Data Governance is like Fresh Guacamole and Tortillas

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

David Cunningham is the Director of Data Analytics at Blue Raven Solutions and has worked in consulting as well as FedEx. He also has an MBA from Geis College of Business 


John Le: What inspired you for this idea?

​David Cunningham: I was inspired by John’s ability to connect cooking to data analytics. Taking complex topics, and making them relatable and easy to understand. I attended his session, Good ETLs are Like Spring Rolls at Domopalooza 2024, and was blown away by his ability to deliver effective and memorable advice.

Ever since then, I couldn’t help but try to figure out other foods that could connect to data analytics. One morning I was eating some avocado, and I thought about how versatile it is as an ingredient. I then realized the connection to data analytics and governance. The core foundation is very simple, but you need to customize it to fit your exact needs to get the most value.

why is data like guacamole and tortillas?

John Le: What cooking trick or tip did you learn from me that parallels data governance practices with Domo?

​David Cunningham:  Cutting the tomatoes using the lid technique. When working with data and with governance practices in particular, you can do things manually (cutting the tomatoes one at a time), but when you automate, you can operate more efficiently, effectively, and accurately.

In the case of the tomatoes, using the lid technique, we were able to cut a bunch more in a fraction of the time, and they were all more uniform. Not to mention the fact that it's much safer than trying to hold small individual tomatoes and cut them without cutting myself. Governance is all about security, reliability, and accessibility. Centralizing analytics to a platform like Domo allows you to be safer, automate updates so you always have up-to-date data, and control who has access to what.

How has your comfort with data changed?

John Le: Now that you’ve made tortillas, I assume it’s not as daunting. What was a data thing that used to be daunting to you that is now easy for you?

​David Cunningham:  For sure! Definitely was a lot more straightforward than I was expecting. I think that’s true of almost everything in life, experience makes us more confident, and most things aren’t actually as scary as we might make them out to be in our heads.

One of the features that I think can be challenging for a lot of Domo users are window functions, but spending a lot of time with them has let me do a lot of really cool things. Also they become especially powerful when you combine them with one of my absolute favorite features in Domo, custom summary numbers. By integrating HTML into your summary numbers and visualizations, you are able to build products that are highly customizable and dynamic. For example, you can do a period over period comparison where you make the current value larger and bold, and then have it dynamically change color based upon a set of conditions, while keeping the previous value visible, but smaller. All of this comes together to allow you to craft visually digestible and informative data visualizations.

the return on investment

John Le: What is your biggest take away from our cooking adventure?

​David Cunningham:  If you cut the onion quickly enough, you won’t cry. Overall, I think that it’s incredibly important to constantly be improving our skills and we do that through seeking new experiences. These new experiences come together to allow us to operate more efficiently and effectively: in analytics, in cooking, and in life. The best way to grow is by connecting with others. I’d never done a video like this before, and was a little nervous going in.

I’m so glad that I put myself out there, because working with John was a wonderful experience.
I highly recommend that anyone looking to learn and grow sign up for his courses.
​He’s very knowledgable, a great educator, but most importantly just a really cool Dude!

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