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Empowering Business Users to Lead with Data

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The most valuable people in your organization combine business acumen with data savviness. But these data heroes are rare. Denise McInerney describes how she has empowered business users at her company to make better decisions with data and explains how you can do the same thing in your organization.

Businesses are only as good as the best decisions they make. The business users who drive these decisions are all working to make the best decisions they can. Having access to the right data, in the right way, can propel these business experts in the right direction, and equip them to make decisions that will make the business successful.

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Empowering Business Users to Lead with Data

  1. 1. Empowering Business Users to LeadWith Data Denise McInerney This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
  2. 2. About Me • Working with data since 1996 • From DBA to Analyst to Data Architect • Active inTech Community • VP of Marketing for PASS • WIT @denisemc06 www.linkedin.com/in/denisemcinerney Tech Women @ Intuit 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 2
  3. 3. Goals forToday • What does it mean to empower business users with data? • How can it be done? 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 3
  4. 4. WhenYou Get it Right • Business users desperate for data • Knew the questions, needed the answers • What is the customer retention rate? • What is the elapsed time between orders? • How many new & reorders resulted from each marketing campaign? • CreatedAnalytics Solution • Access to the data, easily consumable (Excel) • Became a feature of every business review • Transformed how they did their jobs 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 4
  5. 5. How Can We DoThis? Customer First 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 5
  6. 6. Empowering Data Heroes •Business Smart + Data Savvy •Provide data & tools to maximize effectiveness •Enable them to make best decisions they can How I can maximize the average order size for each state? SELECT State, AVG(order_total) FROM order_table GROUP BY State 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 6
  7. 7. Business-Back •Start from the users’ point-of-view • Walk a mile in their shoes • Use the access available to you • Don’t assume you know what they need 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 7
  8. 8. The Dog Wags theTail •Solving problems FOR the organization WITH technology • Business users are the experts in the business • Engineers & IT are the experts in the tech 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 8
  9. 9. Take theTripTogether… •Start wherever the organization is •Communication • Seek to understand • Describe your vision • Don’t try to dazzle with tech 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 9
  10. 10. …Every Step of theWay • Customers are part of • Requirements • Implementation • Testing • They know the data better • Methods • User council • Scrum teams • Office Hours 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 10
  11. 11. WhatWas the Question Again? • Clear, Squishy or Undefined? • We need to understand and handle all of these • Understand the tolerance for inaccuracy, latency • Being Agile • Get comfortable with ambiguity & change 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 11
  12. 12. H0w Can We DoThis? TechTalk 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 12
  13. 13. Consider theTech Options •Understand the goals, then pick the tech • Or use what you have •Many possible paths to success •Make the most of your expertise to solve the problem 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 13
  14. 14. Don’t Be a Snob • Software is a tool • What matters most is getting the job done • Analysts are spreadsheet wizards • Variety of good answers, • Pay attention to the market • Choose the best for your situation • Don’t let it interfere with reaching the goal 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 14
  15. 15. Implementation Approach • Modeling • Combination of BigVision & small bites • Establish standards and patterns • Don’t get too attached to an idea • Be prepared for change • User feedback means adoption • Listen to the engineers • Be one with your technology • Leverage its strengths • Don’t fight with it • Don’t over-engineer or under-engineer ©Scott Adams, Inc 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 15
  16. 16. Being Agile • Get toValue Faster • Adapt • Agile methods for data projects • Make data projects agile-friendly • Iterative Design • Rely on your established patterns • Refactoring is a reality 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 16
  17. 17. Accuracy • The answer has to be within tolerance • Apply Engineering Rigor • Testing,Validation • User Acceptance • Deserves as much as any other software • Data can be tricky • Just because you don’t get an error doesn’t mean your answer is right • Anomaly Detection 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 17
  18. 18. ThereWhen it’s Needed • Just like any other production system • Uptime • Stability • Performance • Scalability • SLAs 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 18
  19. 19. WhenYou Get It Right Again • Dozens of sources, dozens of steps • Manual work • Upload/copy-paste • Figured out how to automate it all and fit it together • Expand the reach to others in the business 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 19
  20. 20. Wrapping Up • Combine business acumen with technology • Remember which comes first • Communication & Involvement • Be Smart About theTech • Access to the right data in a timely way • Business will come to rely on it 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 20
  21. 21. Q & A Send Feedback @denisemc06 denise_mcinerney@intuit.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisemcinerney 10/17/2016This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License 21

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