- 4/26/2015 10:25:34 PM
@tomsg, perhaps its lack of confidence, or it could be fear of working with others, or they are just embracing that good old fashion cowboy spirit, "team, i don't need no stinkin team, I work alone!"
- by T Sweeney, Blogger
- 4/11/2015 4:19:18 PM
I think you do a great job of making the distinction between Right Data and Big Data, Leo. And I'm delighted this topic is getting some airtime and that big thinkers (right thinkers?) are calling BS on this idea that you need or should have terabytes and petabytes of data in order to arrive at proper, sound conclusions. American's consumer ethic has gotten the better of us here, and it's high time for a reset.
- by tomsg, Data Doctor
- by Jamescon, Editor
- 4/9/2015 9:47:04 AM
@Leo. Thanks for the response, I know that Us vs Them issue is tough to avoid.
Count me as a fan of the key point in the first half of your blog -- the right data isn't necessarily big data. I cringe when I hear people say that companies should grab and save forever every bit of data out there, regardless of whether they need it. You need to focus on the right data that might apply to a given issue or opportunity.
On the disconnect/identity issue when it comes to IT not being considered "business," I like the McCracken idea. We have mindsets and comfort zones that have to be overcome. Maybe corporate organizational moves and nomenclature can bridge the gap, as long as we avoid say-nothing 21st century titles like "Advocate for Corporate Knowledge."
However, I think a key part of any such bridge actually is in our audience. By the very nature of their jobs data scientists and other analytics pros have to think about what technology and data can do for the business and what the business needs from technology and data. This applies whether those pros are at the staff level massaging data or knocking on the door of the C Suite with strategic ideas.
From building out an initial system design to presenting the business results at a conference, those analytics pros have to think what that system will do for the success of the organization.
- by Leo Sadovy, Blogger
- 4/8/2015 9:17:18 PM
I thought long and hard about how I was going to best word the second half of the topic, rewriting it several times, knowing that it was going to come across as "Us vs Them" pretty much no matter what I did – there was no avoiding it. The first half of the post is the primary point I wanted to make- right data versus big data. The big failure in the Honkin' Data Cube section is really just basic presentation skills, know your audience, and make sure you address all of their expectations, which I think most of them could have done if they'd planned for it. The larger issue harkens back to an article I once read by Bill McKracken, former CEO of CA Technologies, where he proposed the BIO to replace the CIO, a Business Information Officer who would take a broader, more strategic, more holistic view of information, especially as our business processes become indistinguishable from our information flows.
- by Jamescon, Editor
- 4/8/2015 10:29:52 AM
@Leo. You've hit on a classic IT/business issue, that gap that haunts so many dev projects, not just analytics or data warehouses. Business says, "I want." IT says, "I'll build." Somewhere down the line, what business wants and what IT builds aren't the same. Your business audience wanted to know what the data warehouse is used for. The IT guys say, "See our neat data warehouse."
I think we've all seen this same thing happen on dev projects dating back decades to when business leaders would toss requiremens over the wall to IT, and IT would toss back a "finished" product two years later. We've all spent 30 years talking about the problem -- both sides are at fault -- but it still happens. The project completion time might be just three or six months now instead of two or three years, but the frustrations on both sides linger.
I thought that what began as iterative development and later emerged as agile would break through the issue and make IT more aware of the need to match business needs/purposes and make the business more aware that they have to be specific up front on what they want (and match their wants to what IT actually can do -- they don't do magic).
As the years have gone by I've come to realize that even our language encourages this understanding gap. We still talk about "IT" and "the business". (I'm as guilty as anyone). The fact is that IT is as much a part of the business as are sales, marketing, manufacturing, finance and whatever. Corporate language, org charts, compensation systems, staffing, and other factors seem to work to preserve that gap. Maybe some day...
- 4/8/2015 7:42:20 AM
I think I am guilty of approaching such issues from the IT persective all the time. Many times I look at a problem, come up with a solution, implement it and then walk away, I have been known to overlook the buisiness aspect of it, something I have been trying to work on, but the engineer in me just takes over sometimes.
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- by James M. Connolly