2019 off to a flying start

Victoria Maclennan
March 6, 2019

It’s the 3rd month of 2019 already! can you believe it? We can’t, the year seems to be flying by at pace so it seemed like a good time to update on the things happening here at OptimalBI.

Nic, Nick, Steven and Steve

With 2 Shane’s in the mix already (our founder Shane Gibson, and SAS Administration extraordinaire Shane Miles) it seemed logical we should add a Steve (alongside Steven) and another Nic to the duplicate names list.
Nic Cox has returned to NZ and to OptimalBI after his 3 years of “OE” in London, Nic has been rapidly getting up to speed with our love of MongoDB and API’s while sharing his recent experiences with PowerBI and Data Vault modeling and design with the team.

Steve Thomas has joined as our Customer Success focused team member who will take the lead on relationships between OptimalBI and our customers, with our local partners and technology partners. Steve hails from many years in big vendor land and is looking forward to working with a smaller team in our massively evolving landscape.

Building Intelligent Chatbots

You have probably experienced a chatbot via a website before, many provide basic answers to frequently asked questions and not much more. Intelligent chatbots are a useful tool to extend the customer experience of your organisation. When we were first asked to build a chatbot we decided to apply the methodologies we love to the task and developed a great workshop based discovery and interactive design process. First up, like building a website, the intrinsic personality of the chatbot needs to be designed – for many organisations this involves digging into what their companies personality is and how the chatbot can reflect that. Then we run a mini BEAM* session to collaboratively unearth the who, what, where, why, when and how questions the new chatbot will need to answer and dig into where the bot can become self learning to enhance it’s result set.
The team have been enjoying working with AWS LEX – Kate even found a bug! – and have written a few blogs on their experiences recently. You can read those here.

Lawrence Corr is in the house

As I write this a group of enthusiastic Agile Data specialists are learning how to model up a storm with Lawrence Corr. It’s great to have him back in NZ after a 2 year absence and I understand he has been unveiling techniques that will appear in his next book during this course!
Lawrence has been busily travelling the world running courses, speaking at events and facilitating private workshops. In our Meetup this week I was struck by his observation that utilising Agile techniques in a Data context is facilitating impressive productivity increases for many organisations around the globe. He noted that Agile as a methodology for assembly lines, then for application development has been around a number of years now – Agile for Data projects is still relatively new and great to hear getting results. It’s one thing to read Gartner and Forrester trends on the topic, another to hear experiences of projects and teams who are realising benefits directly.

Visualisation proof of concept anyone?

The other great experience our customers have had us working on are short sharp visualisation proof of concepts, dashboards – simple and complex – reporting across mashed up datasets, spatial analytics, KPI drill downs and more. If you have a data set or two that could enhance your reports or improve your ability to tell a story then talk to us about getting you started. It’s quick, cost effective and proves value rapidly.
Happy 2019! Vic

Victoria spends much of her time focusing on Digital Inclusion, Digital Literacy and Digital Rights.  

You can read her OptimalBI blogs here, or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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