Keeping Up With Data #68

5 minutes for 5 hours’ worth of reading

Adam Votava
3 min readFeb 4, 2022

MultiThreaded is a tech blog of Stitch Fix. I’m an avid reader of their generously transparent (thanks!) articles about data engineering and data science. On top of these blog posts, what you can also find on the website is an interactive article about fitting data science into a company. I’m often sharing this article with my network advising them not to be repelled by its interactivity. The content is great. And today I discovered another one — Algorithms Tour. Ever wondered what data can do for a fashion or FMCG business? Definitely check this out! And again, please don’t let all the moving elements and effects distract you. It’s worth a read.

I’m convinced that the following three articles talk to some of the factors enabling data to play such a crucial role (not only) at Stitch Fix.

  • We’ve only scratched the surface of the full potential for the data warehouse: Do you think that the data warehouse has reached its peak? Well, think again. According to Mikkel, data warehouse will be in the control centre for companies in the future. Hosting a digital replica (or ‘twin’?) of the organisation and all its main components and processes (including financial ones!) it will be at heart of all decisions and automations. But the path there is not easy. What are the five changes we need for the data warehouse to live up to its full potential? Read the full article. (Inside Data by Mikkel Dengsøe)
  • Data Products Can’t Be Black Boxes — No Matter How Technical They Are: There are some principles that are obvious and intuitive to everyone. And yet they are so difficult to live by. Not building black box data products is such a principle. Why is it so hard to do? Because building a black box is often faster so create one and then try to unbox it. But making a data product understandable is not the same for everyone, people who could do that are in high demand and therefore needed elsewhere, and often it just gets de-prioritised in the light of other things. Proposed solution? Put the customer first. “Don’t start with ‘this shouldn’t be a black box’. Start with, ‘this customer needs to be able to understand how this product did this particular thing’”. (From Data to Product)
  • Making Silos Work for Your Organization: Silos in an organisation are often criticised for blocking the communication, exchange of ideas or collaboration. But why do we still see them in (almost) all organisations? Because they aggregate expertise, assign accountability, and create a sense of identity. And these are great things! So how to make the most out of silos and limit their downsides? By building bridges and instituting checks and balances. An insightful article about any verticals, data functions included. (HBR)

It’s been such a busy week that I’m literally a year older than a week ago!

In case you missed the last week’s issue of Keeping up with data

Thanks for reading!

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Adam Votava

Data scientist | avid cyclist | amateur pianist (I'm sharing my personal opinion and experience, which should not to be considered professional advice)