Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
31 May–1 June 2016: Training
1 June–3 June 2016: Conference
London, UK

Building better cross-team communication

Ellen Friedman (Independent)
10:10–10:30 Wednesday, 1/06/2016
Location: Capital Suite 2/3 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 2 ratings)

Although it may seem as though different groups speak different languages, there is a huge advantage to be gained by creating effective communication between groups with widely different backgrounds and levels of technical expertise, such as business decision makers, domain experts, and technical developers. Without cross-team communication, valuable development time can be lost through misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, or a poor fit between business goals and technical solutions.

It’s not easy, but it is possible to learn how to communicate effectively even between diverse stakeholders. One key to effective cross-team communication lies in finding the critical concepts and essential processes that drive whatever project you’re doing and making certain that they are clearly understood on all sides. This requires more than just avoiding jargon: it’s about identifying what is most important to the project. Not only does this improve communication, but it also helps build better understanding of data-based work.

Drawing on examples from successful big data projects, Ellen Friedman outlines specific actions to help improve skills in cross-team communication, including the identification of key concepts and potential challenges, building respect for different stakeholders, finding common language to support important ideas, and making data and data-based decisions more understandable.

Photo of Ellen Friedman

Ellen Friedman


Ellen Friedman is a data technologist with a Ph.D. in biochemistry. She is a committer for Apache Drill and Apache Mahout projects and co-author of books including AI & Analytics in Production, Machine Learning Logistics, Streaming Architecture, the Practical Machine Learning series, and Introduction to Apache Flink, all published by O’Reilly Media. Ellen has been a keynote speaker at JFokus in Stockholm, Big Data London and NoSQL Matters Barcelona and an invited speaker at Strata Data conferences, Berlin Buzzwords, Nike Tech Talks, and the University of Sheffield Methods Institute.