Custom Made is produced every Sunday and so make sure you hit subscribe on your favorite podcasting app via the links at the end of this post to get our latest episodes as they are released.

This is episode #34 of Custom Made and this week I’m joined by Snr Data Engineer, Rowdy Howell, and Greg Corley, a Partner within the Engineering practice here at Dialexa.

Rowdy graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BS in Computer Science where he studied algorithms and machine learning techniques. There he worked on a thesis project that trained various models to detect hand gestures on mobile devices using high-frequency doppler signatures. At Dialexa, Rowdy has helped solve complicated problems using machine learning models, design and deploy data streaming architectures, and push the capabilities of the data team.

Greg has over twenty years of software experience including management, architecture, construction, delivery, and support. Throughout his career Greg has developed and delivered applications in many business domains including healthcare, travel, insurance, and accounting and in a variety of environments, from two person startups to multinational corporations.

In the early 2010s there was a “gold-rush” to get a company’s data into a data lake, but once IT organizations had gone through that effort, people really didn’t know what to do with all of the data to turn it into insight and information.

As these data lakes have been turned into data swamps, what can these organizations do to build a competitive advantage through their data?

During my conversation this week with Greg and Rowdy we discuss the various challenges enterprise organizations have when it comes to data.

For example, What can organizations do to evaluate the data that they have and what are the best ways to analyze it and find value from aligning historical and real-time data sources. When looking to drain the data swamp we cover the processes that organizations can use to clean up a swamp at an enterprise level, to allow you to get value out of your data lakes.

Rowdy and Greg give a number of pointers such as:

  • How to identify the beachhead, that first data science project that is leveraging modern techniques
  • Don’t go to big too soon - you want to be able to show real results and business impact from your activity early and often so don’t bite off more than you can chew
  • Develop your existing teams rather bring in all new people - capitalize on their tribal knowledge, develop training programs to broaden their skill sets, and get them working on real projects
  • And finally, understand your audience when trying to internally validate a data science project - sell business automation not machine learning

You can catch Greg and Rowdy's full Custom Made episode via the podcast links below!

And, get all episodes of Custom Made on these platforms and many more. Do subscribe on your favorite platform to catch each episode as it is released, and let me know any feedback, questions, and recommendations on twitter @dougplatts.

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I hope you enjoy this episode!

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