Ep 27 - How Caroline & Sara are building a huge dataviz community in Portugal

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Episode Summary

A lot of people know about data visualization, but they don’t actually understand the possibilities that can be unlocked
— Sara Mesquita

Something must be in the water in Lisbon, Portugal… Because Data visualization is on FIRE there! Dave got to attend one of their meetups when he was visiting this spring, and two of their leaders really impressed. Sara Mesquita and Caroline Doye lead this awesome group of information designers, meeting almost weekly on different topics from D3.js to Tableau.

 
Caroline Doye

Caroline Doye

 

For Caroline and Sara, they believe that knowing how to extract the information that is "hidden" in the data is what makes all the difference, regardless of your occupation.

The keys to their success are numerous, but something they really focus on is keeping the topics strongly interdisciplinary. They also make sure you walk away with tangible ideas to level up your skills with any tool, from Excel to Tableau or Power BI. Or if you wish to get to the next level using R, Python or even D3.js, this will be at the meetup for you as well.

Community is the key, whether it’s in the United States or in Portugal. It’s useful no matter what level you are. For the dataviz experts, giving back to the community is a way to test and hone their skills. For beginners, it’s a safe environment for people to learn, grow and try new techniques before taking back to a professional setting.

Sara Mesquita

Sara Mesquita

One of the activities that they do that I found fascinating was “data sketching”… putting ideas on paper and trying lots of iterations. Caroline feels that data sketching helps get you beyond just the coding and numbers, but really think about the ideas and try new things.

I think Dave and Matt will be doing some data sketching of our own in the near future!

More about Sara and Caroline

Caroline on LinkedIn - in/caroline-coro

Chantilly on LinkedIn - in/saramesquita1

Data Viz Meetup Lisbon - meetup/Data-Visualization-Lisboa


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Data Literacy is HOT at Minneanalytics Data Tech 2019

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For people on the technology side of analytics and data science, there can often be a sense of frustration that the business teams don’t fully understand how to use the data, models, insights, and reports that we create for them. Business teams need to DO SOMETHING with the data, or you won’t see the ROI on your analytics projects.

Matt and Dave checking out the vendor hall at Minneanalytics Data Tech 2019

Matt and Dave checking out the vendor hall at Minneanalytics Data Tech 2019

Matt and I had the opportunity to speak about exactly this topic at the 5th Annual MinneAnalytics Data Tech 2019 conference in the Twin Cities last week. The conference was buzzing with energy this year, with over 1,300 people registered!

We were interested to see how a Data Literacy topic would be received at a conference designed for Data Science and Information Tech people. It turns out that both business and technical people are interested in improving the fundamental data capabilities of their organizations, as 200 people signed up for the event!

Our key message was simple: If you’re an analyst or data scientist, and feel like the business team doesn’t quite “get” what you’re doing… start building relationships with them! Data Literacy for your business teams start with you. They know that data can help them, but you need to bring them along the journey.

To that end, here are our three ideas for Data Science, Analytics and BI teams to start dipping their toes in the water of data literacy for their organization:

  1. Find a business buddy. Get at least one and more preferably business buddies where you can share your knowledge around the power of data literacy. In turn you can get more knowledge around the business domain. Seek out people that are in a similar stage in their career but on business side. important: This is different than and not a mentor relationship.

  2. Do a data viz challenge or hackathon together. Working on the same team in a close time-boxed competitive environment with those that are business-side people will help you empathize and respect them more with them and vice versa. Remember we talk about diversity and it's strength and an element of diverse teams is different organizational backgrounds.

  3. Judge a student data challenge together. There are a lot of student analytics challenges nowadays and they are always looking for judges. Find one and get your business buddy or another business-side person to participate in this challenge as a judge. You will both be better able to understand more of your strengths from the questions you each ask and engagement with student teams. Plus you will be doing a social good by doing this and better helping these students understand different perspectives from an organization.

Thank you MinneAnalytics, their sponsors, and everyone that attended Data Tech 2019 and especially those attending our session. We love coming to these events to see just how powerful a community’s passion around data can be.

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Ep 26 - Qlik Qonnections 2019 Feat. Chantilly Jaggernauth and Ben Jones

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Episode Summary

You can’t just run a bunch of training programs without building a community or establishing tool accessibility.
— Ben Jones

Last week, Dave had the opportunity to head out to Dallas Texas to learn and speak at the annual Qlik Qonnections Conference. Qlik were gracious hosts and we were honored to be on stage with our friend and previous podcast guest, Jordan Morrow, Head of Global Data Literacy at Qlik.

To start, since many of you couldn’t make it to the conference this year, we wanted to share the outline of the presentation: “Top 5-Tips to creating a Data Literate Organization”:

  • Create a plan and goals that are true to your culture

  • Establish authentic data literacy principles

  • Have a combined top-down and bottoms-up approach

  • Constantly incentivize deliberate data informed decisions

  • Bring people together and establish a community

Beyond Dave and Jordan’s presentation, one of the more exciting parts of the conference was getting to meet some long-time “virtual” friends who are doing great things in the Data Literacy space. Dave brought his microphone along and got some great candid conversations.

First up was Ben Jones, founder and CEO of Data Literacy, LLC. Dave had the chance to catch up with and discuss some of the challenges with solving the Data Literacy gap.

La

Ben was a long-time Tableau employee who recently left to pursue his passion in solving data literacy. His goal is to “help people speak the language of data”. This includes public classes, Udemy courses, and writing books! Ben also has a fantastic online following and is always entertaining, encouraging, and educational. If you’re not following him on Twitter or LinkedIn, start now!

Ben had a unique opportunity to work with millions of Tableau Public users in his previous role. Many of those users were not traditionally trained in data. So given that unique experience, we were interested in his perspective on some of the biggest data skill gaps in non-analysts today?

Ben believes that much of it stems from understanding the basics of statistics and how to “think” about data. But just as importantly, there’s a people gap… how to effectively tell a story that compels people with data.

Ben is an expert at creating communities like the Data Literacy community on LinkedIn, or supporting the new community tools at the Data Literacy Project.

Chantilly Jaugernauth.jpg

Next we were so excited to connect with Chantilly Jaggernauth, who has been doing some AMAZING things in the data literacy space.

Specifically, she started an organization called Millenials and Data. MaD focuses on getting data literacy curriculum baked into high school and university programs. Data will be such a critical part of the next generation of

One really amazing program that MaD launched is their 3-day program for High Schoolers in Washington DC, helping students integrate data into business and personal problems that they are passionate about solving.

Chantilly has recently joined the leadership team of the Data Literacy Project. She’s hoping to use this opportunity as a platform to get data literacy even more embedded into the way that students learn about their careers, whether it’s finance, marketing, psychology, or information technology. She also hopes to raise awareness for the importance of building a data literate society and workforce.

Thank you Ben and Chantilly! I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be chatting more on this show in the future!

More about Ben and Chantilly

Ben on LinkedIn - in/benrjones

Ben on Twitter - @DataRemixed

Ben’s Company - DataLiteracy.com

Chantilly on LinkedIn - in/chantillyjaggernauth

Chantilly on Twitter - @millennialsdata

Chantilly’s Organization - Millenials and Data

Links and References

Conference - Qonnections 2019

Book - Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Check out the Data Literacy Project


The Data Able Podcast is made possible by Beyond the Data

We are on a mission to help people like you become a champion in your organization for a more data-informed approach. Data science and analytics is critical, but getting real value requires building a culture that starts with you, is supported by executives, and trickles down to every person in your organization.

 
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Ep 25 - Brian O'Neill - Designing Better Experiences in Analytics

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Episode Summary

Good analytics really starts with empathy. It’s truly the heart of good design. It’s caring and having the right conversations with the right people.
— Brian O'Neill

Design. User Experience. Knowing your audience. Empathizing with your end user.

These are such critical facets of getting analytics right in your organization. If you don’t pay attention to what your constituents want and need, you’ll build something amazing, but it wont’ get the adoption you should. Low adoption means people aren’t using the data you worked so hard to produce.

Data visualization and data storytelling are certainly part of the answer. But it’s only part. A well crafted data viz tells a story, but if nobody wants to read it, then was it really a good viz in the first place?

La

Brian O'Neill knows a little bit about this problem. He is a product designer and founder of the consultancy, Designing for Analytics, which provides design and UX consulting for custom enterprise data products and apps. For over 20 years, he has worked with companies including DELL/EMC, Tripadvisor, Fidelity, NetApp, MITRE, JP Morgan Chase, ETrade and numerous SAAS startups. Today Brian focuses on helping clients create more useful, usable, profitable, and engaging decision support software and information products. In addition to consulting, Brian is also an international speaker and podcast guest, having appeared at multiple O'Reilly Strata conferences, Predictive Analytics World in Berlin, and on the IBM Analytics podcast, Making Data Simple. He also authored the Designing for Analytics Self-Assessment Guide for Non-Designers,  maintains an active mailing list, and hosts the podcast, Experiencing Data. Earlier in 2018, Brian joined the International Institute for Analytics' Expert Network as an advisor on design and UX.

A fun fact about Brian? He’s a musician by training! He is a professional percussionist in Boston. He tours internationally and has performed at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center

More about Brian O’Neill

Connect on LinkedIn - in/brian-oneill-product-designer

Brian’s company - Designing for Analytics

Brian’s Podcast - Experiencing Data

Brian’s Twitter - @rhythmspice

Links and References

Conference - O’Reilly Strata

Conference - Enterprise Data World

Conference - IIA Analytics Symposium


The Data Able Podcast is made possible by Beyond the Data

We are on a mission to help people like you become a champion in your organization for a more data-informed approach. Data science and analytics is critical, but getting real value requires building a culture that starts with you, is supported by executives, and trickles down to every person in your organization.

 
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Ep 24 - Mitchell Grewer - How Cargill Unlocks Data for Everyone

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Episode Summary

You have to lower the cost the curiosity. We’ve found more success getting people excited to change, rather than mandating from the top.
— Mitchell Grewer

Self Service Analytics. It’s been a popular topic of discussion in BI and Analytics circles for quite a few years now. The premise is great. Get more data in the hands of more users. Reporting and Analytics tools like Power BI, Tableau, Domo, Alteryx and Qlik have quickly accelerated the trend and made “non-analyst” data usage more possible than ever.

But is it as easy as buying a tool, giving it to your teams and waiting for the magic to happen?

La

Of course not. Great Self-Service analytics is hard work. Today we’re talking with one of the leaders in developing this approach, Mitchell Grewer.

Mitchell is responsible for self-service analytics at Cargill in Minneapolis, MN. He has built an amazing energy and enthusiasm for using data to drive their business. But his focus isn’t on hiring more data scientists, or implementing gigantic hadoop clusters. His job is to engage with the business, turning all 80,000 employees into data-wielding mini-analysts.

“I want everyone at Cargill to See and Understand Data. Our goal is to empower all employees to leverage the massive amount of data we have to unlock insights and make better decisions.”

It’s been a long, winding journey for Cargill to get this point, and it certainly didn’t happen over night.

“You have to include both top-down approaches for buy-in as well as bottoms-up. They’re both critical. For us, the bottoms-up was what really helped us take off”.

Mitchell started small, built a community, started training people who were interested, and then launched an enterprise “Data Visualization Challenge”. That challenge is what really got things started. Senior leaders saw what the power of data could really do, and suddenly both analysts and executives were on-board.

Check out the podcast for many other great stories of success, failure, and continued evolution of Mitchell’s self service analytics transformation!

More about Mitchell Grewer

Connect on LinkedIn: /in/mitchellgrewer

Mitchell’s company - Cargill

Twin Cities Tableau User Group - Monthly Meetup

Links and References

Favorite Storyteller or Author - Daniel Arenson

Favorite Blog - Dear Data


The Data Able Podcast is made possible by Beyond the Data

We are on a mission to help people like you become a champion in your organization for a more data-informed approach. Data science and analytics is critical, but getting real value requires building a culture that starts with you, is supported by executives, and trickles down to every person in your organization.

 
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