Welcome to Super Data Blog
Or, why start a data blog now and what readers can expect?
Who needs another data blog?
It’s a legit question. There are lots of them. Many of them are very good and very popular. And there is no shortage of new entrants who burn bright, flame out and leave a beautiful blog corpse. So why throw my hat into the ring? Let’s explore below.
1. The times, they are a-changin’
2023 is a big year. We’re at the end of one era of analytics, and yet the next era has yet to be born. It’s a vibe shift, if you will. Which means it’s exciting. The ‘data supply chain’ paradigm of setting up intricate pipelines to feed data analysts churning out dashboards and ad-hoc charts feels played out, but nobody knows what comes next. Just look at the hot takes of January 2022:
Data Mesh is the future of analytics
Data Mesh is also nothing but overblown hype
Dimensional modeling is cool again.
Likewise with metrics layers.
The tech industry is obsessed with the next new thing, so some amount of sturm-und-drang is expected. But this level of uncertainty, the heat of the hot takes, hasn’t been seen for a long while. This is a good time to start.
2. Gathering together the like-minded
I come out of a sometimes neglected lineage of the analytics world - Business Intelligence. It hasn’t been very cool lately - all the hip people do analytics engineering. But fundamentally the problem of how to present useful data to people in a way that informs and enriches their lives hasn’t been solved, it’s just been superseded by the (to some) more interesting problems of how to move data from point A to point B faster and cheaper. Ya know, the math stuff.
The thing is, what attracts me to this field aren’t the technical problems. I’m an arts and humanities person at heart. I majored in playwriting and acting. I read poetry for fun. I’m moved by how to use data to move people, to tell compelling stories and to help them take the right action out in the real world. Getting the plumbing right is a pre-requisite of course. But the culture and practice of data is what I care most about. How do we design human-centered data methodologies that derive value as a holistic program for better decision making? That evolve with the needs of the people they support. That aren’t a ‘supply chain’ pushing data volume, but an organic thing pushing data value?
I know there are a lot of people driven by these same questions, for whom the logic puzzles of data engineering and analytics are a fun bonus, an add-on to the main prize. I want to give them a voice.
Psss… you’ve made it this far into a totally indulgent personal post. Why not click subscribe and seal the deal?
3. I just really like blogging
Folks, I like to write. I get ideas in the shower, driving around, sometimes in my sleep even, and I just have to get them out. Writing helps me do that. Nothing - and I mean nothing - clarifies your thinking like writing. It feels like the purest form of thought. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know what it is I think until I’ve written it out. It’s a process of discovery, you don’t know what you’re going to find.
I ran a popular IBM Cognos focused blog for many years and dropped some hot takes of my own. My career is no longer focused on Cognos though, so I needed a fresh place to talk about big ideas. For lots of reasons, but more than anything to help me learn what I think.
When I set out to write this blog post, I didn’t know it was going to go all philosophical on you. But here we are!
4. I gotta feed the family
Let’s be real though. I am also trying to start a business here. I have eight mouths to feed (five humans + three chickens). I have done a lot of things in the data space. I’ve worked on an enterprise analytics team, overseen data projects, been a sales engineer, been a consulting firm partner, done the startup game.
I enjoyed all of it, learned a ton from it, and I’m ready to assimilate all that together to help people develop an impactful analytics practice. And also to help data vendors understand and speak to their market - that unique group of people who will love what they’re building.
So if you need need help navigating the big changes of 2023 and implementing an human-focused analytics program, reach out. Or if you need an analytics SME copywriter who has had a play produced off-broadway, reach out. Or if you are looking for data mesh guidance. Or, or, or…
What to expect from this blog
So you made it through the why. Let’s talk about the how. On Super Data Blog you can expect:
Explainers of trending data topics
Interviews with interesting tech people
Think pieces on the history and future of analytics
The occasional piece of sponsored content (see above re: feeding family)
To kick things off I’m writing a multi-part series on the history of business intelligence, why the ‘supply chain’ metaphor for analytics has to go, and what comes next. I hope you’re here with me for the ride.
Thanks for reading Super Data Blog! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.