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What Data Analysts Wish Application Developers Knew

C8bd11350189854525533cf86f6f92b1?s=47 Alison
August 27, 2016

What Data Analysts Wish Application Developers Knew

August 2016 version



August 27, 2016


  1. What Data Analysts Wish Applica/on Developers Knew Alison Stanton @alison985

    me@alisonstanton.com Pronouns: She/Her/Hers #DataAnalystsWish
  2. #DataAnalystsWish

  3. Foundational Concepts #DataAnalystsWish

  4. Reconcilia/on #DataAnalystsWish

  5. Developers Are Upstream of Data Folk Business •  Priori/zes what

    gets built Developers •  Build Data •  Reports to Business on what Business wants to know about the build and the resul/ng built thing
  6. Fictional scenarios based on real life events. Names and details

    have been changed, merged, and muddled to protect the guilty.
  7. Run the World, Inc. #DataAnalystsWish

  8. First Request Jackie and Beyonce (Sales Team) come to Kerry

    with ques/ons from the client about why the demo they gave a client with the clients data doesn’t match what the client is seeing in their trial instance. #DataAnalystsWish
  9. The Inves/ga/on Reveals •  It’s visible. •  It’s not reproducible.

  10. Kerry's Core Problem Missing data. Not enough data was saved.

  11. Kerry's Detailed Problems •  Can’t answer people’s ques/ons at all.

    •  Can’t make decisions based on facts. •  There’s no baseline or historical informa/on available for past informa/on forever. #DataAnalystsWish
  12. Dev. Ques/on How do I know what to save? #DataAnalystsWish

  13. Answer •  Save the dis/nc/ons for reconcilia/on. •  Think of

    them as data migra/ons. •  Keep them in one place. #DataAnalystsWish
  14. Second Request bell hooks (Support Director) and Marian Wright-Edelman (Lawyer)

    are reques/ng all the /mes we responded to a customer in IL with ques/ons about the guarantee on feature Y. #DataAnalystsWish
  15. Can't get to the data. #DataAnalystsWish Kerry's Core Problem

  16. Kerry's Detailed Problems •  Ge_ng access permissions •  ETL headaches

  17. Dev. Ques/on Where do I save it? #DataAnalystsWish

  18. Answer •  A place that everyone can get to. • 

    Data is in one place. Documenta/on is in one place. •  One. Singular. One. #DataAnalystsWish
  19. Third Request Audre Lorde (CEO) doesn’t get her Monday morning

    dashboard. She got an error message instead. #DataAnalystsWish
  20. The Inves/ga/on Reveals •  Kerry's code hasn't changed but the

    results did. #DataAnalystsWish
  21. Kerry's Core Problem Produc/on iterated and dev team didn’t tell

    anybody. #DataAnalystsWish
  22. Kerry's Detail Problems •  Automated reports failed because schema changed.

    •  Meanings changed without warning. #DataAnalystsWish
  23. Fourth Issue Oprah Winfrey (CMO) starts making ad buys because

    her sales report says we have 50 new customers this month. In actuality we have already surpassed the goal of 500.
  24. Dev. Ques/on What are the relevant pieces of informa/on about

    a deploy to communicate to the data team? #DataAnalystsWish
  25. Answer •  Something is changing •  Why is it changing?

    •  What is it now and what will it change to be when released? •  When is it changing? •  ASK ME #DataAnalystsWish
  26. Fiah Request Rosa Parks (Finance Director) is preparing for an

    investor audit. She’s reques/ng help calcula/ng FIFO on all products. Run the World, Inc. Run the World, Inc. #DataAnalystsWish
  27. The Inves/ga/on Reveals •  Aren’t saving history or edi_ng diffs.

  28. Kerry's Core Problem Not enough data to fulfill the request.

  29. Kerry's Detailed Problem •  Impossible task #DataAnalystsWish

  30. Dev. Ques/on What can we do to prevent this in

    the future? #DataAnalystsWish
  31. Answer •  created by, created at, updated by, updated at,

    status •  Separate audit table •  What's the risk? #DataAnalystsWish
  32. Sixth Request Oprah (CMO) and Angelica (CSO) are figh/ng with

    Harriet (COO) about who brings in the most business. Every order needs to be afributed to either the sales or marke/ng department. #DataAnalystsWish
  33. Kerry's Core Problem Can’t integrate data across systems. #DataAnalystsWish

  34. Kerry's Detail Problems •  JOINing problems because of a lack

    of foreign system keys. #DataAnalystsWish
  35. Dev. Ques/on How do I prepare without over- engineering? #DataAnalystsWish

  36. Answer •  Store other systems keys whenever possible. •  Understand,

    maintain, and enforce uniqueness. •  Tools around mapping values. #DataAnalystsWish
  37. Seventh Request Toni Morrison (Accounts Director) comes over complaining that

    invoices to clients are being generated incorrectly. Instead of charging your biggest customer $500,000 the invoice was for $5,000. #DataAnalystsWish
  38. Kerry's Core Problem There’s a code bug that is wri/ng

    inaccurate data. #DataAnalystsWish
  39. Kerry's Detailed Problems •  Lots of /me spent playing detec/ve.

    •  Time spent communica/ng with developers. •  Time spent fixing. •  Time spent communica/ng with stakeholders. #DataAnalystsWish
  40. Dev. Ques/on How do I minimize organiza/onal pain? #DataAnalystsWish

  41. Answer •  Fix: Stop the Bleeding. •  Communicate: Time started,

    /me ended, what was effected and how. •  Prevent: –  Version control with release tags –  documenta/on of soaware (including the bug and how it was fixed) –  great tests –  Code review #DataAnalystsWish
  42. Dear Applica/on Developers, Please remember: 1) Save as much as possible.

    Anything you will need to know to re-create a result is relevant. 2) We adore standardized, accessible storage that is properly documented. 3) Please communicate about changes you're making. 4) Save an audit trail when needed and/or in the context of money. 5) Assume everything has to be able to talk to each other eventually. 6) When bugs arise: Fix. Communicate. Prevent. Sincerely, The Data Folk #DataAnalystsWish
  43. WARNING You will be cri2cized for working to solve the

    root of the issue. You will probably be cri2cized for talking to people instead of only wri2ng code. #DataAnalystsWish
  44. #DataAnalystsWish

  45. #DataAnalystsWish

  46. Thank You @alison985 me@alisonstanton.com What Data Analysts Wish Applica/on Developers

    Knew #DataAnalystsWish