for the first time. Then I came to Propeller.

Where did you grow up?

Millburn, New Jersey, which is about 45 minutes outside of New York City.

Before working at Propeller, what’s the strangest or most interesting job you’ve held?

I worked at a wilderness camp in upstate New York for a number of summers. This place had no electricity or running water. I was a dishwasher on a team with two other people. We had two wash dishes for a hundred people three times a day. We had a dishwashing station run by propane, so we had to wake up early and get that propane-powered dish sterilizer running every day. I was the “scraper,” the one who initially scraped all the scraps off the dishes. So, yeah, I was a professional dishwasher.

What’s your favorite Propeller memory?

I spent my first three weeks at Propeller doing onboarding at our Sydney office. So, while I was very jetlagged my first day off the plane, coming into the office and meeting everyone for the first time was so memorable.

Any talents, secret superpowers, or fun facts about yourself to share?

My fun fact is that I was in a life insurance commercial when I was five years old. I had to sit on the steps of a playground and didn’t have any lines.

I’m also a runner and have done the Colfax Marathon here in Denver.

If you could be any piece of technology, what would you be?

I’d want to be a satellite. There are a lot of different kinds, but I’d want to be a geosynchronous satellite, which means I’d orbit and look down at the same spot on earth every day.

I really like the idea of observing the same area to see changes over time. It’d be like when you take a short video every day and then put them together at the end of the year and watch a year-long time lapse.

This is actually representative of my favorite part of the Propeller Platform—when you get to see the final 3D survey and can observe changes over time in our timeline slider.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Probably a photographic memory.

Do you have an office nickname? If so, what is it and how did you get it?

Yes, it’s “Hay-hay” or “Hales,” given to me by Rory (our co-founder) and Richo, respectively. There’s also a Tay-tay, so Hay-hay goes with that.

What’s one thing you wish people understood better about your job?

Being on the Data Success team is like being a professional problem solver. Every survey I work on requires a combination of technical and critical-thinking skills.

It also requires a lot of cross-team collaboration. In my role, I will interact with our Customer Success, Data Engineering, Product, and Hardware teams on a daily basis. It’s exciting to collaborate with the other teams, but it requires very strong communication skills to keep all stakeholders informed. Even two years into my role, I’m still learning new things from people across Propeller.

Want to join Propeller’s team? We’re hiring!

You might also like:

Meet Your Customer Success Team: Margaret Farmakis

Propeller Data Success 101: How We Provide Remote Processing Support

Five Things You Can Do (Remotely) Right Now to Sharpen Your Drone Data Analytics Skills

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