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Shakeeb Akhter: DataOps in Action - Implementing Agile and Automation

In this episode, Wayne Eckerson and Shakeeb Akhter discuss what DataOps is, the goals and principles of DataOps, and reasons to adopt a DataOps strategy. Shakeeb also reveals the benefits gained from DataOps and what tools he uses.

Shakeeb is the Director of Enterprise Data Warehouse at Northwestern Medicine, one of the leading academic medical centers in the country. He is responsible for direction and oversight of data management, data engineering, and research analytics. 

Shakeeb has over 15 years of experience leading project management teams to deliver key technology and business initiatives, such as cloud migrations, population health analytics, and a modern data warehousing strategy. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Timelines and ETAs help increase customer satisfaction 
  • Discovering what the correct job roles are is difficult In an ideal world, customers determine what you work on and EW teams determine how you work on it 
  • Real success is empowering product teams to talk with customers and then quickly delivering and managing tools 
  • The need for self-service drove DataOps model – needed to understand what customers were looking for 80% of questions can be answered through self-service tools 
  • To scale, show the value and efficiency of the process 

The following is one question and answer from the podcast:

 Wayne Eckerson: So you moved towards a customer-centric process and created and dedicated a team to each customer, and I assume that in that process you got rid of duplicate tickets and you consolidated requirements and saw a bigger picture. Is that true? 

Shakeeb Akhter: Yes, exactly. I think that’s a great point. One of the things that really helped us was if you focused on a particular customer, we could then take those tickets, consolidate them, and then present them back to the customer, along with all the other things that are being asked of us to do for that particular line of business. Then ask them, as the product owner, to prioritize those things for us, which allowed us to reduce the complexity or eliminate the time that was being spent on these other requests that really weren’t important for our customers.

Wayne Eckerson

Wayne Eckerson is an internationally recognized thought leader in the business intelligence and analytics field. He is a sought-after consultant and noted speaker who thinks critically, writes clearly and presents...

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