Caring for the soup that feeds us all
Andy Miles, Expeditors International of Washington and University of Washington
Delivering value to stakeholders as rapidly as possible has to be a laudable goal. We are overrun with clichés about pace of change accelerating, entire industries being decimated, and the need to attract, delight and retain customers. Of course, there is much truth to all of these, but naïve adoption of the rituals and ceremonies of trendy, contemporary techniques will in reality do little to achieve what is needed.
Of course we need value quickly, and of course an action centric approach will help this near term. But not at the expense of increasing longer-term risk to a dangerous level.
Roles such as “modeler” and “analyst” have become out of favor, and in some cases are disappearing. A key reason for this is because as modelers and analysts we are not doing an adequate job of communicating the value we bring. This is very much reinforced by the findings of the “Data Modeling Zone Hackathon results” (2017).
During this highly participative conference session we will review, discuss and agree what needs to happen to position the roles of data modeler and data analyst as critical, valuable resources in modern technology departments. Together, we will come up with an action plan that everyone can take back to their day jobs and use to help explain and justify the value they bring.
Andy Miles has worked in information technology for 40 years, and has extensive experience of modeling data in a diverse set of industries in Europe and the USA. Currently practicing as a senior business analyst on master data projects at Expeditors International of Washington, Andy also lectures on the topics of Business Analysis and Advanced Python programming at the University of Washington. Andy’s core values and beliefs are that contemporary best practices are only valid and useful when the underlying rationale is understood and applied as intended, rather than as adapted or as misunderstood! He is a strong advocate for just enough thinking before doing, and for using contextual analysis and stakeholder buy in to guide technology initiatives. Some of the recent projects that Andy has successfully delivered include modeling and designing an operational data store in financial services, leading a data architecture initiative and establishing data standards, modeling transportation conceptual business requirements and analyzing and reengineering data structures in legacy systems.