How to Whisper to Data (and Executives) | Scott Taylor


May 18th, 2020

44 mins 25 secs

Season 2

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About this Episode

On this episode of The Artists of Data Science, we get a chance to hear from Scott Taylor, also known as the "Data Whisperer."

He has spread the gospel of digital transformation through public speaking engagements, blogs, videos, white papers, podcasts, puppet shows, cartoons and all forms of verbal and written communications. He has also helped organizations, such as Microsoft and Nielsen, comb through and organize their data for meaningful use.

Scott shares his "eight 'ates of master data", a set of rules to engage with master data in a meaningful way. He also goes over his tips for communicating with executives, along with important soft skills that are being overlooked by data scientists.

Scott is very articulate, and his passion for data and teaching are definitely evident in this episode!


[12:57] The eight 'ates of master data management

[17:04] Data science communication with executives

[21:45] Legacy data systems

[3:37] "It's not all about building. Sometimes it's about making sure things are structured and organized the right way."

[7:11] "Hardware comes and goes. Software comes and goes. Data always remains."

[16:11] "Data, to have value, has got to be in motion."

[20:36] "If you're a data scientist, you are the business….and it's impossible for you to learn too much about your own business."

[27:08] "…you've got to bring people from "I have no idea what you're talking about" to "how can we live without this?" and that comes from telling a good story."





[00:01:20] The introduction for our guest today

[00:02:54] Scott talk to us a bit about his professional journey, how he got involved in the data world. And what drew him to this field?

[00:04:40] Scott talks to us about some of the early gigs he had in the data space.

[00:05:54] Where do you see kind of the field of big data and digital transformation? What's this landscape going to look like in two to five years?

[00:07:41] Scott talks about how the stakes are changing and how data management is unavoidable

[00:08:32] Scott goes more in-depth as to how the stakes are changing and how he's seen it play out across enterprise organizations.

[00:09:56] In this vision of the future where the stakes are changing, what do you think is going to separate the great data professionals from the merely good ones?

[00:11:25] Scott takes us through what he calls the "eight 'Ates" of data: Relate, Aggregrate, Validate, Integrate, Interoperate, Evaluate, Communicate, Circulate

[00:16:29] Scott breaks down how to effectively communicate with executives and what they care about - hint: not necessarily what you care about as a data scientist

[00:18:27] Scott shares some tips for data scientists coming into organizations with legacy organizations and how to navigate that landscape

[00:21:11] What are the similarities or differences in the challenges a legacy system organization faces versus a tech startup? And how can one navigate these waves?

[00:23:40] So what would you say is the biggest data blunder in the last year or two? He describes the system of hotel keys and how it relates to master data, very interesting!

[00:25:12] So what about some data wonders? He describes an everyday application of a wonder: the checkout counter at a grocery store.

[00:26:41] More insight on communicating with stakeholders and executives

[00:27:56] What are some of the soft skills that that candidates are missing that are really going to separate them from the competition?

[00:29:29] There's a lot of people out there who are trying to break into the data space and maybe they feel like they don't belong there or know enough for they aren't smart enough. Do you have any words of encouragement for them?

[00:31:20] Scott does a deep dive into his passion for data and how you can cultivate it in yourself

[00:33:02] What's the one thing you want people to learn from your story?

[00:34:21] The lightning round

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