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November, 2016 Chapter Meeting PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 28 June 2016 04:05

The T-Shaped Data Professional –
Achieving Data Management Goals by Other Means


Presented by: Alec Sharp

Organizations increasingly value individuals who have deep expertise in a specific discipline, such as Data Modelling, but who also possess skills in other areas, though not necessarily at the “expert” level. This is the so-called “T-shaped skill set” – depth plus breadth. Becoming “T-shaped” is a laudable goal for anyone in the Data Management field – not only does it make you more valuable to your organization, experience shows that applying skills that are not usually associated with pure Data Management are actually an excellent way to achieve Data Management goals. In the speaker’s experience, success often comes from applying those broader skills to contribute to other, non-Data Management initiatives, or from applying familiar methods, like Data Modelling, in novel ways.

After introducing the core ideas behind being “T-shaped,” including the two essential soft skills, we'll look at a variety of real-life examples where Data Management goals have been achieved by applying other skills. In addition to showing how applying these techniques has supported our goals, we'll provide useful tips and frameworks for each of them, with emphasis on four in particular:

  • Business Process Change: Business processes work on "things" (a Part, a Product, an Issue, etc.) which typically move through the process as data; we'll look at techniques to make the "data" perspective valuable;

  • Application Requirements: Use Cases and User Stories are well known techniques that many Business Analysts struggle with; we'll look at a data model-based approach that overcomes some of the usual difficulties, and is especially popular in Agile settings;

  • General Business Frameworks: Frameworks such as the four quadrants of corporate culture, the impact of paradigms, the enablers of organizational change, and the strategic differentiator have all contributed, often in surprising ways, to achieving Data Management goals;

  • Facilitation: Questions that are standard practice for facilitators ("What do you mean by...?") can surface familiar data management issues of consistency and communication, particularly with senior management teams.


This presentation is an expanded and updated version of “The Multi-Skilled Influencer,” which was the highest-rated session at the 2015 Enterprise Data & BI Conference in London. It was also the keynote at the recent Higher Education Data Warehousing conference in Rochester, NY.



Alec Sharp, Senior Consultant with Clariteq Systems Consulting Ltd.

With 35 years of consulting experience, Alec has provided hands-on data modelling and data management expertise throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and Australasia, so his presentations are based on real-world experience, not textbook theory. Serving clients worldwide, Alec’s expertise includes business process change, business analysis, business architecture, and, of course, enterprise data management and data modelling. In addition to his consulting practice, he conducts top-rated workshops and conference presentations on four or five continents a year. Popular presentations include “The Seven Deadly Sins of Data Modelling,” “Data Modelling – New Uses for New Times,” “The Lost Art of Conceptual Modelling,” and “Getting Traction for Data Modelling – Winning Over the Masses.” Alec is the author of “Workflow Modeling, second edition” (Artech House, 2009,) which is widely used as a consulting guide and university text, and is a best seller in the field with a “5 star” Amazon.com rating. He was also the sole recipient of DAMA’s 2010 Professional Achievement Award, a global award for contributions to the Data Management field.


Event Details



November 17, 2016 (Chapter Meetings, 3rd Thursday)


8:30 - 9:00 am - Sign In
9:00 - 10:15 am - Presentation
10:15 - 10:30 am - Break, Chapter Announcements
10:30 - 11:30 am - Presentation continued


Standard Insurance Center , Classrooms 1-4
900 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97204


Free for Members!
$15 for Non-Members
$5 for Students with valid student ID
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 06:49