#42 Self-Serve Consumption Means Empowerment, Not Chaos – Interview w/ Ust Oldfield

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Transcript for this episode (link) provided by Starburst. See their Data Mesh Summit recordings here (info gated)

In this episode, Scott interviewed Ust Oldfield, Principal Consultant at Advancing Analytics. They covered the concept of self-serve from a consumer standpoint in data mesh, and some ideas around how to get it right.

According to Ust, the overall data and analytics industry is just starting to move from data consumers only consuming what others have prepared towards self-serve data consumption. But, it is important to still provide those prepared reports so 1) people are working from the same info / on the same page and 2) you give people an easy – and maintained – path to important business information.

Ust also mentioned one key to getting self-serve right is to not just enable consumers to get to the data they want, they really need to be able to understand what they are seeing so documentation, sample queries, and other similar tactics are very crucial. Consumers also need training on how to use the platform – in general, training for self-serve data consumption is very lacking across the industry right now.

How do we share information at scale? Forums? “Show and Tell”? Office hours? Neither Ust nor Scott had great answers just yet. Time will tell.

Ust finished with a recommendation for those building out their self-serve platforms for data consumption: spend a lot of time interviewing your data consumers to figure out what will empower them rather than just trying to deliver what you would want. Also, make sure to enable those who just want to consume data as prepared – those who want to be spoon-fed the info, that’s fine, allow them to self-select as that is a valid approach to leveraging data.

Ust’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ust-oldfield/

Ust’s Twitter: @UstDoesTech / https://twitter.com/UstDoesTech

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