July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Talking to non-technical people about data (especially if they’re your boss)

Linda Powell (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
1:40pm–2:20pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Data D137/138
Average rating: ***..
(3.14, 7 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 

Prerequisite Knowledge

No pre-reqs, only an interest in data is required.


This talk will help data professionals and other technical experts become proficient in communicating the value they bring to a business. Linda Powell, one of the first chief data officers in the federal government, will focus on the following:

  • Finding and telling stories
    – How did data allow you to improve customer service?
    – How did data help you to fix internal processes?
    – How did data help you identify and mitigate risk?
    – What were actual material benefits of this? Money saved, customer service ratings improved, etc.
    – Now how do you boil it down into an easy-to-consume narrative?
  • Finding good visualizations
    – Rules for effective visualizations
    – How NOT to present data
    – What data geeks like to see may not be what your boss wants to see
  • Understanding your audience
    – What are their goals, dreams, and desires?
    – What are the risks they’re sensitive to?
Photo of Linda Powell

Linda Powell

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Linda Powell is the chief data officer of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Previously, she was the CDO at the Office of Financial Research within the U.S. Treasury Department and chief of the Economic Data Management and Analysis section in the Research Division at the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System. She has a BA in economics from Rutgers University and an MS in quantitative finance from George Washington University. She has over 25 years of experience in the finance industry including a money center bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, Board of Governors, OFR, and CFPB.