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

Bad stories stop good data at the water cooler

We agree by now that data’s a good compass. One neglected question is tougher: Which map? Everyone’s known the kind of “grouchy guy” TDWI instructor Kellee M. Franklin, Ph.D tells about. This guy knew better than most of his co-workers about how their Washington, D.C. defense agency worked. And he was frustrated. Over the years,… Continue Reading

Tableau plus HyPer: “Something up their sleeve”

Yet a third reaction has come to Tableau’s announcement that it has acquired HyPer, the German “high performance database system.” “It seems sort of muddled,” wrote Dave Wells in email to me yesterday. He’s a longtime Tableau observer, a 40-year IT veteran, and now a consultant and educator at Infocentric. For six years, he was… Continue Reading

As if our data didn’t have enough problems

The assessment of worldwide threats issued yesterday by director of national intelligence James Clapper has one more topic for panel discussions at data-industry events. The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community says the Ruskies, Chinese, and others will “almost certainly” try to do more with our data than to steal it. Future cyber… Continue Reading

“Big changes” in storytelling: simple and simplistic

The storytelling world shook this morning with this headline from Tableau: “Data storytelling is undergoing a big change.” The blog post lists three changes: scrolling with less clicking, simpler charts, and visualizations that weave into the narrative. What is really changing? Not much, and to call it “big changes” is worthy of a trashy tabloid… Continue Reading

Andy Cotgreave on data without emotion

Tableau’s senior technical evangelist Andy Cotgreave has boarded the data storytelling wagon. Actually, I don’t know how long he’s been there, but an article he wrote caught my attention today. He says that data without emotion is “worthless.” I agree! Consider also the terrible Syrian refugee crisis affecting the Middle East and Europe. This tragedy… Continue Reading

Notable marketing: Have imagination, will be read

For all the marketing collatoral the data industry produces, there’s little that I can read without forcing myself. But when the good stuff comes, it’s like a gust of spring air blowing into a stuffy room. That kind of marketing blew into Datadoodle headquarters Friday morning. VisualCue, maker of visualization software done with “tiles,” won… Continue Reading