Mar 29, 2022·edited Mar 29, 2022

Hi Tristan and Drew. It is fascinating how the problems remain the same, but the tools are much nicer and the costs are down 100x over the past two decades! Connecting people, gaining trust and building a culture is critical to achieving ROI! A culture I learned the most from was Netflix, "it isn't wrong to be wrong, it is ONLY wrong to NOT learn and take action!"

I worked at Brio Technology in the 1990s (the easiest BI tool of its day), Loudcloud, SAS, and Netflix in the 2000s, and Tableau in the 2010s. The core problems remain unchanged. Connecting data scientists, analysts, and data engineers to the critical issues that possess the potential to produce high ROI. Even more important, connecting them and building trust in the teams of the business that WILL actually act upon insights and iteratively build upon successes and failures.

So, quality data must be collected, socialized, enhanced, analyzed, and optimized. This is the process that is needed. But at those "99% companies," it is often the need to build a culture that can admit/accept being "wrong" and will actively implement changes using the data insights gathered.

Ironically, vendor sales efforts are often key to helping achieve liftoff in these cultural shifts. Why? When executives hear the sales pitch and invest the dollars, it can signal to the line of business managers to use the new systems to drive change. By forcing the new approach, it enables team members to become part of the process as tools designed to be accessible by line-of-business analysts along with advanced data scientists and engineers can help build trust and collaboration.

I appreciate the openness and sharing some of the Data Council highlights!

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Great snippet on what went down, thanks Drew

> Today though, that same group is now composed of people building or investing in data tools.

As you say, this benefits the broader community, but at the expense of the core community[1], which will have to be considered effectively disbanded due to new allegiances which are probably on average less encouraging of vulnerability.

I guess this is what maturity looks like for the scene, and thus the "scenius"[2] is finished - does this mean the tech and process in this space is reaching its approximate final form?

1- dare I say OG? I only recognise some of those names lol

2- https://perell.com/fellowship/conjuring-scenius/

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Wow, what a great read that Scenius article is. You’re probably right that it’s a transition point, but it seems to me like a transition from a more hidden “micro-scenia” to a more overt and public “scenia”.

I actually see some of the leaders playing an important role in amplifying and sharing ideas from others -- this Substack and others are encouraging more discussion, not settling in on a certain dogma. To the extent vendors can further the aims of real data practitioners doing real data work (vs defending territory), I think we can continue to make progress, and maybe sometimes in big ways.

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Mar 28, 2022·edited Mar 28, 2022

Yes that is a good call, though I would probably still make the case that the enterprise orientation of many indicates we have been trending towards scenius for a while if we were to distinguish. I think dbt slack was the epitome of a micro-scenius in the early days, but to me the funding transitioned toward scaling impact!

Also this line from the article, in sync with "Keep Data Council Weird"!

> Try to keep accountants and architects and police and do-gooders away from it. Let it remain inefficient, wasteful, edgy, marginal, in the basement, downtown, in the ‘burbs, in the hotel ballroom, on the fringes, out back.

I think you are right, I think dbt team doubling/tripling down on this newsletter, and keeping it open, honest and engaging is just what is needed to keep the practitioner energy alive.

The commentary was more a take on the risk of being too zero-sum competitive, ie the described conference vibe, less on how I feel about the impact of data on modern businesses, but definitely yes, we need collaboration to make progress, because we still need to make progress regarding the "bundle of tooling and processes".

Article goes on to describe the element of silicon valley competition, which I guess undermines the point in some ways. In any case, definitely premature of me to be calling the end!

> competition will always drive humans to push themselves further, but that competition need not be zero-sum

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