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Ron Powell

Thanks for visiting my blog. As co-founder of the BeyeNETWORK, acquired by TechTarget in 2010, I am privileged to participate in many industry-related activities as a BeyeNETWORK expert covering business intelligence and analytics. These events provide me with a unique insider perspective into the business intelligence ecosystem, its products and the vendors that provide those products. I'll be sharing that invaluable information with you through this blog, which will also be a reflection my business philosophy. And, just to make this interesting, I'll be sure to include my personal point of view on a wide range of topics and share some of the stories of people I meet in my travels.

About the author >

Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

Recently I attended an excellent conference - The Enterprise Data World in San Diego. One of the event's keynoters was Claudia Imhoff, an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence and the architectures to support those initiatives.  She presented "The Data Interpreter - How to Become THE Trusted Advisor for Your C-Suite."

What I found most interesting about her presentation was that there is indeed a need in every organization for someone who can translate the analytics and visualizations into a format that is understandable to everyone, especially the C-suite executives.

Claudia explained that many members of an organization are likely to be unfamiliar with the complex types of visualizations that are now possible. The message that is conveyed by those visualizations is often difficult for anyone to understand - other than the data scientists who created them.  For that reason, she shared the need for the role of the data interpreter and provided advice on how to become that trusted advisor.

A compelling component of Claudia's presentation was her discussion of the data that is the foundation of today's complex analytics and visualizations. The most important task that falls to the data interpreter, according to Claudia, is vetting the analytics. All credibility is lost if the numbers or the trends are incorrect. The foundation beneath all analytics is, of course, the data. It is critical that the organization's data be trusted and readily available for analysis. When an organization has a data catalog where everyone in the organization can find the data they need to collaborate, the result is improved productivity and data that can be used with confidence.

I found it clear from Claudia's keynote address that a data catalog like Alation is a necessity for data interpreters. Alation automatically indexes your data by source. It also automatically gathers knowledge about your data. Like Google, Alation uses machine learning to continually improve human understanding.

Posted May 25, 2018 7:37 AM
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