Seven Months a Start-Up
by Pete Moore, founder of Look at your Data
Pete is Chief Data Strategist of Look at your Data Ltd. Extremely passionate about data strategy and staunch believer that what you don’t measure doesn’t get done. “Expect what you Inspect!” He sees GDPR as a huge challenge for data strategy but also an enormous opportunity for those who take it seriously.
People describe him as honest, passionate, resourceful and trustworthy and he is proud that his values are manifested in his deeds. Look at your Data lives by these values.
I started Look at your Data in January of this year because I wanted to… well… look at your data! The way I saw it, Data, every business had oodles of the stuff and wasn’t doing anything with it. In I would walk, look at the data, say something like do you know what? There’s a huge opportunity here, let’s go! The data bloke would save you money, grow your profits or both.
Seven months on and what actually happened?
January. I started by speaking to people, I mean a lot of people. I spoke to business leaders, I spoke to ex-colleagues and clients; I spoke at conferences and at meet-ups. I even spoke to you. You were great, you got it. Most of you said do you know what we really should look at that. This was unexpected, I am a data bloke at heart and not a salesman yet here I was talking to you, a stranger and there you were, actually getting it. By the end of January, I was pretty sure I’d be retired by now.
February. Thing was, yeah, you got it, but the problem was you had no problem. I am not a salesman and had I been I’d have seen that I wasn’t solving today’s problem. Yes, you had data, yes you could do more with it, most of you even thought I was the guy to take you there. Just not yet.
March. Vanity had morphed into reality. And reality bit. Hard. How could I learn to sell without selling my soul?
April. Time for re-pointing. What was I good at? What did you need me to do? What could we work on today?!
May. The phone started ringing. This was more of a surprise than it perhaps should have been. Thing was, I didn’t really know how networking worked. I didn’t think any of you would actually remember me! Next thing I knew, agencies were asking me on marketing strategy, marketing agencies were getting me in to implement Kanban (an erstwhile manufacturing process) and manufacturers wanted me to fix their SQL Server databases. Actual mates started asking me about Power BI. I even got an offer to become a non-Executive Director.
Obviously, I said yes to all of it and that was June.
I ended June thinking what just happened?! This wasn’t a business, it was a job. In fact it was a set of jobs, a set so diverse as to completely obscure my goal of data strategy. June was fun but it wasn’t sustainable or replicable. If only there was a way of aligning Look at your Data’s goals with your data issues.
July. First clients started asking me about it. I ignored it. Then I got angry about it. Then I actually thought about it. Then I accepted it. Then I became passionate about it. Passionate about the unfairness of it, passionate about the good intention of it and passionate to the point of fury when I heard other people misleading on the matter. Here it was: a data problem that you have right now. A problem I could help fix and work on everything Look at your Data exists to do: strategy and insight, opportunity realised and inefficiency destroyed.
It is GDPR, the new data protection regulation and when I consult on it I take the opportunity to review the data strategy. To do my job properly I have to review all of the data processes anyway, why not do it in a way that realises opportunity?
Today. Well, I’m not retired, but (partly thanks to GDPR) I’m still standing and – most importantly – you’ve benefited from my data as strategy approach. Owning a business is roughly twice as hard as I thought it might be. Fortunately it’s about ten times as much fun.
Email me [email protected] for advice on your data strategy.