About Datadoodle

This weblog wanders out on the far end of the many faces of the data industry (aka, business intelligence and other names), where technology fits over the tender and irregular human profile. That’s where interesting things happen.

Content here is strictly free-range. I provide original reporting and analysis on the many topics that interest me.

Datadoodle often mentions particular vendors, but these are usually not the ones I’m working for at the moment.

The first D in “Datadoodle” should be uppercase, and the second D should be lowercase. “Datadoodle,” not “DataDoodle.”

ABOUT ME

I’m an industry analyst by function and a journalist by trade. I believe that the social and organizational aspects of a “data driven” business are at least as important as the technological aspects.

Since 2007, I’ve been a regular contributor to several industry BI publications, including Information Management and TDWI’s BI This Week, in addition to Datadoodle.

Before BI, I wrote about telecommunications and computer networking. Far in the past, I edited on environmental topics, mostly technical explanations for lay readers of environmental organizations’ publications.

My career took an eclectic, non-traditional route, which I believe gives me a much wider perspective today than the conventional route would have. Before settling down to journalism, I wandered through a variety of colorful jobs. In one stint, I was an Amtrak train attendant (“porter” in those days) — the first white ever hired for West Coast-originating trains and possibly the only one to join the legendary Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. I also washed dishes under the shadow of Half Dome in Yosemite, sold commodity options over the phone (and learned from some of the best salespeople), and dabbled in radio at KSKA, “Anchorage public radio.”

I have a bachelor’s in journalism from San Francisco State University and an MBA from Dominican University of San Rafael.

I like to hear from readers with ideas, feedback, suggestions, and questions. Please use the contact form.

Other recent posts

Qlik finally set to leapfrog Tableau?

Who’s your rival? I carelessly asked a Qlik person at the company’s annual analyst reception Monday night in Miami if she hadn’t once worked for Tableau. Her revulsion was immediate. “No! Never!,” she said. We smiled. There was so much more to talk about. For one thing, how will private equity change things? Qlik wasn’t… Continue Reading

Five Tips for Better Data Stories

Originally published on September 22, 2015 in BI This Week, a TDWI publication. A “data story” sounds like such a great idea. You just mix data with storytelling and you’re done — except that most data storytellers get one thing wrong: they drown out the story with data. Such storytellers, I believe, assume that audiences… Continue Reading

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading