Slightly less than 5 years ago, I had the fortune of being hauled in front of the then richest man in Asia and asked to talk about data science.
That was the very first time I had met a billionaire in person so it was kind of exciting.
Two things happened:
- I gave my worst presentation ever. I brought with me a 15 slide presentation and this gentleman cut me off after one slide and told me not to waste his time, and that he had read every white paper from my company and listened to every podcast on our website and he agreed with our general analytics philosophy. No selling required.
- He then went on to talk for an hour about his vision for his company and how he wanted to use data science to transform his company into a predictive enterprise.
The interesting thing from the second part of that conversation was that he kept coming back to this particular slide and ask how we can help him make this a reality.
He did that at least five times, and that gives you an indication of the power of this idea of a collaborative IT and business team with a data analytics focus.
Five years after that meeting and many projects to help transform large traditional enterprises later, I think I’m coming around to the same view that this is perhaps the most important point, if not the whole point, of having an agile data science practice in a company.