Don’t call me “non-technical”

When I’ve referred to “non-technical” users, I’ve always meant just about anyone working far away IT. Well, based on research by Lyzasoft’s CEO Scott Davis, I think I’d better be careful with that definition.

My concern is not for IT people. It’s for the “quants” in finance, marketing, accounting and operations who may not write code or maintain computer networks but do go deep into math, data and logic most work days. These “quants” resent being called “non-technical” by the IT types. The quants shoot back: knowing SQL, they might point out, is easy compared with modeling demand elasticity.

The mutual disrespect is too bad, especially since the two technical types have more in common than those who rely on “guts.”


  1. Good point. For years, I’ve watched the competition between technie folks in IT and techie folks not in IT. The IT guys never wanting to validate or accepting any techie work done outside their shop, and the departmental techies going off on their own because they don’t have IT’s support. They all forget they’re on the same team. Thanks for bringing that into the light!

  2. Dan Murray says:

    As someone who has worked in accounting, finance and IT….I’ve run into each one of these quants. Generally the ones I’ve worked with get along quite well. Problems usually occur between IT and the Beaners when IT wants the really expensive BI solution but can’t come up with a justification that supports the investment. Then…the quants don’t get along so well.

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