Next Generation Data Management with Rex Ahlstrom – Episode 50

Data Leadership Lessons
Data Leadership Lessons
Next Generation Data Management with Rex Ahlstrom - Episode 50
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Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ej7mQ-GTDjg

In our 50th(!) episode, we meet Rex Ahlstrom from Syniti, a company whose Knowledge Platform delivers next generation data management capabilities. We discuss the challenges of traditional data management, and how Rex and Syniti help their clients overcome them.

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About Rex Ahlstrom:
Rex Ahlstrom is the Chief Technology Officer and EVP of Growth and Innovation at Syniti. In this role, he handles global responsibilities for technology, strategy, and marketing support. He has a history of delivering results based on long-range planning with a high degree of accuracy. Previously, he held leadership roles at SAP.

To learn more, visit https://www.syniti.com/

Episode Transcript

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anthony_algmin: Welcome to the data leadership Lessons podcast. I’m your host Anthony, J

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anthony_algmin: Algmin. Data is everywhere in our businesses and it takes leadership to make

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anthony_algmin: the most of it. We bring you the people stories and lessons to help you

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anthony_algmin: become a data leader. To day we welcome Rex Alstrom, Rex is the chief

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anthony_algmin: Day we welcome Rex Ahlstrom, Rex is the chief technology officer and E v p

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anthony_algmin: of growth and innovation at Syity. In this role he handles global

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anthony_algmin: responsibilities for technology strategy and marketing support. He has a

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anthony_algmin: history of delivering results based on long range planning with a high

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anthony_algmin: degree of accuracy. previously held leadership roles at Sp. Rex, Welcome to

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rex_ahlstrom: Thanks very much, Anthony. Really glad to be here.

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anthony_algmin: So like we do with all first time, Guess and we’ve known each other for a

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anthony_algmin: long time. So, but like we do at first time, guess why did you take a few

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anthony_algmin: minutes and and give us a little bit of the story of your career and kind of

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anthony_algmin: what led you up to the interesting work that you’re doing at City today?

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rex_ahlstrom: Yeah, absolutely, and uh it. it’s great to reconnect, Um. and I, I know it’s

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rex_ahlstrom: been a while. with all of the the Kbe challenges. We haven’t been able to get

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rex_ahlstrom: out to the conferences. and you know, sit down over a cup of coffee and talk

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rex_ahlstrom: about data. But, uh, really glad to be able to do with you Hear on the

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rex_ahlstrom: podcast. Um,

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anthony_algmin: Yeah, it’s great to have you

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, so my my journey. actually, um, I was just talking to somebody about

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rex_ahlstrom: this today Is is kind of interesting because where I started was as an

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rex_ahlstrom: electrical engineer and my dream when I was a kid, Uh, as a s. T’s model

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rex_ahlstrom: rocketeer. Anybody remembers S T’s rockets. Uh was to be involved in space in

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rex_ahlstrom: some way, whether it was uh, designing electronics, whether it was being part

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rex_ahlstrom: of a program. Whatever I could get my hands on, I was fascinated by it, and

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rex_ahlstrom: uh, ▁ultimately, I was able to to live that dream in in my second job out of

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rex_ahlstrom: college, which was to build spacecraft, So got a chance to uh, build lower

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rex_ahlstrom: thbiting communication satellites. I worked on things like attitude control

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rex_ahlstrom: systems, where I had to remember all my mechanical engineering courses, which

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rex_ahlstrom: I hated when I was in college. Um, but uh, it was a really awesome experience.

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rex_ahlstrom: And and I thought for sure that that’s where my carew would take me for Uh,

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rex_ahlstrom: the rest of my my working days. Um, but I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug

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rex_ahlstrom: and uh ended up leaving after a a solid amount of time there to go and start

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rex_ahlstrom: my first company. So, uh, it was quite a departure because in in my job, I was

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rex_ahlstrom: working with lots of equipment and and circuit design and test equipment, To

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rex_ahlstrom: were constantly in a lab with loads and loads of wires, And the first start up

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rex_ahlstrom: was a software business. Uh, No, a telescope, no radio frequency analyzers,

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rex_ahlstrom: Nothing, um, but uh, I really loved it one because it was an opportunity to

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rex_ahlstrom: create something new, something from scratch, Uh, and uh, and the people that

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rex_ahlstrom: I worked with are really phenomenal, Um. That software lead took me into my

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rex_ahlstrom: second Uh business that I started, which was around in data integration. So

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rex_ahlstrom: rather than starting in data, actually started on the integration side and

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rex_ahlstrom: integration of the time was really difficult. A lot of challenges. and so we

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rex_ahlstrom: came up with a way to focus on data modeling. Look at things like canonical

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rex_ahlstrom: data models. And how could we use that to make integration between

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rex_ahlstrom: applications simpler? Uh, ▁ultimately, that company was acquired by S. a P,

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rex_ahlstrom: and Uh. When I jumped in now it was fully into the data topic, so I was

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rex_ahlstrom: helping them with topics like Asciet Information Management, How can you look

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rex_ahlstrom: at data from the context of say manufacturing operations, and trying to

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rex_ahlstrom: optimize how a company Uh, delivers its product as well as how it maintains

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rex_ahlstrom: its plants? Um, and that Uh led me to Syity, ▁ultimately, Uh, where we were

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rex_ahlstrom: full time, focused on data as a topic, really looking across the full spectrum

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rex_ahlstrom: of data quality, data migration, governance, master data management, all

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rex_ahlstrom: aspects of data. So when I left college, I didn’t think I would be in the data

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rex_ahlstrom: market. I thought it would be in the space industry. Um. but uh, it worked out

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rex_ahlstrom: perfectly, Uh to lead me into something that I’m truly passionate about in

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rex_ahlstrom: love.

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anthony_algmin: well as a, as a self proclaimed representative of all of the data management

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anthony_algmin: industry, I will thank you for making that move, because uh, you’ve been

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anthony_algmin: doing a lot to contribute to this community for for quite some time. So’s

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anthony_algmin: we’re glad it’s aerospace is lost, but its data gain. So we, we are very

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anthony_algmin: happy. Uh to have brought you into this world. So

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anthony_algmin: how did uh? how did you end up atsinity? Im. I’m really excited to to hear

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anthony_algmin: this story and and understand what it is that you’re You’re doing with this

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anthony_algmin: organzation cause I know of these things you’ve done in the past.

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rex_ahlstrom: Yeah, yeah, vicinity, Um, and it was previously called back off as associates,

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rex_ahlstrom: we rebranded Uh, several years ago, Uh, but when I was working at Uh, s. a P

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rex_ahlstrom: and driving the Ascid information management topic, I ran across Syity, uh,

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rex_ahlstrom: through a mutual friend. Uh, gentlemen have just taken over a c e O. The

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rex_ahlstrom: business, and uh, we got talking one day about what challenges they were going

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rex_ahlstrom: out to solve the types of things they wanted to do in the marketplace, and

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rex_ahlstrom: next thing you know, we were through two or three pots of coffee and we were

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rex_ahlstrom: at the white board and we were doing all kinds of uh, exciting ideaation. And

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rex_ahlstrom: uh, and we looked at each other and went. Hey, you know, maybe we should be

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rex_ahlstrom: working together on this and and that, Uh, that led me to to join Uh. what is

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rex_ahlstrom: now Synity. And I’m happy to say that I’ve been here almost ten years, So

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rex_ahlstrom: December, uh will be my tenure anniversary with the company

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rex_ahlstrom: and I’ve stayed because we’re constantly evolving. We’re constantly being

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rex_ahlstrom: challenged by the changes that are occurring in the market, having to respond

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rex_ahlstrom: to enterprise customer needs for increasing flexibility around how they manage

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rex_ahlstrom: data. Uh, so it’s never gotten boring? Uh, it’s always been exciting. And and

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rex_ahlstrom: I think that, Uh, I will definitely finish my career in the in the data

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rex_ahlstrom: spacee. For sure.

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anthony_algmin: that’s awesome. And and so in in full disclosure, I am today years old that

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anthony_algmin: I realized that Back office associates became C, so that that I did not

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anthony_algmin: realize it was

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anthony_algmin: the Uh, the evolution of that business. So that’s good,

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anthony_algmin: because at least have more background of what this this organization does.

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anthony_algmin: Can I

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anthony_algmin: ask you, though? what? What drove the name change? Because Back office

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anthony_algmin: associates had cache in the marketplace that we know that name. And so, I’m

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anthony_algmin: curious if if you can talk about why Why the name change?

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, I guess you can look at it through two lenses. Um, you know one.

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rex_ahlstrom: We had innovated it as a company both in terms of what we do in software as

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rex_ahlstrom: well as what we deliver in our services Beyond what the foundations of the

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rex_ahlstrom: company originally were. Originally. It was squarely focused in the Dayta

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rex_ahlstrom: migration space, and we had evolved a a very advanced state of management

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rex_ahlstrom: platform that really addressed more of a customer’s journey with data. And how

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rex_ahlstrom: could you move beyond a transactional event like a migration and get into data

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rex_ahlstrom: operations and think about how you for the longhaul, uh, manage data as a

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rex_ahlstrom: strategic asset. And so, when we looked at the business back office,

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rex_ahlstrom: associates quite honestly sounded a bit stogy, right. It didn’t necessarily

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rex_ahlstrom: reflect the innovation and the fast pace that we were pushing at Syity, and

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rex_ahlstrom: so sinity Um, came about Really by uh, playing with a couple words, Um. it’s

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rex_ahlstrom: really the synergy between Uh, business and data and being able to pull those

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rex_ahlstrom: together. Uh, to be able to create unlimited growth, Um, and we want to help

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rex_ahlstrom: customers really achieve that growth by focusing on data and what data can

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rex_ahlstrom: help them deliver as as business

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anthony_algmin: Awesome, okay, well, I’m glad to have that that background in and

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anthony_algmin: understanding that makes sense to me, but it. it’s also good to know that

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anthony_algmin: you haven’t you abandoned the roots either of what that

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anthony_algmin: organization was? It is a name change. not to change your business, but

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anthony_algmin: because the business had evolved and that’.

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anthony_algmin: that’s good to say. So let’s i. i. I really want to understand it. And and I

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anthony_algmin: think you know, as as we talked Um in in our prep session we have a mix of

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anthony_algmin: an O of audience. That that, some or deep dayta management professionals,

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anthony_algmin: others are on preneur’s. others work for large organizations. Others, just

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anthony_algmin: like we see at conferences just got given a job and they have to figure out

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anthony_algmin: what in the world they are supposed to do with it.

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anthony_algmin: It’s all across the Gam, right and so for the benefit of everyone. Can you

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anthony_algmin: give us some explanation of what is it that that sydity does, and and how

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anthony_algmin: it’s different than other options that we see in the marketplace.

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, uh, yeah, what you described is dead on. Right and I, I meet a lot of

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rex_ahlstrom: these people at conferences, Uh, in speaking engagements and one on ones with

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rex_ahlstrom: customers and executives. Uh, many people find themselves in roles dealing

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rex_ahlstrom: with data that came from some place else like myself, Right and next thing you

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rex_ahlstrom: know, Uh, you know, you’re handed a large task of something that’s really

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rex_ahlstrom: critical for the business, And you’ve got to figure out what is it. And and

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rex_ahlstrom: how do I make this work? how do I deliver value in this role at the company

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rex_ahlstrom: that I’m at? And if you look historically at data management like, if I really

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rex_ahlstrom: go back to the roots, Even some of the companies that I’d created around

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rex_ahlstrom: integration. It was largely an I T. topic. It was not a topic that was focused

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rex_ahlstrom: on business users. Uh, of course, data has always been important to the

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rex_ahlstrom: business, but if there was something wrong with it, it was handed to. I. T.

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rex_ahlstrom: it’s an I. T function to go and figure this out, and therefore the tools that

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rex_ahlstrom: have been built out there in the marketplace were really designed for I, t, or

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rex_ahlstrom: more highly technical users. So when we embarked on this journey we wanted to

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rex_ahlstrom: change that paradig. We wanted to look at how we could create Uh, more

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rex_ahlstrom: community around the data topic, and how we could deliver software that was

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rex_ahlstrom: approachable based on your role, not based on your skill. Uh, and you really

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rex_ahlstrom: bring that to the forefront so that more people in the enterprise, Uh, could

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rex_ahlstrom: see data as both a career option for them, Um, but also give them tools that

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rex_ahlstrom: helped make them effective And so that’s really where we focused our soelve

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rex_ahlstrom: ment, not on just going out and doing what had already been done. They trying

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rex_ahlstrom: to deliver a platform that thinks more logically, kind of how the business

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rex_ahlstrom: thinks about data.

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anthony_algmin: Well and it it. It’s kind of the classic problem. And and you know to

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anthony_algmin: amplify your one point is is you know. this is stuff that many organizations

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anthony_algmin: struggle with. I don’t know that any organization feels like they have it

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anthony_algmin: all figured out and it’s it’s a constant show. It’s it’s a constant struggle

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anthony_algmin: and it’s a constant moving bar. Because the organizations are changing that

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anthony_algmin: the data needs are changing. The people’s, you know, desires of what they

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anthony_algmin: want to do with it are constantly changing,

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anthony_algmin: and data sits in this weird middle ground between traditionally business and

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anthony_algmin: technology sides of the house, and there’s these struggles. Sometimes both

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anthony_algmin: sides are pulling on the data trying to get it closer to them, and other

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anthony_algmin: times are pushing it off, trying to absolve themselves of the responsibility

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anthony_algmin: it, or or or owning it, or dealing with a mistake, or what have you? And

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anthony_algmin: it’s I don’t know that there is one answer. I just know that the answer

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anthony_algmin: involves all of it, the data itself, the business stakeholders, the

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anthony_algmin: technical stakeholders, and some sort of place to do work. There’s stuff

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anthony_algmin: that we have to do with data

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anthony_algmin: to function as a business with that data. And so whatsdity does

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anthony_algmin: helps us work with the data as data management. or as is is it? Does it

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anthony_algmin: provide analytics or does it provide? you know, business intelligence types,

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anthony_algmin: stuff. What? what? What is the functional? um, uh, capability set that that

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anthony_algmin: you’re is? it? should I call it a product suite or a platform? What? what

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, yeah, it’s it’s really a platform Play and Um. you. I would say.

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rex_ahlstrom: Uh, because you, you delivered a lot there in terms of how people feel about

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rex_ahlstrom: their jobs right and how they deal with data. that pushing it away, or or

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rex_ahlstrom: pulling it in. Um, and I, I think that that’s largely because a lot of people

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rex_ahlstrom: within these companies,

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rex_ahlstrom: Uh, had a full time day job already, and then somebody came along and said Oh,

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rex_ahlstrom: by the way, you’re responsible for the material master, or

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rex_ahlstrom: irresponsible for customer. Three sixty, Um, and their day job didn’t go away.

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rex_ahlstrom: But now all of a sudden they had this burden of these new tasks right, And so

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rex_ahlstrom: in that context, maybe that uh, people’s first experience at the business

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rex_ahlstrom: level was not necessarily fun when it came to data. Uh, it was. Uh, actually,

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rex_ahlstrom: more stress and more burden upon them. I so

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anthony_algmin: yeah,

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rex_ahlstrom: part of the goal of what we designed. and really it’s it’s a philosophy that

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rex_ahlstrom: that we believe in is one. We want to make data fun again. If you want

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rex_ahlstrom: to say that, Um, And and the way that you do that is you don’t look at it in a

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rex_ahlstrom: isolated project Way right. Most companies and people that deal with data they

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rex_ahlstrom: have a project. There’s some transactional event that it’s a that’s

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rex_ahlstrom: occurring’re we’re buying a company. Were divesting a company, We are uh,

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rex_ahlstrom: trying to improve our ability to deliver new products faster. Or we need a

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rex_ahlstrom: better view of our customer in a singular view of our customer. Um. and then

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rex_ahlstrom: so they initiate a project to put a whole lot of people on it. They throw a

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rex_ahlstrom: bunch of tools at it. Um. and then they complete it sometimes successfully,

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rex_ahlstrom: sometimes not, and then another transactional event comes up. Maybe this time

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rex_ahlstrom: it’s a Master data management initiative. Maybe it’s another data migration,

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rex_ahlstrom: Something else,

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anthony_algmin: Mhm,

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rex_ahlstrom: Uh, And and what was missing, and what we tried to solve with our data

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rex_ahlstrom: platform is that every single touch point that you enter on whether it’s an m,

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rex_ahlstrom: b, M event, daated quality event Migration of that, a governance or compliance

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rex_ahlstrom: event, an analytics driver. You know that the list goes on and on. It’s an

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rex_ahlstrom: opportunity because you’re pulling business people and I t people together.

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rex_ahlstrom: you’re assigning roles and responsibilities to capture knowledge, to capture

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rex_ahlstrom: information about what’s important to the business.

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rex_ahlstrom: So at the core, we call it the Sinity Knowledge platform, but the center word,

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rex_ahlstrom: the core of the application is knowledge for the reason that if you can

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rex_ahlstrom: capture knowledge incrementally at every phase of the dayta journey, then

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rex_ahlstrom: you’re going to accelerate the next time you deal with data, and it becomes

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rex_ahlstrom: more of an additive process that gets easier and easier faster and faster and

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rex_ahlstrom: less expensive. Quite honestly, in terms of which

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rex_ahlstrom: you’re going to put into it from a service standpoint, Softare standpoint,

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rex_ahlstrom: Etra, So that’s our our goal. The S Knowledge platform is trying to help the

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rex_ahlstrom: business achieve a business outcome and to be able to capture and preserve the

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rex_ahlstrom: knowledge that was created because of that project. you know that Uh, that got

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rex_ahlstrom: kicked off when people got assigned to

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anthony_algmin: yeah. Th.

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anthony_algmin: it’s I probably no secret to the audience that Th this podcast is a bit of

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anthony_algmin: therapy for me. And and I think that uh you, you just touched ondd one of my

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anthony_algmin: triggers, and that we lose

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anthony_algmin: so much

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anthony_algmin: from those projects and from those um, kind of transactional events where we

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anthony_algmin: have to go, do a bunch of work to solve a problem in front of us. And if we

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anthony_algmin: just took a little bit of time, a little bit of energy to capture that in a

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anthony_algmin: way that it could be reused. We would save so much pain for future. Us like

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anthony_algmin: to me. that’s

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anthony_algmin: and, and that’s what I’m hearing is like you. You say hey, we’re not. We’re

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anthony_algmin: not trying to change

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anthony_algmin: how you do your projects or how you? Um, you know, strateg, you know,

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anthony_algmin: strategically change your business. and and what you’re doing. What what

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anthony_algmin: we’re trying to do here is give you a place where that knowledge that you

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anthony_algmin: have to build to execute that project can be captured and used and shared

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anthony_algmin: from that point forward Is that is that a fair pray? referring to to what

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rex_ahlstrom: Yeah, exactly. And and you know I wasn’t joking when I said Hey, let’s try to

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rex_ahlstrom: make data fun again. Right. it is for some of us because we’re just really

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rex_ahlstrom: into it and it’s uh. it’s a lifelong passion. Um, but uh yeah, as an ass, it

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rex_ahlstrom: makes me laugh because I think of that uh Saturday live skip, uh, Debbe

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rex_ahlstrom: Downer. I don’t know if you remember that one, but you know.

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anthony_algmin: Oh, I. I know it. well,

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rex_ahlstrom: Oh yeah, so Debbie Downer, you know they, there people are out and you know

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rex_ahlstrom: they’re having fun and they’re they’re. you know, loving whatever it is

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rex_ahlstrom: they’re doing And then Debbie Downer comes along and says Uh, something really

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rex_ahlstrom: negative and you know you hear the sound. Wow, want one and everybody gets

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rex_ahlstrom: depressed right, So you know data can be that way, too. It’s like, Oh man,

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rex_ahlstrom: shooh. we just finished that day to migration. You know that was that was

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rex_ahlstrom: really challenging. Uh, I glad I can go back to my day job and then Debb Don,

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rex_ahlstrom: and would come along and say, I think we’re going to assign you to master data

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rex_ahlstrom: management Wa, Wa. Why know? so you know? if you captured information and

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rex_ahlstrom: knowledge if you thought of it as a journey and not a project, you know, then

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rex_ahlstrom: maybe rather than being end a downor, you’d be excited that you get to take

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rex_ahlstrom: that expertise. You get to take everything you did and accelerate another

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rex_ahlstrom: really high, valuable deliverable for the company. Um, create more visibility

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rex_ahlstrom: within the business at the executive level at all levels. Uh, that everybody

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rex_ahlstrom: can participate in this journey with data, and that everyone has a voice and a

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rex_ahlstrom: value in making it better and achieving a better outcome. You that way it’s

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anthony_algmin: yeah, I, I applaud you for this notion of trying to make data fun again, and

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anthony_algmin: and like I’m with you, I love the data stuff, but man, that’s that’s a big

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anthony_algmin: lift.

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anthony_algmin: that’. That’s a challenging one and it makes me think, though, like you

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anthony_algmin: know,

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anthony_algmin: the the The Debbe Downer um analogies is I think appropriate and I think

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anthony_algmin: about things like something is as straightforward as assigning ownership to

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anthony_algmin: a datae or data source or something like that. And who is being a data owner

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anthony_algmin: a good thing or a bad thing? Is it something that people want to be or

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anthony_algmin: something that people want to run away from? And I’ve seen it both ways. But

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anthony_algmin: to to some extent it’s a matter of glass, half full glass, half empty. It’s

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anthony_algmin: it’s Is this an opportunity

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anthony_algmin: to drive future benefit in a in a meaningful and noticeable way, Because if

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anthony_algmin: that’s the case, I think people would be more drawn to being data owners if

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anthony_algmin: it’s a place to get in line so you can be the first person hit by a bus.

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anthony_algmin: That is not the thing you you want to do right. And so

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, yeah, exactly,

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anthony_algmin: you know how, And And and

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anthony_algmin: I’m not sure that there’s an An. A good answer here. But how does what snity

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anthony_algmin: has

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anthony_algmin: help us do those kind of opportunity seeking assignments and an opportunity?

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anthony_algmin: How how do we make it fun

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anthony_algmin: when it’s it’s This is not simple. Th. we don’t get to just decide whether

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anthony_algmin: somebody is going to find the notion of being a data owner? A good thing

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anthony_algmin: we’ve got to give them a real reason. And like in my day to leadership book,

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anthony_algmin: I talk about like we want to align the people that are going to get the

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anthony_algmin: benefit from whatever this work is with the people we’re asking to do the

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anthony_algmin: work wherever we can

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anthony_algmin: bring those together. I, I joke of my team all the time. It’s like it’s It’s

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anthony_algmin: the little red Hen theory of management, right. How do we all share in the

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anthony_algmin: benefits of of the bread that gets baked with the work of making it happen?

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anthony_algmin: and and the more we can align that, the more directly tied the incentives

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anthony_algmin: are, the more interested people are in in helping that. How does how does

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anthony_algmin: what Syity has help facilitate that?

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rex_ahlstrom: yeah, um,

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rex_ahlstrom: we, we do this in software. basically by

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rex_ahlstrom: focusing on data outcomes and Um,

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rex_ahlstrom: too often data projects are looked at in a more analytical way Like we meet.

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rex_ahlstrom: What’s the current state of Da equlity completeness? Uh, you know all of the

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rex_ahlstrom: different dimensions in our pick, your favorite master data management, uh,

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rex_ahlstrom: object or master data

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anthony_algmin: three,

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rex_ahlstrom: object? And Um, you know what I would argue with? the business is well, if

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rex_ahlstrom: it’s ninety nine point seven. I, I guess we would say that’s pretty good. If

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rex_ahlstrom: if your completeness and accuracy and quality and all your dimensions are

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rex_ahlstrom: high, Um, what would it mean to the business of is ninety nine point three,

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rex_ahlstrom: and then that’s usually where you get blank stairs, because they don’t know

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rex_ahlstrom: and so

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anthony_algmin: right am,

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rex_ahlstrom: uh. And this is where executives quite honestly lose interest in data and lose

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rex_ahlstrom: interest in funding data programs, because it’s a theoretical exercise and

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rex_ahlstrom: they can’t tie it to a business outcome.

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rex_ahlstrom: So, because of our lineage as a company of coming from services coming from

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rex_ahlstrom: working with the global two thousand and solving really complex data

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rex_ahlstrom: challenges, we’re able to arrive at an outcome with them that was meaningful

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rex_ahlstrom: to the business right.

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rex_ahlstrom: So we focus our software less on the rote mechanics of E t, ▁l data quality

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rex_ahlstrom: checks, Master data management, object creation,

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rex_ahlstrom: and more on. Well, how has that impacted my order to cash process? Uh, how is

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rex_ahlstrom: that impacting my inventory? Carry? How is that impacting my time to new

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rex_ahlstrom: product Introduction? Right things? that. when you say them to your c, f o or

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rex_ahlstrom: to other at Landa business executives I go. Well, that is really important to

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rex_ahlstrom: So

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rex_ahlstrom: we have a key focus there of bringing content from our services. knowledge,

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rex_ahlstrom: embedding that with software so that you’re not just starting with it with a

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rex_ahlstrom: blank tool and driving to an outcome. Now independent of what software you

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rex_ahlstrom: use, my recommendation for your listeners is start small and winfast.

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rex_ahlstrom: Um, you know too often these initiatives get big that money gets big and then

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rex_ahlstrom: Uh, executives are questioning why things are being done. Uh, to the point of

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rex_ahlstrom: making data fun again. It’s fun when you is an individual contributor at that

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rex_ahlstrom: company, or as part of a team can point to something meaningful that has

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rex_ahlstrom: happened in the business because of your work, right,

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rex_ahlstrom: We’re all motivated by success, and we like to see that success be recognized.

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rex_ahlstrom: And if you impact the business in a positive way and drive a meaningful

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rex_ahlstrom: outcome for the business, people take notice, and then you feel good about the

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rex_ahlstrom: work you’re doing and it motivates you to do more, right, Uh, to participate

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rex_ahlstrom: more and to deliver more. and other people will notice. other lines of

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rex_ahlstrom: business will notice, and they’re going to want to contribute. And so it’s

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rex_ahlstrom: It’s almost

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rex_ahlstrom: creating a culture, Uh, within the business, where that team over there that’s

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rex_ahlstrom: focused on data keeps delivering value to the business and keeps getting

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rex_ahlstrom: recognized in our newsletters and our wind stories, and all the other things.

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rex_ahlstrom: And that’s

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rex_ahlstrom: what you want. Um, So you know again, when you’re looking at tools, when

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rex_ahlstrom: you’re looking at uh, service providers, when you’re looking at your own

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rex_ahlstrom: projects, you’re going to pick you win, fast, start, small, grow big, and

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rex_ahlstrom: focus on that outcome. That’s probably the most critical thing you could do.

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anthony_algmin: Yeah, well, And and you know, for folks on, understand and follow what what

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anthony_algmin: I talk about with data leadership. You know to me that’ that’s the

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anthony_algmin: definition of data value. It’s what is the actual impact to the business

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anthony_algmin: from any of the stuff that we’re doing Cause that’s what matters. What

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anthony_algmin: matters is that the change that happens for the business. And and I think

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anthony_algmin: you’ve talked about that in a few context where it’s the. The small change

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anthony_algmin: in the number has ▁zero impact on a business. So of course an executives

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anthony_algmin: tuning out because they are focused on things that have impact to the

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anthony_algmin: business.

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anthony_algmin: Similarly, when we’re asking for people to help us with data management

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anthony_algmin: types of activities, we need to see some line of sight to how does this

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anthony_algmin: change things for the better, and I think the examples that are good proxies

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anthony_algmin: for business impact can be those things that are celebrated. Those things

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anthony_algmin: that are uh noticeable for others in the in the organization because we’re

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anthony_algmin: all part of a of a long chain of events that lead to great business, right,

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anthony_algmin: we have a lot that goes into that and we’re really early in that chain when

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anthony_algmin: we’re dealing with data management stuff. And that’s why it’s so hard for

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anthony_algmin: many data governance efforts to justify their existence. because even though

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anthony_algmin: they may have a huge impact, it’s spread across so many things it’s easy to

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anthony_algmin: lose through the noise of all of that happening.

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anthony_algmin: And so if we can bring visibility, I think that’s a huge thing for anyone

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anthony_algmin: who’s trying to work with data and invest in data if we can bring the value

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anthony_algmin: proposition forward, and and point to hear his how we have impacted this

363
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anthony_algmin: organization in a meaningful measurable way. It goes a very long way to

364
00:25:40,041 –> 00:25:44,125
anthony_algmin: getting these kinds of efforts sustainable, and and to your point around too

365
00:25:44,291 –> 00:25:48,375
anthony_algmin: often these things. they, they grow too big too quickly, and then they have

366
00:25:48,541 –> 00:25:54,041
anthony_algmin: a higher burden of justification and they haven’t built out the framework to

367
00:25:54,125 –> 00:25:58,125
anthony_algmin: justify it. Of course, an executive’s going to say I’m not spending another

368
00:25:58,291 –> 00:25:59,791
anthony_algmin: million dollars on that thing, right,

369
00:26:00,166 –> 00:26:04,916
rex_ahlstrom: right. yeah, exactly. and I, I think that the as technologist, right, we in

370
00:26:04,916 –> 00:26:05,916
rex_ahlstrom: technology,

371
00:26:06,666 –> 00:26:10,000
rex_ahlstrom: you, probably a mix of listeners that maybe are more in the technology side,

372
00:26:10,000 –> 00:26:11,000
rex_ahlstrom: maybe more

373
00:26:11,000 –> 00:26:16,583
rex_ahlstrom: on the business side, but we also uh, tend to get enamored with things that

374
00:26:16,666 –> 00:26:21,125
rex_ahlstrom: are over hyped and think this is going to be the thing that’s going to solve.

375
00:26:21,833 –> 00:26:27,750
rex_ahlstrom: You know all of my problems. A Andl, I think is is a classic example. There’s

376
00:26:27,833 –> 00:26:32,958
rex_ahlstrom: a lot of excitement around it. There’s a lot of potential around it, but it’s

377
00:26:33,541 –> 00:26:37,541
rex_ahlstrom: how do you take advantage of things like I and M ▁l,

378
00:26:38,875 –> 00:26:42,875
rex_ahlstrom: to improve the things we talked about earlier. Whether it be an outcome,

379
00:26:43,250 –> 00:26:44,250
rex_ahlstrom: whether it be

380
00:26:44,500 –> 00:26:48,416
rex_ahlstrom: making it fun for users to participate in the data process? You know what is

381
00:26:48,583 –> 00:26:54,791
rex_ahlstrom: it? I? So making a I n m ▁l, not at Data Science project, and not something

382
00:26:55,041 –> 00:26:58,166
rex_ahlstrom: that. Okay. We’re going to check it off the list because we now have it in our

383
00:26:58,416 –> 00:27:03,125
rex_ahlstrom: textack, But what impact did it have? And so that’s also something that we

384
00:27:03,291 –> 00:27:08,083
rex_ahlstrom: think about a lot in designing software. So the use of those technologies for

385
00:27:08,166 –> 00:27:09,291
rex_ahlstrom: us are about

386
00:27:10,333 –> 00:27:15,375
rex_ahlstrom: trying to remove some of the mundane and rote work that is associated with

387
00:27:15,458 –> 00:27:19,375
rex_ahlstrom: data. And that’s the. The problem with the data profession is that a lot of

388
00:27:19,458 –> 00:27:24,083
rex_ahlstrom: times there’s just hard work that you have to plough through with data,

389
00:27:24,083 –> 00:27:25,083
rex_ahlstrom: whether it’s

390
00:27:25,083 –> 00:27:29,458
rex_ahlstrom: discovering what data live in my systems, Whether it’s understanding the

391
00:27:29,541 –> 00:27:34,083
rex_ahlstrom: meaning and tagging massive, you know, trobite upon terbite, or patabyitees,

392
00:27:34,416 –> 00:27:38,708
rex_ahlstrom: Information that that live within the enterprise. Um, and this is where we can

393
00:27:38,958 –> 00:27:44,250
rex_ahlstrom: use technologies to say. Can you guide me? Give me recommendations on the

394
00:27:44,416 –> 00:27:48,416
rex_ahlstrom: three things I can do today that will actually improve our position as a

395
00:27:48,500 –> 00:27:54,166
rex_ahlstrom: business. Or can you do more automation and less manual work Because we’re

396
00:27:54,416 –> 00:27:59,625
rex_ahlstrom: taking the mundane aspects of data management away and automating those. So

397
00:28:00,166 –> 00:28:06,583
rex_ahlstrom: you know, we have to, as all in the industry that produce software, not just

398
00:28:07,458 –> 00:28:12,958
rex_ahlstrom: uh, tout the uh, the acronyms, uh, but actually turn them into something that

399
00:28:13,041 –> 00:28:17,625
rex_ahlstrom: delivers meaningful value to the data stewards that are in the businesses

400
00:28:18,250 –> 00:28:19,375
rex_ahlstrom: trying to do this work

401
00:28:21,416 –> 00:28:26,208
anthony_algmin: Yeah, I mean that is. That is a very good point and it’s something that you

402
00:28:26,541 –> 00:28:32,208
anthony_algmin: is true. Like there’s no software that’s going to remove the work involved

403
00:28:32,375 –> 00:28:37,791
anthony_algmin: with data. It may facilitate. It may make it easier. but it is much as we

404
00:28:37,875 –> 00:28:42,375
anthony_algmin: would love to have an easy button. We don’t know like we know that there’s

405
00:28:42,541 –> 00:28:45,958
anthony_algmin: no easy button. But that doesn’t mean we still don’t want one. And and

406
00:28:46,041 –> 00:28:49,666
anthony_algmin: the biggest mistake is when you think. Oh, wait, now, I found it. this. it’s

407
00:28:49,791 –> 00:28:54,125
anthony_algmin: like it’s like a perpetu, a perpetual motion machine, Right like it doesn’t

408
00:28:54,291 –> 00:28:59,416
anthony_algmin: ex. We cannot create one, and any time you think you have created one, you

409
00:28:59,583 –> 00:29:03,083
anthony_algmin: are wrong at least up till now, But doesn’t Pe, Doesn’t mean people don’t

410
00:29:03,083 –> 00:29:04,083
anthony_algmin: keep trying, right,

411
00:29:04,291 –> 00:29:08,375
anthony_algmin: or or or, or a craps betting strategy. A crap’s betting strategy, no matter

412
00:29:08,625 –> 00:29:14,125
anthony_algmin: what it is, will not be a long term. Uh, winner In in the long run. That is,

413
00:29:14,208 –> 00:29:17,000
anthony_algmin: it is mathematically proven, but it it doesn’t mean people don’t keep

414
00:29:17,000 –> 00:29:18,000
anthony_algmin: trying. And so

415
00:29:18,375 –> 00:29:22,375
anthony_algmin: it, it makes sense to me. so let’s move in a in in direction because I

416
00:29:22,375 –> 00:29:25,791
anthony_algmin: would’t understand. Like so we don’t. We’ve heard a little bit about what

417
00:29:25,875 –> 00:29:30,291
anthony_algmin: your software does and how it’s oriented towards the outcomes. And and you

418
00:29:30,375 –> 00:29:34,375
anthony_algmin: knowre, really tying into what we, I think both agree is the most important

419
00:29:34,750 –> 00:29:36,916
anthony_algmin: thing, which is is how are we impacting the business?

420
00:29:38,041 –> 00:29:42,291
anthony_algmin: How do we do that? Like how do we actually implementcause? I can’t imagine

421
00:29:42,458 –> 00:29:44,458
anthony_algmin: it’s just software where we’re going to get people to do

422
00:29:44,625 –> 00:29:47,958
anthony_algmin: things a little bit differently. How do we actually go about implementing

423
00:29:48,375 –> 00:29:51,250
anthony_algmin: and and changing these businesses for a better working vicinity?

424
00:29:51,541 –> 00:29:54,250
rex_ahlstrom: yeah, it’s a. It’s a very good point. Um.

425
00:29:55,416 –> 00:29:56,416
rex_ahlstrom: a lot of

426
00:29:58,333 –> 00:30:02,583
rex_ahlstrom: companies rush to solve things with tools. Um, you, a look, software is kind

427
00:30:02,583 –> 00:30:07,125
rex_ahlstrom: of seen as the easy button, but in reality, uh, if you look at something like

428
00:30:07,208 –> 00:30:12,500
rex_ahlstrom: a Master Data Management initiative, there is much change management involved

429
00:30:12,875 –> 00:30:16,958
rex_ahlstrom: in changing how people interact today, either with their applications, each

430
00:30:17,041 –> 00:30:20,958
rex_ahlstrom: other, business processes what they need to be trained on. As there is

431
00:30:21,125 –> 00:30:27,541
rex_ahlstrom: implementing a new tool. And so you, I think that first we have to look at

432
00:30:27,833 –> 00:30:32,333
rex_ahlstrom: what are all of the aspects that we need to consider. Do we have executive

433
00:30:32,500 –> 00:30:36,875
rex_ahlstrom: level sponsorship? Have we effectively measure the impact to the Bi business

434
00:30:37,458 –> 00:30:42,000
rex_ahlstrom: and what it means from a day to day change management perspective for people,

435
00:30:42,250 –> 00:30:48,083
rex_ahlstrom: May that may now, uh be contributing to our process no longer being held in

436
00:30:48,250 –> 00:30:54,166
rex_ahlstrom: close quarters within a center of excellence, Um, I think the other thing, And

437
00:30:54,166 –> 00:30:58,875
rex_ahlstrom: and this is something that that we preach a lot at the company, which is that,

438
00:30:59,458 –> 00:31:04,958
rex_ahlstrom: when you go in and sell to the global two thousand and have had many Uh

439
00:31:05,375 –> 00:31:09,750
rex_ahlstrom: instances of this, the first thing they say is. Well, look, we’ve been in

440
00:31:09,833 –> 00:31:14,333
rex_ahlstrom: business for a hundred years. we already have one of everything. So why do I

441
00:31:14,500 –> 00:31:20,500
rex_ahlstrom: need something else right? So a lot of tools are out there. Um,

442
00:31:21,541 –> 00:31:26,500
rex_ahlstrom: but they’re not doing the job and that they’re engaging in yet another project

443
00:31:26,875 –> 00:31:31,625
rex_ahlstrom: And I think that as an industry and as customers, we have to ask ourselves.

444
00:31:31,750 –> 00:31:32,958
rex_ahlstrom: Why? why if I have

445
00:31:34,000 –> 00:31:39,125
rex_ahlstrom: M Bm software, Etail, software, data quality software, Uh, governance

446
00:31:39,375 –> 00:31:44,500
rex_ahlstrom: software, Then why can’t I execute this migration Effectively? Why can’t I

447
00:31:44,708 –> 00:31:50,083
rex_ahlstrom: implement standards like C, C, p, A or g, d, p, R. effectively, Um, and I

448
00:31:50,166 –> 00:31:56,083
rex_ahlstrom: think the answer lies in that people don’t look at data through the lens of

449
00:31:56,166 –> 00:32:00,333
rex_ahlstrom: being on a journey? They look at it through the lens. Going back to it, I said

450
00:32:00,500 –> 00:32:04,500
rex_ahlstrom: earlier of It’s a project. We need to get it done and we’re going to

451
00:32:04,583 –> 00:32:08,166
rex_ahlstrom: throw some tools, people and money at it, and we’re going to be done and then

452
00:32:08,166 –> 00:32:09,708
rex_ahlstrom: we’re going to walk away and

453
00:32:09,833 –> 00:32:10,833
anthony_algmin: five,

454
00:32:10,833 –> 00:32:11,833
rex_ahlstrom: so

455
00:32:11,833 –> 00:32:16,791
rex_ahlstrom: change management. Consider all of the aspects that are being impacted. Tools

456
00:32:16,958 –> 00:32:21,458
rex_ahlstrom: will not be the silver bullet. You already have one of everything. So what is

457
00:32:21,541 –> 00:32:27,375
rex_ahlstrom: it that I need to now make those tools effective and to take the company on

458
00:32:27,458 –> 00:32:32,666
rex_ahlstrom: this journey that will allow us to get out of what amounts to like the movie

459
00:32:32,958 –> 00:32:34,708
rex_ahlstrom: Groundhog Day getting up

460
00:32:34,875 –> 00:32:38,958
rex_ahlstrom: every day and then it’s just like the day before, And how do you break the

461
00:32:38,958 –> 00:32:39,958
rex_ahlstrom: cycle?

462
00:32:41,750 –> 00:32:47,083
anthony_algmin: So how long does this take Like? How do we? How do we make these kinds of

463
00:32:47,250 –> 00:32:50,125
anthony_algmin: changes? It? it? I, I don’t want to be skeptical,

464
00:32:50,458 –> 00:32:52,708
anthony_algmin: but I also want to be realistic in that

465
00:32:53,958 –> 00:32:59,500
anthony_algmin: there’s been a lot of attempts at this and I think that a lot of people, and

466
00:32:59,500 –> 00:33:03,083
anthony_algmin: and in in many cases I talk about a intent versus

467
00:33:04,125 –> 00:33:07,958
anthony_algmin: your reality. And and it’s just like my, my young children, they. they’

468
00:33:08,125 –> 00:33:12,208
anthony_algmin: like. Well, I didn’t mean to hit them. and and cause them pain. but you did

469
00:33:12,458 –> 00:33:15,583
anthony_algmin: right like I didn’t mean to cause this big mess. But you did.

470
00:33:16,625 –> 00:33:20,291
anthony_algmin: We mean. well, we want to solve these problems. We wanted to solve these

471
00:33:20,375 –> 00:33:22,041
anthony_algmin: problems for a long time, but

472
00:33:23,083 –> 00:33:26,375
anthony_algmin: though we intended to solve them, things have gotten in the way. they’ve

473
00:33:26,541 –> 00:33:31,083
anthony_algmin: become difficult. They’ve we haven’t achieved that. What’s different in in

474
00:33:31,166 –> 00:33:35,791
anthony_algmin: what you’re offering and and how you approach the entirety of that you know

475
00:33:36,541 –> 00:33:39,166
anthony_algmin: system? Maybe you talk a little bit about your engagement model of

476
00:33:39,250 –> 00:33:42,708
anthony_algmin: how you do this and implement it in a way that really creates lasting

477
00:33:43,750 –> 00:33:48,416
rex_ahlstrom: yeah, yeah. So, actually, um, I’ll talk about Uh, something relatively new

478
00:33:48,583 –> 00:33:52,250
rex_ahlstrom: that that we had rolled out, Uh, recently called Dayta jump start,

479
00:33:53,458 –> 00:33:58,000
rex_ahlstrom: and the concept behind it was what you were just describing. Right. Our

480
00:33:58,083 –> 00:34:01,833
rex_ahlstrom: software has been in the market for a while. We’ve got expert consulting that

481
00:34:01,916 –> 00:34:06,166
rex_ahlstrom: knows how to go in and and make uh things happen at a company and to create

482
00:34:06,500 –> 00:34:11,458
rex_ahlstrom: value. But companies are fatigued and they’ve heard all of this before and

483
00:34:11,625 –> 00:34:15,125
rex_ahlstrom: they’re saying again. You know, do I have to do this again,

484
00:34:16,583 –> 00:34:19,708
rex_ahlstrom: or the I have one of everything, a conversation. So

485
00:34:19,916 –> 00:34:25,625
rex_ahlstrom: what data jump start is designed to do is to say, Hey, here’s a very low touch

486
00:34:26,166 –> 00:34:31,750
rex_ahlstrom: low cost entry point where we’re going to focus on something that we believe

487
00:34:32,000 –> 00:34:36,416
rex_ahlstrom: is meaningful to the business. And again, What particular business processes

488
00:34:36,583 –> 00:34:41,375
rex_ahlstrom: for for you in your industry, whether it’s in retail or life sciences or in

489
00:34:41,916 –> 00:34:47,041
rex_ahlstrom: manufacturing, is critical to you That if you could move the needle even five

490
00:34:47,208 –> 00:34:52,875
rex_ahlstrom: or ten percent in terms of that business process or outcome, Uh, that it would

491
00:34:53,041 –> 00:34:56,250
rex_ahlstrom: mean something to the business. So, even if you stop right there, you will

492
00:34:56,291 –> 00:34:57,291
rex_ahlstrom: have gained value.

493
00:34:58,583 –> 00:35:04,000
rex_ahlstrom: so data jumps start is just that it’s looking at tooling and software. Uh. of

494
00:35:04,083 –> 00:35:08,708
rex_ahlstrom: course, for us, it’s vicinity knowledge platform, Uh, But it’s also then that

495
00:35:08,958 –> 00:35:14,166
rex_ahlstrom: high value content. It’s the expertise baked into the product. Uh, it’s

496
00:35:14,333 –> 00:35:19,041
rex_ahlstrom: knowing the applications that you use in that particular process, so that in a

497
00:35:19,125 –> 00:35:25,041
rex_ahlstrom: very short period of time you can demonstrate value. So it’s low risk, a low

498
00:35:25,250 –> 00:35:26,250
rex_ahlstrom: bar for entry,

499
00:35:27,291 –> 00:35:32,250
rex_ahlstrom: but builds value on the back end. Now we’ve had specific examples with

500
00:35:32,500 –> 00:35:37,458
rex_ahlstrom: customers, Um, in the finance sector, Uh, in this particular I will mention

501
00:35:37,541 –> 00:35:41,750
rex_ahlstrom: your name, but a particular customer in Switzerland. And we started this way.

502
00:35:41,916 –> 00:35:47,125
rex_ahlstrom: We started by doing a data jump start and we got in and it was very low cost

503
00:35:47,375 –> 00:35:52,666
rex_ahlstrom: and we delivered value well. That customer all of a sudden became enthralled

504
00:35:52,875 –> 00:35:57,541
rex_ahlstrom: because they then understood that they could finally break the cycle, and for

505
00:35:57,625 –> 00:36:02,166
rex_ahlstrom: us, it turned into a very large engagement, and honestly partnership with this

506
00:36:02,333 –> 00:36:07,541
rex_ahlstrom: company That allowed us to move forward in a meaningful way That now they

507
00:36:07,625 –> 00:36:11,291
rex_ahlstrom: could put more money behind it, they could demonstrate the value to the other

508
00:36:11,458 –> 00:36:17,208
rex_ahlstrom: executives and their board members. And uh, it went from you know, a very

509
00:36:17,541 –> 00:36:21,833
rex_ahlstrom: small engagement to a very large engagement, but again, it was based on

510
00:36:21,916 –> 00:36:26,083
rex_ahlstrom: achieving those early wins and demonstrating path to higher value.

511
00:36:28,708 –> 00:36:33,791
anthony_algmin: Is this something that? even though you are, I love the the data jump start.

512
00:36:34,041 –> 00:36:37,000
anthony_algmin: You can. you can start s small and deliver value. Those are all good things

513
00:36:37,416 –> 00:36:41,500
anthony_algmin: for uh, sustainable investments, and and building this overtime. So I’m I’m

514
00:36:41,666 –> 00:36:46,041
anthony_algmin: fully on board with that. Is this something that can add long term value

515
00:36:46,750 –> 00:36:51,875
anthony_algmin: isolated within an individual department or function, or do you always have

516
00:36:52,750 –> 00:36:57,500
anthony_algmin: an enterprise view and that that has to be the long term vision of the

517
00:36:57,500 –> 00:36:59,000
anthony_algmin: journey? Or can this be

518
00:36:59,166 –> 00:37:02,208
anthony_algmin: something that one department says We got to do this? We’re going to do this

519
00:37:02,375 –> 00:37:06,375
anthony_algmin: this way and that’s as far as it’s going to go? Can that still be successful

520
00:37:06,541 –> 00:37:08,916
anthony_algmin: or does it have to have an enterprise context to mind?

521
00:37:09,375 –> 00:37:15,041
rex_ahlstrom: it’s a great question. And and I’m go to answer it, maybe with with two

522
00:37:15,208 –> 00:37:22,500
rex_ahlstrom: answers. Um, the first is if you look at how software has been sold to date,

523
00:37:23,375 –> 00:37:28,166
rex_ahlstrom: it’s usually by users. Or if it’s an on prim piece of softwares, a number of

524
00:37:28,250 –> 00:37:31,208
rex_ahlstrom: cores and it’s typically around a particular

525
00:37:32,500 –> 00:37:34,333
rex_ahlstrom: module or function and

526
00:37:34,666 –> 00:37:40,708
rex_ahlstrom: I’m going to buy ▁x amount for ▁ users of this uh, uh data warehouse, where

527
00:37:40,708 –> 00:37:46,791
rex_ahlstrom: I’m going to buy ▁x cores or ▁x number of users. Uh, for this e t ▁l tool, Uh,

528
00:37:47,291 –> 00:37:51,750
rex_ahlstrom: So or I’m going to buy an M Dm product, but only for a material master. I’m

529
00:37:51,833 –> 00:37:56,708
rex_ahlstrom: not going to consider the others because it gets priced like that. Um,

530
00:37:58,083 –> 00:38:03,291
rex_ahlstrom: when we think of the democratization of data and and really involving more

531
00:38:03,375 –> 00:38:08,083
rex_ahlstrom: data stewards. all of those models are counter to what we’ve been talking

532
00:38:08,333 –> 00:38:13,916
rex_ahlstrom: about, which is we want as many people involved and we want you to have all

533
00:38:14,000 –> 00:38:18,958
rex_ahlstrom: the tools in the kit bag, so that you, when you’re climbing that mountain, you

534
00:38:19,041 –> 00:38:21,708
rex_ahlstrom: realize you don’t have the right carbaner. You’re not hanging

535
00:38:21,833 –> 00:38:25,833
rex_ahlstrom: off the side of the mountain going. I better call my sales guy, Uh, because I

536
00:38:26,000 –> 00:38:32,250
rex_ahlstrom: need something different. Um. So our philosophy has been, We put all of the

537
00:38:32,333 –> 00:38:37,125
rex_ahlstrom: product in one platform and you have access to every single function that’s

538
00:38:37,291 –> 00:38:41,541
rex_ahlstrom: there. Um, we’re going to give you content that allows you to take it from a

539
00:38:41,708 –> 00:38:45,291
rex_ahlstrom: shell of a tool to something that’s meaningful in your business. And then it’s

540
00:38:45,375 –> 00:38:49,458
rex_ahlstrom: up to you how far you want to take it, Because look, ▁ultimately, And this is

541
00:38:49,541 –> 00:38:53,125
rex_ahlstrom: a second part of your question. We’re all businesses that are limited by

542
00:38:53,375 –> 00:38:58,791
rex_ahlstrom: budgets and annual cycles and profit targets and everything else. And maybe it

543
00:38:58,875 –> 00:39:02,958
rex_ahlstrom: is that this year you can only focus it within sight of one line of business

544
00:39:03,375 –> 00:39:05,833
rex_ahlstrom: or one g o of your operating company.

545
00:39:06,958 –> 00:39:10,708
rex_ahlstrom: Um. But that shouldn’t be a limiter, right. You still have all the tools and

546
00:39:10,791 –> 00:39:15,291
rex_ahlstrom: you can get value there. But as you demonstrate value and you want to use

547
00:39:15,541 –> 00:39:20,875
rex_ahlstrom: more, then you can incrementally expand the contract right, not based on a

548
00:39:20,958 –> 00:39:26,416
rex_ahlstrom: tool’s basis, not based on users, not based on arbitrary limiters, Like how

549
00:39:26,500 –> 00:39:31,125
rex_ahlstrom: many processing pos you have in your environment, but based on the value that

550
00:39:31,208 –> 00:39:36,708
rex_ahlstrom: you’re going to generate from that product usage. So, yeah, you can stop at a

551
00:39:36,791 –> 00:39:40,708
rex_ahlstrom: line of business and they may be very happy with that result, Um, based on

552
00:39:40,875 –> 00:39:44,666
rex_ahlstrom: budgets and and their goals, Um. but it won’t limit them in the future from

553
00:39:44,708 –> 00:39:46,333
rex_ahlstrom: expanding into an enterprise level.

554
00:39:48,125 –> 00:39:51,791
anthony_algmin: Yeah, well, I, I definitely appreciate that answer. And and when I’m wearing

555
00:39:51,875 –> 00:39:54,625
anthony_algmin: the head of of a person on the industry side and

556
00:39:55,750 –> 00:40:00,458
anthony_algmin: looking at software purchases or or engagements with firms and trying to

557
00:40:00,541 –> 00:40:05,000
anthony_algmin: take on these kinds of change initiatives, I often find that it’s best to do

558
00:40:05,333 –> 00:40:09,250
anthony_algmin: that kind of proof of concept or prototype, and seeing where it goes is a

559
00:40:09,333 –> 00:40:13,958
anthony_algmin: lot more telling than you listening to sales pitches and trying to figure

560
00:40:14,125 –> 00:40:17,000
anthony_algmin: out how it might work. It’s like let’s see it. Let’s let’s do it. Let’s

561
00:40:17,166 –> 00:40:22,625
anthony_algmin: spend a little bit of time and really assess it, And then we, we will go in

562
00:40:22,708 –> 00:40:25,958
anthony_algmin: eyes wide open, and we can really put the investment where we know it’s

563
00:40:26,041 –> 00:40:28,125
anthony_algmin: going to work, not where we think it’s going to work. And that

564
00:40:28,458 –> 00:40:32,916
anthony_algmin: I found the most success. Um, the most time is when you can see the whole

565
00:40:33,083 –> 00:40:37,000
anthony_algmin: thing in action in a in a limited context and really understand what you’re

566
00:40:37,083 –> 00:40:39,958
anthony_algmin: going it. It’s a more to me, it’s a more honest way

567
00:40:40,041 –> 00:40:41,041
rex_ahlstrom: yeah, yeah,

568
00:40:41,041 –> 00:40:43,958
anthony_algmin: of developing those deep relationships inside businesses. And that’s true of

569
00:40:43,958 –> 00:40:46,750
anthony_algmin: date of enement softare. Thats that’s true of consulting. That’s true of

570
00:40:46,833 –> 00:40:50,125
anthony_algmin: really anything, and I and I’m hopeful that more organizations are going to

571
00:40:50,208 –> 00:40:55,416
anthony_algmin: see the benefit of that kind of uh. Incentive alignment that you know,

572
00:40:56,041 –> 00:41:00,125
anthony_algmin: wasn’t always the case in the in the software industry, E, especially, or

573
00:41:00,208 –> 00:41:04,625
anthony_algmin: the or the technology platform industry, especially, Um. So I, I really do

574
00:41:04,750 –> 00:41:09,666
anthony_algmin: like last week on the episoe, Uh, On the show we had a person who uh started

575
00:41:09,750 –> 00:41:14,916
anthony_algmin: a a cyber security business, and similarly their business is extremely well

576
00:41:15,083 –> 00:41:19,500
anthony_algmin: aligned. Last week we talked about having uh, this kind of alignment where

577
00:41:19,750 –> 00:41:24,375
anthony_algmin: when you do good work and when you uh, achieve success for your clients,

578
00:41:24,625 –> 00:41:29,583
anthony_algmin: that encourages them to work with you more, and you continue to try to do

579
00:41:29,750 –> 00:41:33,583
anthony_algmin: your best work And and that’s something where I think a lot about these.

580
00:41:33,791 –> 00:41:37,500
anthony_algmin: These incentives in these, In these, where where are the interests of the

581
00:41:37,666 –> 00:41:42,125
anthony_algmin: organizations aligned and when we can establish partnerships that are in

582
00:41:42,291 –> 00:41:46,916
anthony_algmin: pure alignment, Where there is no, you know, splitting of the pie, it is all

583
00:41:47,083 –> 00:41:50,750
anthony_algmin: growing the pie together. That’s when it a business heck, you know, let

584
00:41:50,833 –> 00:41:54,458
anthony_algmin: alone software technology. That’s when business is at its best, and finding

585
00:41:54,625 –> 00:41:58,708
anthony_algmin: those opportunities are those those golden moments that that we’re all

586
00:41:58,750 –> 00:42:01,666
anthony_algmin: looking for, as as we’re leading our teams, leading our businesses, leading

587
00:42:01,791 –> 00:42:03,500
anthony_algmin: our our departments. Or or what? have you?

588
00:42:04,250 –> 00:42:06,583
rex_ahlstrom: really well, said, couldn’t have sett it any better.

589
00:42:08,541 –> 00:42:13,750
anthony_algmin: Thank you. Thank you. The The check is in the mail. Um, But so do you have?

590
00:42:13,875 –> 00:42:17,583
anthony_algmin: And, And, and we only have a couple of minutes left, but you know I’m I’m

591
00:42:18,208 –> 00:42:23,750
anthony_algmin: still trying to think through. Like how as you know, a a team leader is a

592
00:42:23,875 –> 00:42:26,375
anthony_algmin: department lead, or as a a you

593
00:42:27,875 –> 00:42:33,875
anthony_algmin: entrepreneur have you do? Is there a minimum viable size where working with

594
00:42:34,125 –> 00:42:38,208
anthony_algmin: sinity makes sense? or is there I? I? I think basic stand on the top of the

595
00:42:38,208 –> 00:42:41,750
anthony_algmin: of the global two thousand? There’s no upper limit like any organization of

596
00:42:41,750 –> 00:42:44,708
anthony_algmin: of great scale makes sense, But is there a lower limit where you say you

597
00:42:44,750 –> 00:42:47,958
anthony_algmin: know until you have ▁x number of people or ▁x amount of revenue that

598
00:42:48,208 –> 00:42:51,583
anthony_algmin: probably you probably don’t need a tool this capable have. You, do you have

599
00:42:51,750 –> 00:42:52,916
anthony_algmin: any rules of them on that

600
00:42:54,000 –> 00:42:58,875
rex_ahlstrom: Uh, so typically we have focused on the global two thousand, Um, and it’s

601
00:42:59,125 –> 00:43:05,458
rex_ahlstrom: partly because their data challenges are so complex, Uh that we bring and can

602
00:43:05,625 –> 00:43:10,875
rex_ahlstrom: demonstrate a massive amount of return on investment. Uh, yeah, day one, I,

603
00:43:10,958 –> 00:43:16,958
rex_ahlstrom: we. If we’re not focused on delivering that r. o, I study as part of also the

604
00:43:17,125 –> 00:43:20,583
rex_ahlstrom: proposal that we’re going to bring to you, then we haven’t done our job. Might

605
00:43:20,708 –> 00:43:23,458
rex_ahlstrom: we have to make sure that this is going to deliver a return.

606
00:43:25,208 –> 00:43:30,000
rex_ahlstrom: Um, And as you said, as you’re smaller, Uh, let’s say you’re you know, fifty

607
00:43:30,333 –> 00:43:32,791
rex_ahlstrom: million or a hundred million in revenue. Your

608
00:43:32,958 –> 00:43:40,000
rex_ahlstrom: data challenges may be solved with using Excel. They may be solved with using

609
00:43:40,666 –> 00:43:45,458
rex_ahlstrom: traditional tools that are going to be less expensive or go to be, maybe

610
00:43:45,708 –> 00:43:49,208
rex_ahlstrom: already in your kidbg. Um. On the other hand,

611
00:43:50,250 –> 00:43:52,166
rex_ahlstrom: you don’t have to always buy a tool.

612
00:43:53,208 –> 00:43:58,166
rex_ahlstrom: so if you’re trying to get value as a smaller company, start with finding

613
00:43:58,333 –> 00:44:02,250
rex_ahlstrom: somebody that you trust to have the conversation about what it is. You’re

614
00:44:02,333 –> 00:44:04,958
rex_ahlstrom: trying to achieve a advocacy

615
00:44:06,000 –> 00:44:12,166
rex_ahlstrom: and consultancy, not just to sell services, but to sell your experience and

616
00:44:12,416 –> 00:44:17,375
rex_ahlstrom: knowledge and to basically help you from falling into the potholes. That uh,

617
00:44:17,541 –> 00:44:21,625
rex_ahlstrom: somebody that has more experiences already stepped into is invaluable to any

618
00:44:21,666 –> 00:44:22,666
rex_ahlstrom: size business,

619
00:44:23,541 –> 00:44:28,708
rex_ahlstrom: right, Um, And then it’s a question of how big is the challenge and what is

620
00:44:28,791 –> 00:44:31,375
rex_ahlstrom: the right tool to match to that Um.

621
00:44:32,500 –> 00:44:36,666
rex_ahlstrom: Were we’re currently uh, delivering and will have a lot of new solutions out

622
00:44:36,958 –> 00:44:40,875
rex_ahlstrom: next year, they are going to provide more self service capabilities to our

623
00:44:41,041 –> 00:44:46,416
rex_ahlstrom: customers, and in that way it will allow us to approach more of the market,

624
00:44:48,000 –> 00:44:49,000
rex_ahlstrom: but today

625
00:44:50,166 –> 00:44:55,125
rex_ahlstrom: I would say, find an advocate. Find somebody that you trust and is an expert

626
00:44:55,291 –> 00:44:56,333
rex_ahlstrom: in data, and

627
00:44:56,500 –> 00:45:01,708
rex_ahlstrom: begin there and then row as your business grows and as your demands grow

628
00:45:03,166 –> 00:45:06,041
anthony_algmin: Yeah, I think that’s good advice. And and it’ and I’m glad to hear that

629
00:45:06,041 –> 00:45:08,708
anthony_algmin: you’re going to have some more self service tools that may um be a little

630
00:45:08,750 –> 00:45:10,375
anthony_algmin: bit more approachable for Uh

631
00:45:10,708 –> 00:45:16,041
anthony_algmin: smaller organizations, But you know I, I have been known to bad mouth. I

632
00:45:16,041 –> 00:45:19,750
anthony_algmin: guess is what the consultants might say. I do. Uh, which, for a person who

633
00:45:19,958 –> 00:45:24,041
anthony_algmin: spent you know good half of his career being a consultant. That’s um, not

634
00:45:24,125 –> 00:45:27,791
anthony_algmin: necessarily a wise thing to do. but I, I don’t like when things are are

635
00:45:27,875 –> 00:45:31,250
anthony_algmin: misssaligned. But there is something to what you said there. and that is the

636
00:45:31,500 –> 00:45:35,750
anthony_algmin: skills necessary to unravel this complexity are

637
00:45:36,833 –> 00:45:42,291
anthony_algmin: difficult to build. And and it’s something that you really need exposure to

638
00:45:42,458 –> 00:45:46,375
anthony_algmin: a wide array of different environments. Different challenges you have to

639
00:45:46,375 –> 00:45:49,583
anthony_algmin: have failed. You have to have succeeded. You have to understand all these

640
00:45:49,583 –> 00:45:52,375
anthony_algmin: complexes and heck, the the day the leadership lessons. Podk has a good

641
00:45:52,541 –> 00:45:55,958
anthony_algmin: example that each week we have somebody who goes super deep in an area that

642
00:45:56,208 –> 00:45:59,000
anthony_algmin: none of us the rest of us really understands at that level.

643
00:45:59,000 –> 00:46:00,000
rex_ahlstrom: Yeah,

644
00:46:00,000 –> 00:46:03,416
anthony_algmin: And and there’s dozens of dozes of episodes as we said today. And so it’s

645
00:46:03,750 –> 00:46:09,166
anthony_algmin: how do we you know, tap into that knowledge in a way that we can deploy it

646
00:46:10,291 –> 00:46:13,666
anthony_algmin: while we need it. We don’t need it forever. We just need to understand it.

647
00:46:13,791 –> 00:46:17,791
anthony_algmin: Bring it in. Bring our processes alongside it. learn from it and then get to

648
00:46:17,875 –> 00:46:21,250
anthony_algmin: the next thing. That’s where consultants shine. That’s where where

649
00:46:21,666 –> 00:46:26,125
anthony_algmin: specialists shine, Because they dedicate so much energy to going deep in

650
00:46:26,208 –> 00:46:29,875
anthony_algmin: that one thing. We do want to be thinking about. how do we do that bring in

651
00:46:29,958 –> 00:46:33,333
anthony_algmin: their knowledge. Make sure to compensate those people very well for that

652
00:46:33,500 –> 00:46:37,500
anthony_algmin: knowledge for doing that thing. but don’t park them there to make you feel

653
00:46:37,583 –> 00:46:40,833
anthony_algmin: comfortable for the next six months at four hundred dollars an hour. That’s

654
00:46:41,000 –> 00:46:42,541
anthony_algmin: not going to be a good investment.

655
00:46:42,875 –> 00:46:47,916
rex_ahlstrom: yeah, and and look, a lot of people claim to be credible in data. Uh, and

656
00:46:49,041 –> 00:46:52,958
rex_ahlstrom: yeah, we’ve we’ve made a good business also of uh, doing some ambulance

657
00:46:53,208 –> 00:46:58,083
rex_ahlstrom: chasing and coming into those that claim to be good at data and then bluw the

658
00:46:58,166 –> 00:47:04,416
rex_ahlstrom: place up and we had to put them back on track right, so Um, you know, part of

659
00:47:04,500 –> 00:47:09,208
rex_ahlstrom: it is is not assuming that there’s an easy button to your point earlier. Uh,

660
00:47:09,458 –> 00:47:14,875
rex_ahlstrom: checking the credentials obviously, but also getting free advice. I engage

661
00:47:15,125 –> 00:47:18,166
rex_ahlstrom: with companies that are experts in this area. Um,

662
00:47:18,583 –> 00:47:21,458
rex_ahlstrom: you know, See what you’re hearing from them. Are they coming in and

663
00:47:21,625 –> 00:47:25,625
rex_ahlstrom: immediately just trying to sell you a contract for an evaluation or have they

664
00:47:25,833 –> 00:47:30,875
rex_ahlstrom: spent time understanding your company? If you’re public, looking at your uh,

665
00:47:31,375 –> 00:47:34,958
rex_ahlstrom: your public information about what the drivers are behind your business, and

666
00:47:35,125 –> 00:47:39,375
rex_ahlstrom: come in with a feel for your industry, and maybe some of the challenges you’re

667
00:47:39,541 –> 00:47:44,708
rex_ahlstrom: facing. If you’re not hearing from whether it’s the consultants or the

668
00:47:44,791 –> 00:47:50,500
rex_ahlstrom: software providers that they’re speaking to your payin points early on, then

669
00:47:50,708 –> 00:47:55,125
rex_ahlstrom: maybe you don’t have the right company at the table. Um, because again too

670
00:47:55,291 –> 00:48:00,000
rex_ahlstrom: often it’s a rush to bu. this evaluation contract will buy this magical tool.

671
00:48:00,333 –> 00:48:04,500
rex_ahlstrom: A I, m, ▁l, blah, blah, Blh, blah, blah, uh, and it’ll solve all your problems

672
00:48:05,125 –> 00:48:09,791
rex_ahlstrom: and we know you know, and I know, especially that in data it’s a lot more than

673
00:48:09,791 –> 00:48:10,791
rex_ahlstrom: that.

674
00:48:11,500 –> 00:48:14,041
anthony_algmin: Yeah, well, one of the themes of thepisoe,

675
00:48:15,083 –> 00:48:18,541
anthony_algmin: I mean, there is no easy button and if a person is trying to say that

676
00:48:18,625 –> 00:48:22,666
anthony_algmin: they’re selling you one, they’re probably not being honest about it. You

677
00:48:22,666 –> 00:48:23,666
anthony_algmin: know, if the if the

678
00:48:23,666 –> 00:48:27,333
anthony_algmin: consultant comes in with all this provado about how it’s super complicated

679
00:48:27,583 –> 00:48:31,750
anthony_algmin: and only they cans. I’ve been studying this and learning about this for a

680
00:48:31,791 –> 00:48:36,750
anthony_algmin: long time, and I keep learning more and everything I learn teaches me that a

681
00:48:36,833 –> 00:48:40,916
anthony_algmin: percent basis. I know way less than I thought I knew. Every time, the more I

682
00:48:41,000 –> 00:48:42,916
anthony_algmin: learn, the less I realize I know. and

683
00:48:43,166 –> 00:48:47,083
anthony_algmin: that’s expertise, and I won’t claim I. I talk to Bobsider about this all the

684
00:48:47,083 –> 00:48:51,500
anthony_algmin: time. He’s a frequent guest on the show and and like I amm, very hesitant to

685
00:48:51,583 –> 00:48:53,583
anthony_algmin: call myself an expert at anything,

686
00:48:54,375 –> 00:48:58,041
anthony_algmin: because I know enough to know how little I know in the grand scheme of

687
00:48:58,208 –> 00:49:02,541
anthony_algmin: things, and to have that comfort to be open about. Hey, I I won’t pretend to

688
00:49:02,625 –> 00:49:05,583
anthony_algmin: have all the answers. I’ have some good questions and I can hopefully find

689
00:49:05,750 –> 00:49:09,250
anthony_algmin: some people who do have good answers. but the fact is is that we all know a

690
00:49:09,333 –> 00:49:13,083
anthony_algmin: sliver of what’s possibly known, and if we can cobble enough of us together

691
00:49:13,250 –> 00:49:16,500
anthony_algmin: and figure out how to solve a particular problem, we can get the right thing

692
00:49:16,500 –> 00:49:17,500
anthony_algmin: done. But

693
00:49:17,500 –> 00:49:21,000
anthony_algmin: you know, just be careful out there because there are so many things that

694
00:49:21,166 –> 00:49:25,875
anthony_algmin: are. Are you representing his easy buttons? that just aren’t, so, Um, you

695
00:49:25,875 –> 00:49:29,333
anthony_algmin: know this has been. you know, a a fun conversation for me. It’s been great

696
00:49:29,500 –> 00:49:32,750
anthony_algmin: catching back up and and hearing the latest withcinity and and what you guys

697
00:49:33,083 –> 00:49:37,333
anthony_algmin: are are offering. Unfortunately, uh, we’re completely out of time. So Rex.

698
00:49:37,666 –> 00:49:40,750
anthony_algmin: I, I thank you so much for being on the show that this is. This has been an

699
00:49:40,916 –> 00:49:43,791
anthony_algmin: amazing episode. and and hopefully I think a lot of people out there going

700
00:49:43,875 –> 00:49:46,291
anthony_algmin: to learn a lot from from listening to it and watching it.

701
00:49:46,416 –> 00:49:51,291
rex_ahlstrom: well, I. I really enjoyed it, and any time that I can get a chance to to talk

702
00:49:51,458 –> 00:49:55,750
rex_ahlstrom: with somebody like your Anthony, that has a shared passion around data. I’

703
00:49:55,916 –> 00:49:59,291
rex_ahlstrom: love to do it, so I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. Talk a

704
00:49:59,375 –> 00:50:02,875
rex_ahlstrom: little bit about what I do and what our company does, but more importantly,

705
00:50:03,041 –> 00:50:05,458
rex_ahlstrom: hopefully the audience got some value from that

706
00:50:06,125 –> 00:50:10,375
anthony_algmin: I’m I’m absolutely sure they did and to the audience out there. Thank you

707
00:50:10,458 –> 00:50:14,208
anthony_algmin: all for for joining us today. You’ll find more information and links in the

708
00:50:14,291 –> 00:50:18,291
anthony_algmin: show Notes. Dive deeper with my book at Data Leadership Book Dot Com and use

709
00:50:18,375 –> 00:50:22,375
anthony_algmin: promo code ALGMINDL at the DATAVERSITY Online training center for

710
00:50:22,458 –> 00:50:25,958
anthony_algmin: twenty percent off your first purchase. Please remember to follow Data

711
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anthony_algmin: Leadership lessons on Youtube or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you

712
00:50:30,041 –> 00:50:33,958
anthony_algmin: enjoy the show, please rate and review and help others find us. Stay safe

713
00:50:34,208 –> 00:50:36,750
anthony_algmin: during these unusual times and go make an impact

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