Navigating the Data Universe with Erik Edelmann

We dived into Erik's fascinating journey - from the early days at WeWork to his reflections on the ever-evolving landscape of analytics.

September 15, 2023
Navigating the Data Universe with Erik Edelmann
 min read
Navigating the Data Universe with Erik Edelmann

The Intro

With over a decade of experience with the purpose to unearth valuable insights and transform raw numbers into actionable intelligence, Erik Edelmann, Data Lead ad Hightouch has had quite the career. In episode #3 of Somewhat Analytics - The Podcast, we delve into Erik's fascinating journey, from his early days as a B.I. analyst at WeWork to his reflections on the evolving landscape of analytics.

For all you non-podcasters, here is a quick summary.

The Journey

Erik Edelmann's role can be described as the art of making data not just accessible but genuinely useful. If you were to ask his grandparents, they'd probably sum it up as "crunching numbers and working with computers."

Erik's journey in the world of data began at WeWork, a company which got known for its rather unique culture that then many other startups tried to replicate. It was an exciting start to his career, however, it gave him a somewhat skewed perspective on what professional life actually is. The key lesson he learned during his time at WeWork was that harnessing the power of data requires a collective effort; it takes everyone to make data truly work for a business.

One of the turning points in Erik's career came with his experience at DAS 42. It was here that he experienced substantial growth, both in terms of technical skills and professional development. The importance of professionalism in the workplace became clear as day. While tools are undoubtedly valuable, understanding the nuances of running a business is equally critical for any data practitioners.

The Titles

In the data analytics world, “titles” is a constant topic of discussion - which often become distractions. Erik emphasizes that titles, obviously, isn't as important as understanding the value a role brings to the table. Sometimes, people get so caught up in titles that they forget the primary objective: solving real-world problems - so less discussions, more problem-solving.

For those embarking on their data careers, Erik offers sage advice. Learning SQL is crucial, along with a deep understanding of cloud technology and architecture. The modern data stack is centered around cloud data warehouses, making cloud knowledge indispensable. Simply put: learn the foundation and don’t over-complicate it.

The Stack

While there's no definitive answer to whether the modern data stack is superior to other approaches, Erik suggests considering cost and ROI when making your choice. What truly determines success or failure is not the tool itself but how effectively it's utilized.

In the era of AI, some may fear job replacement, but Erik reminds us that cutting-edge technologies are there to support, not replace. AI analyst software is far from replacing human analysts, and there's no imminent roadmap for such a monumental transition.

The Lessons

Erik highlights two successful data teams, the ones at Uber and Looker. Uber  taught us to add tangible business value daily through their data organization, showcasing the power of data investments. What we can learn from Looker is how to excel in both technology adaption and collaboration, emphasizing the importance of balance in a data team.

In conclusion, Erik Edelmann's journey through the data universe offers valuable insights for anyone navigating the ever-evolving landscape of analytics. It's not just about crunching numbers and working with computers; it's about finding the balance between technology and collaboration, titles and value, and embracing the infinite possibilities that data has to offer.


Somewhat Analytics - The Podcast
Apple Podcast

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