One of the people I met and enjoyed listening to at the TDWI Orlando conference last week was Piyanka Jain, former head of North America business analytics for PayPal. She now runs, a consultancy and service that trains and makes the ideas of analytics accessible to people with non-statistical backgrounds.

I decided right away that her service is greatly needed, equally if not more so for IT managers who attend data conferences to improve their knowledge of arcane databases, modeling and other details. If you're not making your living as a data scientist or theoretician, it's important to keep one eye on the prize of our handiwork with data, the problems we're solving and why. If you're not thinking this way, you're doing so at you own peril.

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