Things on the edge
Thoughts on technology and business
There are an infinite number of questions you could ask about any business. How many actually provide the answers you need, in a way you can easily understand? The answer is 20. Obviously, there may be more and there may be less. If you can easy answer these questions, you will have a great understanding of how your business is operating.
One thing to note, these questions are roughly broken into three categories. First, companies (or profit centers) who are not yet profitable. The second group represents most companies. You are making a profit, but it fluctuates from period to period or is starting to reliably grow. The final group represents companies who are in the enviable position to be able to consider significant expansion and investment in new opportunities.
If you are currently creating metrics, reports, and dashboards, how many of these questions are you answering? It might be time to reassess the value of your current reporting. In my experience, we develop the metrics we can derive from the data we can easily access not the metrics that reflect the value we bring to our customers.
Can you quickly answer and act on these 20 questions?
For a new company or profit center:
For a growing company or profit center:
For an established company or profit center:
How did you score? I'm going to guess poorly. If you are not an executive in the company, or your company has adopted an "open book" policy, the answers to most of these questions are hidden. Feel free to share these with the Executives you know and have them reach out to me for additional questions.
I had the opportunity to talk with Scott Hirleman at Data Mesh Radio. We discussed identifying potential domain data team members and leveling up their skills by starting them out, building, and using an exploratory data platform.
We discussed some of the broad features of the platform and if you would like a full walkthrough, look at the recorded demo.
This week I had the opportunity to talk with Bob Haffner about Data Engineering for Data Discovery. Give it a listen and subscribe to his podcast / YouTube channel.
Sit back with your favorite snack -- It's a long one!
Conway's Law asserts that organizations are constrained to produce application designs which are copies of their communication structures. This often leads to unintended friction points. The 'Inverse Conway Maneuver' recommends evolving your team and organizational structure to promote your desired architecture. Ideally, your technology architecture will display isomorphism with your business architecture.