In the world of data, the legend of the subject-matter expert has reached near-mythical proportions—a wondrous individual who would change the course of the company and, if the stories are to be believed, humanity itself, if only she had access to the data she needed. For decades, business intelligence companies have strived to make their products easier to use in the hope that they could finally reach this enterprise savior.
But what if she doesn’t exist?
Chris Neumann shares the lessons learned by the team at DataHero (acquired in January 2016 by Cloudability), which released the first BI product that empowered subject-matter experts to work directly with the data locked away in SaaS services like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Google Analytics. Chris discusses the team’s experiences bringing BI directly to subject-matter experts and shows that, contrary to popular belief, providing subject-matter experts with an easy-to-use UI and direct access to data is not always sufficient for a project to be successful. Using contrasting case studies, Chris presents a framework for determining whether a project’s target users are, indeed, subject-matter experts in the “mythical” sense.
Chris Neumann is a venture partner at 500 Startups focused on big data, machine learning, and AI. Previously, Chris was the founder and CEO of DataHero (acquired by Cloudability), which brought to market the first self-service cloud BI platform, and the first employee at Aster Data (acquired by Teradata), where he helped create the big data space.
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