My Superhero Origin Story

My superhero origin story started against the backdrop of the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis. Let me explain a short history here, so stick with me. During the financial crisis, there was a bank that went bankrupt called Wachovia. If you are not aware of Wachovia, they were a bank that started on the East Coast and over time they spread westward, while Wells Fargo started in California and moved eastward. Wells Fargo was one of the few banks that was able to wither the financial crisis pretty solidly and when Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia, it was a pretty big deal for a number of reasons.

We did money transfers aka remittances, where people send money from the US to family and loved ones overseas. It is quite common for people that come to the US to work or to live still have family overseas, that they are responsible for. To support them, they sent money back to help pay for things like their parents’ retirement, or to help their brother or sister set up a business, or they are paying for their nieces and nephews’ education… whatever it may be. This is a big business; in fact, Wells Fargo had a goal of trying to get towards the top of that industry.

Our sights were clearly set on Western Union, being the market leader, and we put a lot of resources into the soon to be converted Wachovia branches in Florida. The goal within the bank, within my team, was to be able to get me number two one the merger was final. We would pass MoneyGram, pass, all the other money transfer operators and put Wells Fargo up there, right behind Western Union.

Now I don’t say that to brag, but around the same time this merger was happening, I realized that I was different. I had a level of skill that set me apart from most of the other analysts working at Wells Fargo during my tenure. This skill, which I had progressively been developing over the year, was my ability to take large, complex data sets from a variety of sources and blend them together to see trends and patterns that most analysts would likely miss.

Like with any superhero origin, when faced with a big challenge, a new power emerges that empowers the hero to save the day. And that’s exactly what happened.

Getting back to Wachovia and Wells Fargo, Wachovia was a diversified financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before its acquisition by Wells Fargo and Company in 2008, Wachovia was the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States, based on total assets. The acquisition of Wachovia by Wells Fargo was completed on December 31, 2008, after a government-forced sale to avoid Wachovia’s failure. The Wachovia brand was absorbed into the Wells Fargo brand in a process that lasted three years. source

This was a pretty big deal, because Wells Fargo up into that point did not have branches in the state of Florida. Wells Fargo had never set up shop in Florida, which is a very diverse state, with a lot of immigrants and first-generation citizens who send money to families abroad.

People who are likely to send money back to their homeland, or to their country their parents came from, and so when they do that that is a great opportunity for Wells Fargo. As the Wachovia branches were rebranded as Wells Fargo, we could use them to send our money transfer service. In fact, we would be the first bank in Florida to be able to send money through a bank which would give the customers have much better benefit than sending through a money transfer service.

Needless to say, everyone was excited. As we finalized marketing plans, I was in a staff meeting and we were talking about what we were going to do when we are able to finally have rebranded stores. We were ready to acquire tens of thousands of new customers and sign them up for the Express Send Service. With this huge opportunity in front of us, the marketing meeting, was about the plans for the launch of the remittance product in Florida.

The marketing team had a whole bunch of events planned, our communications strategy was shared, and we picked a rebranded store in Miami, where we were going to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Our plan included inviting local dignitaries the local news, etc; was expected to to make a big splash. We are going to launch in Miami, and on the surface, it made sense because Miami is the biggest city of Florida. The city’s population has incredibly high percentage of immigrants and first-generation Americans, our key target.

However, what I thought in my head, as we are going through all this stuff in the media was that most of the people that have migrated to Florida come from countries that Wells Fargo has not traditionally sent money to. Now, take a step back remember, I said Wells Fargo was a west coast centric bank, most of the money that Wachovia customers send overseas goes to places around the Pacific, China India the Philippines and Mexico.

In addition, we had pretty big markets in Central America like El Salvador, Guatemala. That is where our sweet spot had been for the past several years. Wachovia is East Coast centric; their branches are in parts of country where a lot of people that migrated to the US don’t come from the same markets they do in the West Coast. They come from the Caribbean, they come from South America…. i.e. Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Haiti. This population of remitters was not one that Wells Fargo had a lot of history sending money to. Here we are excited about sending money overseas, about helping our employee, our customers, be able to send money to their loved ones and yet I’m thinking we have a problem.

Long story short, this is an issue for me because I looked at the data in my head. What I have known previously about the demographics of the area and populations in the state of Florida. Because being a data guy, I know a lot about the graphic data and geographical distribution of our customer base and the digital customers.

So, I raised my hand, I explained to everyone in the meeting, exactly what I just shared with you. The whole thing about, Miami not being the best place to launch in Florida, that its somewhere where we are not going to have a big turnout of new customers. I added that because we are not traditionally sending money to their home countries, this entire plan will fall flat.

I expected that to be enough. The data spoke for itself.

However, everyone was kind of like “well yeah that makes sense Daniel, but you know we’re locked in we’re still going ahead with Miami”.

Basically, I got out voted.

It was time to find a phone booth and put on my cape.

Daniel Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics firm with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminars on both sides of the Pacific. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in STEAM 2020 Conference.

The Day I Got My Cape

About halfway through my time at Wells Fargo, I had become one of the top analysts at the bank. My ability to take on any data project and deliver results on time and on budget established my reputation and gave me credibility to speak frankly with senior executives

Now what I mean by “the day I got my cape”. That was the day I realized that my skills as an analyst, as somebody who works with data, had become somewhat superhuman.

I had previously shared the lead up to the unveiling oh my superhero story. After acquiring Wachovia, Wells Fargo was poised to launch the Express Send remittance service in Miami. I had shared my concerns and even though the data was clear, I was outvoted.

At the end of the meeting, my boss came to me, and my boss; who I had been working for quite a while, and when I raised my hand in a staff meeting to talk about something to do with data, I was usually right. However he pointed out to me, I had talked about a problem but I didn’t offer a solution and he says you know what Daniel, “If we’re going to not launch in Miami you got to follow up with an answer of where we going to launch and why. As well as why should we move it based on solid financials”.

My reply was, “you’re right, I know I need to go back and do some more research”. He told me that I had a couple days go do some research, to figure this out. He said if we have a good business case to move it, we would run it up the flagpole and see what happens. So, I went back to my cubicle, I started crunching numbers, pulling data, basically what I found was indeed the truth. I was right that if we were to launch in Miami. We would not have a very big population of ready to send users. People that are used to us and, our brand that trust has to send money overseas.

It would be something that it would have to take a while for people to adopt to our brand. I started looking for areas where there were other populations, that were more representative of what we had to do traditionally. I came across a couple, if you look at the demographics of Florida in the Orlando and Tampa areas in the middle of the state, there’s a lot more people that have migrated from Central America and Mexico. A lot of them migrated there to work in agriculture, to work in more labor-intensive industries.

I took data form the U.S. Census and I blended that with projections on adoption rates based on the traditional Wells Fargo footprint. I used IBM-Cognos and SQL queries from the banks central data bases to extract the data I needed to build a financial model. The model illustrated that we would make 3x as much over the first three years in remittance transfers in Florida if we started in Central Florida as opposed to South Florida. To bring it all together I used a new software, Tableau, to build a map and supporting visuals. I was ready for round two and this time I had my powers.

So, I took that information and I put together a presentation, and I walked to my boss. He said, “great OK let’s go ahead and talk to the boss about this”, so when my boss said to THE boss that means we are talking to top executives at the bank, including the CEO.

The next day I presented this data and I did it in a new way for me. I built a narrative around the whole challenge we had and used the data told us what we should do. I illustrated with the Tableau map, what the expected benefits of West Orlando instead of Miami. When we did that, we would see a much greater adoption rate, we would see much greater financial benefit much sooner than if we were to launch in the Miami area.

My slides and the data and visuals on them where very convincing. But that was the appeal to the head. I also shared the impact that my suggestion would have not only on the bank bottom line, but the difference it would make to our customers and their families. When I did all that, I put this whole overarching narrative together and what was able to do what we now call data storytelling.

That is a superpower in even more demand today that it was 10 years ago. Being able to write code, to build data models and to work with millions of data points are all very powerful tools in the hands of a good analyst. But data storytelling in my hands, that is a superpower.

Oh, and one more point, mostly because of my work on the merger, I got a really huge bonus that year.

Daniel Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics firm with offices in Manila, the San Francisco Bay Area and Ocala, FL. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and offers big data coaching and analytics training seminars on both sides of the Pacific. Dan has also recently joined the Powerteam International family as a small business analytics resource speaker.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship by volunteering his expertise with schools and non-profits dedicated to evidence-based social progress like Saint Leo University’s Women in STEAM 2020 Conference.

Data Storytelling That Really Works

Over the past year or two, there has been a huge buzz around data storytelling.

Like so many other buzzwords associated with analytics, people get caught up in the hype and think they have finally found the magic solution to putting their big data to work.

I have attended dozens of conferences and have frankly been underwhelmed by most of those out there talking about data storytelling like its rocket science that costs a lot to deliver.

I have also heard direct feedback from a number of companies who have privately complained that the high priced, high tech data storytelling trainings on the market do not meet their needs.

So, in response to these facts I have come up with my own training on data storytelling. Specifically tailored for the Filipino professional and full of hands on exercises that can be practically applied.

Dan Meyer Quotes 2

This two-day workshop is currently only being offered as an in-house training. Please contact us through http://www.sonicanalytics.com to learn how to book us for Data Storytelling That Really Works.

SECTION ONE – Preparing Big Data for Storytelling

Successful storytelling starts with having clean, accessible and organized data. We will start with an overview of tips for good data governance.

SECTION TWO – Knowing Your KPIs

You have to narrow down your data elements into the ones most key to your business. We will conduct an exercise to help us boil down all the data we have into just the 2-3 key points we need for our story.

SECTION THREE – Storyboard Your Data Story

Before we get into designing any visuals, we need to think of about the flow of our story from end to end. Tale part in a classic storyboarding exercise just like they do at Disney.

SECTION FOUR – Using Business Intelligence Tools for Storytelling

There are many tools out there that we can use to facilitate storytelling. We will optimize the BI tools you have in house as well as free online tools to get the best bang for your buck.

SECTION FIVE – The Key Elements of Data Visualization

Most people just through together a bunch of charts and graphs. That rarely works well. Master the various types of data visuals so you always use the best visual to explain your data

SECTION SIX – Business Dashboards for Storytelling

At the core of your data story needs to be a venue for your audience to play with the data themselves. Learn how to design impactful dashboards and build a business dashboard prototype

SECTION SEVEN – Building the Narrative

For most analysts and data scientists, the hardest part is what to do with your data and analyze once you have it. Let me show you how to craft your data into a narrative that will truly influence your audience.

SECTION EIGHT – Delivering Impactful Data Stories

Now its time to bring it all together. Apply the key elements of data storytelling to make more compelling analysis and reporting.

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Dan Meyer heads Sonic Analytics, an analytics advocacy with offices in Manila and the San Francisco Bay Area. With over 20 years in Big Data, Dan is one of the most sought-after public speakers in Asia and has recently begun offering public training seminars in the United States.

Sonic Analytics(www.sonicanalytics.com) brings big data analytics solutions like business intelligence, business dashboards and data storytelling to small and medium sized organizations looking to enhance their data-driven decision-making capabilities. We also advocate the use of analytics for civic responsibility through training, consulting and education.

As citizens of this great democracy, we need to look at the data (analytics), plan a course of action (strategy) and share our data-driven viewpoints (presentation). This approach to a data savvy work force starts in school. So, we started an internship program to empower our youth to use Analytics, plan Strategy and Present their insights… ASP!

When not training current and future analysts, you can find Dan championing the use of analytics to empower data-driven citizenship. His latest causes include supporting a 3rd Party initiative called the Service America Movement — SAM (joinsam.org), a non-profit providing legal assistance for immigrants  known as RAICES and  (raicestexas.org) and Immigrant Families Together – an effort to unite immigrant families (www.facebook.com/ImmigrantFamiliesTogether).

Upcoming DMAIPH Analytics Trainings

Analytics is my passion. I love empowering businesses with the solutions they need to make more data-driven decisions. To that end, I went into business myself to do three things; (1) empower managers and leaders how to better use analytics in their organizations, (2) enable more data-driven business cultures and (3) provide hybrid, virtual staffing solutions. If I can ever be of any assistance, please let me know.

I’d like to invite to a few Upcoming Analytics Events. All events are in Ortigas unless otherwise noted. Here are a few of them:

  • July 11-13 – Three Pillars of Data Science: Analytics, the Cloud and Data Storytelling
  • July 24-25 – Sales Analytics: Achieving Quantity Through Quality
  • August 3 – HR Predictive Analytics: Improving Talent ROI by Predicting Success
  • August 22-23 – Actionable Analytics for Team Leads
  • September 5-6 – Strategic Analytics for HR Managers

Case Studies and Exercises

In each training we will use case studies and group exercises throughout the length of the each class. In these activities, the group is divided into teams and each team will analyze datasets using the principals learned in the various learning sessions. These exercises will also use elements from the case studies as we progress from finding data, to conducting analysis on the data and finally presenting the data.

Learning Investment

Early Bird Exclusive Offer!!

P 6,000.00 + VAT (1 DAY), P 12,000.00 + VAT (2 DAY) or 18,000 + VAT (3 DAY)

Group Rate Discount (Minimum of 5)
Save 1K per person.

Regular Rate:
P 7,300.00 + VAT (1 DAY), P 14,600.00 + VAT (2 DAY) or 21,900 + VAT (3 DAY)

Special Faculty and Student Rates available.

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DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience.

If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

 

Analytics for HR Managers (2 Day Training)

Deploy Big Data Analytics Solutions to Align HR with Organizational Business Strategy

Learning Session Description

Successful HR Managers are strategic planners and take decisions which are apt and considering all the facts. They also have a knack for metrics as these are essential in improvising various process in the organization and make data-driven decisions for the benefit of the organization.

Learning Session Outline

Successful HR Managers are strategic planners and take decisions which are apt and considering all the facts. They also have a knack for metrics as these are essential in improvising various process in the organization and make data-driven decisions for the benefit of the organization.

In the past few years, we have seen the importance of big data, analytics and data science grow at a dizzying pace. By using meaningful HR Analytics techniques, your recruitment and retention efforts can be greatly enhanced.

A recent Facebook job posting for HR Manager described the importance of Analytics for HR Managers. “We are looking for a visionary who gets excited about using data insights to drive HR related business decisions at all levels. The right candidate thrives on HR data, overseeing dynamic reporting and implementing actionable analysis within both HR and across the organization.”

New techniques like predictive analytics and data storytelling as well as new technologies like social networks, applicant tracking systems and business intelligence applications are fundamentally changing the entire talent management process from recruitment to retirement.

The pressure on HR Managers to deliver results has never been greater as they are required to demonstrate the return on investment being made into HR functions.

Building analytics centric teams and using techniques taught in this training session will empower more data-driven decision making across your HR organization from the top down.

Learning Session Objectives

  1. To learn analytics techniques that will allow quicker, deeper and more impactful analysis of HR & Recruitment Big Data.
  2. To be exposed to cutting edge technology being used in other companies to build HR & Recruitment business dashboards and design more powerful reports.
  3. To assess the current state of analytics in your HR & Recruitment process and build a strategy to empower the greater use of HR analytics in your organization.
  4. Understand the implications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in regards to HR functions.

Who Should Attend

This session is suitable to a wide range of professionals but will greatly benefit:

  • HR Managers and Recruitment Managers
  • Business Analysts working with HR and Recruitment teams
  • Senior Leaders who work closely with HR and Recruitment

Learning Session Process

Based on a Set of Key Data Science and Analytics Competencies developed by the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), our learning sessions are designed for HR Managers to use both in the Philippines and across the region.

Session One – HR Domain Knowledge & Application:  Apply HR domain-related knowledge and insights to effectively contextualize data, achieved by practical experience and exposure to emerging innovations.

  • The Complexity of Multigenerational Workforces
  • Aligning the Brand between HR & Recruitment and Marketing
  • State of Data Science and Analytics in the Philippines

Session Two – Data Management & Governance: Understand data management strategies and governance, incorporating privacy, data security, polices and regulations, and ethical considerations.

  • The 5 V’s of Big Data
  • The 3 Tenants of Data Governance
  • Following Data Privacy and Security Laws

Session Three – Data Analytics Methods & Algorithms: Appreciate the processes used to capture, clean and inspect data for HR & Recruitment. Evaluate and implement data analytics initiatives to derive insights for decision making.

  • Finding the Right Data at the Right Time
  • Data Warehouses and Data Lakes
  • Blending Data from Across the Organization

Session Four – Data Science Engineering Principles for HR: Use analytics software to share findings and tell data stories. Develop analytic processes to improve HR operations.

  • Getting IT: the 3’s I and the 3 T’s of Data
  • Data Science 101: How to Build a Data Science Team
  • Data Storytelling Case Study: The Best NBA Team of All Time

Session Five: Computing Principles for HR: Appreciate information technology, computational thinking and utilize programming languages to design and develop data analysis processes and techniques.

  • Optimizing the use of MS Excel for HR and Recruitment
  • Defining KPIs Case Study: Google Project Oxygen
  • Working with the IT Team: Buy them Doughnuts

Session Six – Statistical Techniques for HR Data Analytics: Direct the application of statistical concepts and methodologies for data analysis including predictive HR analytics.

  • Predictive Analytics Case Study: HP’s Flight Risk Model
  • Tying Management Reporting to HR Analytics Models
  • Group Exercise: Build a Flight Risk Model

Session Seven – Operational Analytics: Use data analytics and specialized business intelligence techniques for the investigation of all relevant HR data to derive insight in support of decision-making.

  • Competitor Landscapes and Demographic Profiles
  • Overview of Business Intelligence Tools
  • BI Tools Demo: Tableau Public

Session Eight – Data Visualization & Presentation: Ability to create and communicate compelling and actionable insights from data using visualization and presentation tools and technologies. Build a HR Business Dashboard prototype.

  • Data Visualization Guidelines
  • Group Exercise: Build a Business Dashboard Prototype
  • The Concept of Enchantment

Case Studies and Exercises

We will use case studies and group exercises throughout the two-day class. In these activities, the group is divided into teams. Each team will analyze datasets using the principals learned in the various learning sessions. These exercises will also use elements from the case studies as we progress from finding data, to conducting analysis on the data and finally presenting the data.

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Augment BPO

The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training.

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DMAIPH Analytics Training

DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.