In the build up to the Analytics and Big Data Congress taking place in London between 2-3 December, we caught up with Speaker Dan Senter from the National Grid. Read on for his view on the World of Analytics and Big Data!
Dan Senter is Reporting Centre of Excellence Manger for the Shared services division at National Grid, international electricity and gas company based in the UK and northeastern US. Dan has worked in business intelligence, change management and business transformation for the last 12 years, with specialist training in statistical analysis, data management, lean six sigma and PRINCE 2 project management. Prior to National Grid Dan was Head of Business Intelligence for Balfour Beatty Services amongst other roles there in Operations and Business Improvement and previous to this worked in manufacturing as a Continuous Improvement Coach at Tata Steel and Senior Development Engineer at Outokumpu Stainless. He has an MBA from Nottingham Trent Business School and an MEng in Materials Engineering from Birmingham University.
What has your experience with data analytics been?
I first got into analytics through my involvement in Business Improvement initiatives where I was working in a business implementing Lean methodologies. One of the fundamental elements to Lean is to always manage by fact, which means decisions are made based upon data… As a consequence many of the projects I worked on both started and ended with understanding the data, analysing it and developing ways to empower the business to take better decisions based upon what the data was telling them. Since those very early days at the start of my career working in business improvement I have moved wholly into the space of Business Intelligence working with businesses to improve the way in which they transform their data into meaningful information and enable them to make better quality decisions.
Do you think it is important for organisations to invest in analytics? If yes, why?
In short yes… Many if not all organisations are looking for more ways to understand their customers, their markets, their competitors, their own performance and much more. To do this businesses need the right combination of tools, data and knowledge to complete this analysis. As the volumes of data and speed in which it is being created more work is needed to ensure we focus of the things than can generate most valuable insights.
Why is there a fuzz about agility in Business Intelligence?
BI tends to have a bad name… In many organisations BI has been something owned by IT and ‘done to’ the business using traditional waterfall processes where all requirements are captured upfront to then be subsequently delivered. The nature of BI is that you never really quite know exactly what you need or could have until you start to see some data or transformations of data. Therefore the traditional approaches have ended up with increased and the end products not really fit for purpose. Business intelligence needs to be within the business with IT to support with the tools and the BI team working close to the business in translating requirements to n small deliverable insights. Development should be done following a balance of iterative emergent discovery to help the business use information as soon as it becomes available and feedback to refine future outputs.
More about the event!
The 5th Analytics & Big Data Congress is your ultimate chance to meet and learn from end-user leading organisations. Consumer insights, marketing, analytics, data experts and more are coming together to provide an in-depth business value case for Analytics and Big Data.
An agenda led by practical examples, advice and real world evidence, with an emphasis on engaging content and interactive formats, delivered by experienced market leaders.