Blog: Technical and Leadership Articles

From a Sr. Business Intelligence Leader at Amazon

The Tools You Use as an Analyst Will Define Your Success May 04, 2024

I’ve been writing SQL for about 26 years, and I’ve been building world-class analytics teams for the last 12 years across Amazon, eBay, VMWare, and a lot more. I’m also a six-sigma process engineer and I incorporate process improvement techniques into every part of my work as...

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Are You Impressing Your SQL Interviewer or Accidentally Doing the Opposite? interviews sql Apr 28, 2024

I’ve been a people manager for over 12 years of my 20+ year career across Amazon, Ebay, VMWare, and more, and I’ve conducted a lot of interviews throughout that time. Unfortunately, I’ve seen about 90% of candidates fail their SQL interview due to a lack of understanding of SQL...

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Is Your SQL Quality Code or a Collection of Bad Practices? data analyst sql Mar 31, 2024

I’ve spent over 20 years of my career in tech and the last 12 years as a people leader, building world-class analytics teams and organizations. Throughout my career I’ve held in roles in analytics, software development, software QA, and more. and I’ve had the opportunity to work...

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Overlooking Quality Assurance in Your DataĀ Analysis Jul 14, 2023

When writing SQL code or creating a dashboard, rarely will you run into an error that prevents data from being displayed on your screen. Sure, these run-time errors happen and as an analyst, you’re forced to resolve these errors before any output can be displayed. But just because there...

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7 Ways to Connect with Recruiters to Get a Job Jul 02, 2023

Finding your first job can be challenging and we all go through it on our career journey. But regardless of if you’re looking for your first job or your tenth, you’ll likely find difficulty with connecting with recruiters and getting your resume reviewed. One of the main reasons for...

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Cost of Not Documenting Your Work Jun 24, 2023

Documentation is frequently seen as important, but at the same time, too costly to spend time working on. But the real cost occurs after the project has been completed. Stakeholders rarely think about documentation as part of their requests and analysts will usually state that they are too busy...

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Are you Aware of Dashboard & Query Performance Issues? analytics data Jun 16, 2023

Throughout my career leading analytics teams at eBay, Amazon, GameStop, and a handful of other companies, I’ve seen a lot of data analysts overlook potential performance issues. Whether through SQL written directly against the database or through derived SQL from Tableau and Power BI...

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To Get Hired, You're Going to Need to be Relatable Jun 03, 2023

A key element of getting hired is being relatable, but it’s something that is frequently overlooked by candidates during the interview process. One reason for this is because it is natural to take the job description or interviewers questions at face-value and simply provide answers to...

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Tenure Isn't Justification for a Raise May 27, 2023

Employees frequently cite tenure in their list of reasons for a promotion or a raise. While tenure may show dedication, it doesn’t necessary correlate with value to a company. To get a raise, you’re going to need more than tenure – you’re going to need to add additional...

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The Problem with Sub-Queries & Better Options May 20, 2023

I’ve been writing SQL for about 20 years and while some things have changed, much of the language is still the same, including the overuse of sub-queries within SQL statements. While sub-queries are very helpful and aren’t inherently bad, they tend to be overused and many times a more...

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Tableau and Power BI Shouldnā€™t Be Your Go-to Data Analysis Tool May 12, 2023

Almost every analyst is doing it—producing an analysis by using visualization tools such as Tableau and Power BI. This is a bad practice and a quick way to be viewed as an inexperienced data analyst and stunt your career growth potential.

Visualization tools such as Tableau and Power BI are...

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Correlated Data Could be Costing You Millions analytics data stakeholders Apr 30, 2023

Stakeholders frequently ask for data from analysts without providing context. Worse, with the increase in self-service tools, stakeholders are drawing their own conclusions with data, even though they lack the proper understanding and training to use the data. These conclusions are then used to...

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PowerPoint: Rendering Your Hard Work and Analysis Worthless Apr 22, 2023

 

Almost every time you present a data analysis, your presentation is delivered with the help of PowerPoint. While this is the most common way of presenting in the corporate environment, PowerPoint is the worst tool for the job. Days, weeks, and months of hard work, time, and energy is...

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The Dangerous World of Self-Service Analytics analytics analytics engineering data sql Apr 10, 2023

 

Most analytics leaders put self-service analytics at the top of their list of items on their annual roadmap, but they never seem to talk the potentially disastrous implications of creating self-service tools. Enabling self-service analytics sounds straight forward where data engineering...

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Avoiding Vanity Metrics analytics data sql stakeholders Nov 15, 2022

Early in my career in the analytics field I started to become inundated with task request from stakeholders.  I felt overwhelmed and confused at times by what my stakeholders were asking for.  There were already countless dashboards and metrics, yet I was receiving more request to...

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8 Steps for a Successful Mentorship analytics leadership management Nov 02, 2022

If you’re like most people in the world, you probably want to grow and improve your skills.  And somewhere along your journey, someone has probably suggested having a mentorship to help you improve. 

What typically occurs is that you’ll be introduced to another co-worker,...

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SQL Best Practices analytics analytics engineering data data engineering sql Jun 18, 2022

In this post I’m going to share some best practices for formatting SQL that I’ve learned and used over the last 20 years. Many of these tips are things that I’ve collected along the way out of frustration with inheriting code, needing to perform updates, chasing down bugs, and...

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Building a Better Analytics Organization - Implementation (Part 7) analytics analytics engineering data data engineering Jun 11, 2022

Welcome back to Part 7 of Building a Better Analytics Organization. In parts 1–5, we covered a number of challenges that analytics organizations face and in part 6, we covered a comprehensive solution. In this part, we’ll discuss how to implement the solutions within your...

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Building a Better Analytics Organization - The Solution (Part 6) analytics analytics engineering data data engineering Jun 04, 2022

Welcome to Part 6 of Building a Better Analytics Organization. So far, we’ve discussed:

Part 1 — Introduction, common tasks, and an introduction to challenges for an individual and for a team
Part 2 — Overview of the common areas where problems can occur and the...

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Building a Better Analytics Organization - Table Issues (Part 5) analytics analytics engineering data data engineering May 28, 2022

Welcome to Part 5 of my series on Building a Better Analytics Organization. In this part, we’ll be covering a few issues surrounding the usage of tables and views.

Part 1 — Introduction, common tasks, and an introduction to challenges for an individual and for a team
Part 2 ...

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