Today’s Topic: Problems Worth Solving

Talent: Jasmine Britain, Data & AI Practice Manager and Natalie Bendroff, Data & AI Project Manager

J: “Thank you for joining us today. My name is Jasmine Britain, Practice Manager for the Data and AI Practice, and I’m Natalie, Project Manager in the Data in AI practice. In today’s session we’re going to talk about the approach and the tools and techniques that we can use to help our clients in the Data & AI space and why it’s important to first start with business outcomes when we’re talking about client projects. As you know, data and AI is a very large space. There’s a lot of different types of technologies, so how do I start that conversation with the client to really help them with their goals. So Natalie, what are your recommendations on how we approach that conversation?”

N: “Great question, with data & AI and data analytics, I first want to start and define that. And what does that mean? Well, it refers to the qualitative and quantitative techniques and processes used to enhance productivity and business game. Business outcomes are defined as an observable result or a change in business performance. So essentially what we’re trying to do, as Jasmine mentioned, is identify what that business outcome looks like so that we as consultants can help our clients get to that desired outcome.”

J: “And then Natalie, how do you recommend that we go about using these techniques?”

N: “I think there’s three tools that we really can use and that we as consultants have at our disposal. First tool is really to active listen, provided that active listening when you have conversations with your clients. I also believe that you need to understand that business strategy and what that looks like, and more often than not use an agile approach. I think those three things are really important to help define that desired business outcomes. I’m while you’re having those open. Communication is an open conversations with your clients.”

J: “OK, active listening absolutely, and that’s a good idea, especially more in front of clients, and really to get empathy and understand what types of problems we are trying to solve and what your challenges are.”

N: “It is really interesting because active listening, most people don’t do that. You know most people tend to react as someone is saying what it, whatever it is they’re saying and formulate a response instead of actually listening to what that client or what that person is saying, pausing, jotting down notes, and then forming a response.

J: “So we connect and really empathize.”

N: “Absolutely.”

J: “So tell us about the tools we use, the Agile approach, would like to know more about that.”

N: “In terms of using agile approach. Of course, every business project, every client is different in the way you are going to approach that project. But using an agile approach is a benefit to data and ai projects. By using that agile method, it helps us consultants get a deeper understanding of what that current state is, those business problems that are being faced, and come up and accurately develop a recommended solution. Using agile methods also easily allow us to respond to organizational change. It helps us have that flexibility throughout that project life cycle and it allows the team to adapt quickly, new insights, new discoveries, changing project scope, and deliverables. So it’s a process approach that will give us an insight and understanding at a high level. The epics that respond and correspond to what those business requirements are. So that’s why I think it’s an important to utilize an agile approach.”

J “That’s a good idea, when you talk about epics in that manner, we’re taking translating what the client is saying, some of their requirements, and then translating it to epics so that we end up addressing some of their key issues within the project, right? That’s important, so that is the very first thing that we start with.”

N: “Yeah, utilizing that agile approach and also defining the business strategy and what that looks like. It does vary by client based on the data that’s available, but by working with the client to identify the type of business strategy and what that business strategy is that they want, that will help us lead that project successfully.”

J: “This is really great. So you got active listening, the business strategy, and agile approach. Being able to utilize those techniques is going to really help us connect our customers in the data & AI space. Thank you so much. And for next week’s topic I will introduce Alan Ellis and he’s going to be talking about ADF versus SSIS. Comparing the two and when clients should use it appropriately?”

Coming next week: ADF versus SSIS

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