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Jamie Simmons: Embracing Data's Power to Inform

Discover how a life-long interest in solving problems lead Jamie Simmons from a controls technician to leading a team of data analysts and the role that data played along the way.

Data is everywhere, so are career opportunities for those who can harness it for insight. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the data analyst job market is predicted to grow by 23 percent between 2021 and 2031.

However, according to Trane’s Market and Customer Analytics Leader, Jamie Simmons, data analytics wasn’t a well-illuminated career path when he was in high school looking ahead at college and career options – and he’s excited to see the subject being elevated in today’s career conversations and higher education offerings.

Jamie is passionate about the possibilities that data analytics provides. In his words, “Data analytics is the most powerful tool we have to help understand the world around us and make better decisions”. Jamie lives those words in his current role. He and his team of data analysts focus on using data to deeply understand the market and inform business decision-making. Their work helps to answer often-difficult questions such as market size, opportunity, and segmentation – yielding insights that help Trane optimize its go-to-market strategy and continuously put customers first.

Jamie didn’t start out intending to work in data analytics. In fact, he took a circuitous route, initially pursuing an engineering degree. When Jamie discovered he wasn’t all-in on the engineering track, he returned to work at a local high-tech manufacturing facility where he had interned during high school. While there, he crossed paths with a local Trane leader who was impressed by his facilities knowledge and understanding of controls and automation — which led to a job as a Trane HVAC controls technician.

At Trane, Jamie began to recognize the potential of data analytics while installing and programming building automation systems. This work required him to monitor system operating data such as temperature and air quality, observing trends and patterns to ensure optimal performance of HVAC systems. “When I had to look at the operating characteristics of equipment, systems and buildings, data really became real-world to me. It was eye opening.”

Over the years, Jamie took on roles of increasing responsibility within Trane while also earning his college degree. As a project manager supporting Trane’s building automation system design software, Jamie took on the challenge of modernizing the team’s product usage data analysis – an endeavor that positioned him to learn new data analytics skills and network with like-minded colleagues. During an internal analytics summit Jamie initially connected with Amy Hughes, his current manager, leading to the data analyst role he held before his current position.

“Jamie’s unique background gives him a wealth of life experience, driving a thoughtful, strategic approach to analyzing the data we work with every day,” said Hughes, Director of Market & Customer Insights for Trane. “He consistently provides a fresh perspective and valuable insights to the team, enabling us to optimize the value our data analytics group brings to Trane.”

Jamie sees a strong parallel between his life-long interest in solving problems and the data analytics work that now occupies his days. “What I like best about data analytics is that it enables us to solve problems and answer questions for the business that would otherwise be either impractical or impossible to answer. And we can do it at scale and with repeatability.”

Jamie remains excited by his work, day in and day out. “What really gets me up in the morning is knowing that we are going to take that data and translate it into business value; that's where I have fun. Data analytics unlocks so many possibilities for the business that help us make better decisions on how we go to market and how we serve our customers.”

Jamie recommends that anyone with interest in data analytics should take advantage of the many opportunities that now exist to simply get exposed and explore that interest. “Whether it happens in science class, through free online training, or more formally through one of the many certification or college degree programs now available – opportunities exist at any level to get exposed to the power of data and the tools and methods used to unlock data-driven insights. Trane’s NC3 Data Analytics Certifications and Trane’s Virtual Living Learning Lab (VL3)  are phenomenal examples of ways we can put big data with real-world context into the hands of students who may be able to identify a passion for data analytics early in life.”

Reflecting on his journey so far, Jamie now sees with increasing clarity where his passion for data analytics shone through in ways he didn’t necessarily recognize at the time. “It’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t just one path to a career in data analytics. It can be an intentional starting point, or the passion can emerge when big data shows up somewhere in your day-to-day work, as it did for me,” said Jamie. “Whatever industry or profession students pursue; data analytics can be their most powerful problem-solving tool.”

Jamie Simmons, Market and Customer Analytics Leader


Jamie Simmons brings more than 14 years of experience to his role as Market and Customer Analytics Leader for Trane. He has been with Trane since 2010 in progressive positions as Controls Technician, Controls Project Specialist, Project Manager, Data Analyst, and his current role. Jamie resides in Upstate New York and enjoys spending time with his two sons. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management from Keuka College.