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.

ABOUT ME

I’m an industry analyst devoted to the non-technological aspects of deriving value from data. 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

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

Tableau’s storytelling, conversation, and journalism

I imagine the Tableau marketers sitting down over the coming year’s menu of trends. “What, storytelling again?” one says as if dreading the taste of dim sum for the hundredth time. Storytelling was a staple there at the trendy headquarters. The research department had not too long ago lured Robert Kosara away from an academic… Continue Reading

The best data passes right under our noses in conversation

How would a prospective exhibitor or attendee at a TDWI conference know whether time spent there would be worthwhile? If we took the business intelligence industry’s premise seriously, if we ate our own dog food, the data would dictate. But can data really tell the whole story? To start, I counted a mere 18 booths… Continue Reading

Google guys come to shake up BI with natural language

Kindergarten may have taught you all you need to know about life. But you may need to watch “Mr. Peabody and His Boy Sherman,” an animated, 1960s-era TV series for kids, to truly appreciate an interesting new natural-language product called ThoughtSpot. ThoughtSpot’s natural-language querying represents a new stage of maturity for casual BI users —… Continue Reading