Before the memories of the PASS Business Analytics Conference 2015 completely fade away, I want to thank the people who made the conference happen. Lots of great folks worked behind the scenes to make the Conference work: Leeza Zelmer, Teresa Cheung, Denise McInerney, Jen Underwood and Jen Stirrup.
It was a pleasure to meet fellow Chicagoan, Michael Pamphlet, Microsoft Program Manager and Customer Insights Driver. Our paths have crossed before, and I really appreciate his mission to uncover more ways to help people get the most from Excel.
Scary DBA, Grant Fritchey & SQLRockStar Thomas LaRock were a blast to talk with. Through our conversations, and the general mood of the Conference, I came away with a solid sense that we’re truly on the same team. Whatever our respective BI tools are, we just want clean, useful data.
And then there were all the great Excel folks whom I was able to meet–many for the first time.
MOST MEMORABLE: “DRAW A PICTURE!”
One thing that sticks with me is Mico Yuk‘s keynote presentation. As she closed, she urged us to do more communication with pictures. “It doesn’t have to be pretty. Draw a picture on a napkin, take a picture of it and send it to your client.”
Sometimes when processes fail or a solution isn’t making sense in someone else’s mind, or we even need to get something straight in our own mind, it helps to step and draw or make a diagram. Words and numbers are don’t easily translate a story and the level of drama that does or doesn’t exist.
Mico told us that we know this already. We know how much pictures can articulate. So, let’s do it. Mico has given us permission!
Here’s a drawing I used to envision where and how data gets messed up. It starts somewhere out in whatever we call reality. Data is collected and converted into data which eventually shows up in the form of a report. Before the reports, there are definitions, business rules, and interpretations and other filters. They are all opportunities for data corruption.
Again, thanks to everyone who participated in the PASS Business Analytics Conference 2015. I hope our paths continue to cross, and we keep up the battle against crap data.