It All Starts With A Business Question…

A Business Question is any type of question that is asked to help understand the business better.

Business Questions are generally asked by executives and senior leaders to help them make more educated decisions.

Often middle management and professional staff are required to provide the answer to the question.

There is no bad question.

However, there are many bad ways to try to answer the question.

Good analysts are able to take the question and find data to answer the question, analyze the results and report their findings.

This is true with just about any kind of analysis work.

Learning how to best tackle business questions is what DMAI specializes in.

We have several upcoming events where I will be showing people how to answer business questions using the data they have in and around there business.

  • August 4 – Recruitment Analytics @ the DMAI  office in Ortigas
  • August 6 – Fundamentals of Business Analytics with Inspire @ the Richmond Hotel in Ortigas
  • August 11 – Data Analytics  @ the DMAI  office in Ortigas
  • August 13 – Big Data and Social Media Analytics @ PNP Headquarters in QC
  • August 27 – Big Data and HR Analytics @ SMX with Ariva  
  • September 1 – Recruitment Analytics @ the DMAI  office in Ortigas
  • September 15 – Data Analytics  @ the DMAI  office in Ortigas

Lots of opportunities to hear more about analytics in the coming weeks!



More Reasons To Stay Then Reasons To Go

One of the downs in the up and down cycle of running a business is when people leave.

Employee retention is something all companies have to worry about. But few really try and do something about it.

I read a lot about why employees stick and why they leave.

I know that to stick they need to have basic needs met like a good salary, feeling valued, being appreciated and having a safe and comfortable place to work.

Work-life balance, a supportive leadership team and feeling productive are all important as well.

Here are my  Top Reasons To Stick with DMAI

  1. Work Life Balance
  2. Opportunity For Growth
  3. A Stable Client
  4. 80% E-mail – 20% Phones
  5. Exposure to Analytics
  6. Open-Minded and Supportive Leadership
  7. Competitive Compensation
  8. Working With Good People
  9. Being Valued by the Company
  10. Being Appreciated for the Work You Do

I am sure each of my team has their own top ten reasons for themselves.

It is almost always easier to fix whatever you don’t like about your current job then it is to leave and hope you can find something better.

Sticking with a job long term is not easy and its becoming less and less the norm, which makes it all the more special when you find the right spot for you.

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Doing What I Do Best

So I have been doing public speaking and professional training for over 3 and a half years here in the Philippines.

Honestly I takes a few minutes to recount all the times I have spoken about analytics… which is an awesomely good problem to have.

I have gotten used to many of the nuances of doing training here as opposed to doing similar training in the U.S.

Now I know to mix in some Tagalog words, to tell lots of analytics stories using Filipino centric data points and lessons, to be ready to engage the participants in ways that makes them open up and share more.

I also know that someone will always be late because of “traffic sa EDSA” and that just about everyone can relate to things like working for bosses who don’t use data, but “gut feel”.

This really is a great place to conduct training and after 3+ years I am now no longer the only one talking about analytics.

The CHED Memo on Business Analytics,  IBM’s push for the Analytica organization, and seeing so far at least two other training companies offering business analytics. So many awesome things showing I am in the right place at the right time.

By the way… if I can count right the number is 47. And that is in person. If I add radio and TV  its closer to 55.

So Im averaging about 18 a year. And I have 5 more lined up in the next six weeks.

Not bad.

Go Dan Go!!



In Demand > DMAI Data Analytics Trainings

Next week I will be conducting a training on data analytics.

Data analytics is generally considered to be the examining raw data with the purpose of drawing conclusions about that information. Data analytics is used in many industries to allow companies and organization to make better business decisions.

Topics covered in the training include:

  • What is Data Analytics?
  • The current state of Data Analytics in the Philippines
  • Self-Assessment of our own Data Analytics
  • Finding the Right Data at the Right Time
  • Big Data and Data Warehousing
  • Descriptive, Predictive, and Prescriptive Analytics
  • Business Intelligence and Data Visualization
  • Using Data Analytics to Drive Decisions

What’s extra cool about this training is that is already full. We are going to add a second batch in August.

The need for having good data analytics in a business continues to grow at a pace much faster than the supply of talent can keep up with.


Besides the topics above, participants will also learn:

  1. How to do public data mining
  2. How to provide data for business intelligence
  3. How to build better reports in Excel
  4. How to manage data in business dashboard

So if you are interested in getting a better handle on the data in your business and how to build a good data analytics solution, DMAI can help.

My Thoughts On FilAm’s going back to the Philippines

Just got this message from a connection on LinkedIn.

Thought a blog post might be the best way to reply.

“I am a Filipino-American who was born in the Philippines and moved to Chicago when I was 10 years old. I always wanted to come back home, but hesitate to do it since the Chicago and Manila have totally different economies. I saw that you studied at Indiana University and now work in the Philippines. How did you do it? Do you like it? I usually go home every year and I will be coming home again this Christmas season. Any feedback would be very appreciated.”

I think there is a lot of opportunity for FilAms to be successful in either working in and/or setting up businesses in the Philippines.

From my experience, some of the advantages you will find include:

  • You can add a lot of value to businesses with American clients by role modeling your business acumen, your English and your understanding of American culture.
  • With big call centers you can find work in management or working with the clients.
  • With smaller call centers you can find yourself in a pretty senior position.
  • If you want to get into being a BPO broker by matching U.S. clients with call centers there is always room for that.

After getting your feet wet, you can probably set up your own small business that focuses your talents and interests like I have done.

I train people to be better analysts, introduce analytics to college students and do some consulting on analytics projects as well.

As for how I got my start, I worked for Wells Fargo as a business analyst for about 10 years and during that time got involved with some outsourcing projects. Things all fell into place about 3 years ago an I moved to the Philippines to set up my own business.

So, I am a big advocate of doing the something similar yourself.

A couple of other things to think about thought is getting paid in pesos doesn’t go as far as getting paid in dollars. The bureaucracy and the corruption can be maddening at times. The poverty and the congestion are not easy to see every day. But all in all the Philippines is probably in the best places it’s been in a while as far as business climate.

With the right planning and execution you can have a much more rewarding life in the Philippines.

Hope that helps!


If Only They Would Look At The Data

Humans by nature are not very data-driven.

Often we act before we think.

In general we go with the gut over the information we are presented with.

It’s just who we are as human beings.

And you see it everywhere.

We come across an inefficiency, a broken process or a half-baked idea and ask ourselves who thought this up?

Why didn’t they look at the data before they made a decision that impacted so many people?

So just for a minute I want to daydream a little.

If only X people would look at and listen too Y data before making a decision, then the world would be a better place.

If only politicians would look at data before spending so much money on that big project.

If only people would really listen to the stories about how dangerous it is to text while driving.

If ever we actually stopped and took the time to calculate the high cost of living facing our children.

Try it yourself. If everyone did a little more of this, think of how awesome it would be.

We have enough data to help us decide just about anything.

In fact we now have whats called Big Data… an almost infinite amount of information to guide us.

We just need to get more people to understand how.

The then humans would really be able to solve the problems we face.

It is a simple hope magnified by 7 billion people and the data they create every day.


Last To Know? Good Leaders Like To Be The First To Know

I learned at an early stage in my career, that’s its best to tell your boss early when you have bad news.

Most people hate to be the last to know, and that feeling is magnified when it comes to someone who is responsible for making a lot of decisions.

Some think that its better to not share things with the boss that might distract them. Maybe they are too busy and you think it is just better to not interrupt them.  Maybe you are too busy and you just forget.

However, none of this is what any boss wants.

Being surprised is never a good thing when it comes to running a business. Trying to balance the budget, execute a strategic plan or deciding where to put time and energy is hindered when bad news pops up last minute.

You can find countless business experts and great leaders saying its good to get bad news early.

I bet you can’t even find one credible source that says its better to get bad news late.

And this just doesn’t go for bad news. It’s really any news that can impact the business in a significant way. And this is especially true when it come to news impacting the budget.

Having a good reporting process or regular staff meetings helps.

Always remember, without the latest and most up to date data, making good decisions is impossible.

So do yourself, your boss and your company a big favor and give them the bad news early.