AoF 25: From Gartner BI MQ Author to Chief Data Strategist w/ Cindi Howson of ThoughtSpot

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Ever wonder about the masterminds that create the famous Gartner Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant? Meet Cindi Howson, former VP at Gartner and current Chief Data Strategy Officer at ThoughSpot. Cindi’s unorthodox start in the BI world and quick rise to well-known author, BI Scorecard creator and go to for the media, is nothing short of spectacular. Find out why Cindi is one of the most inspirational and well-known women in BI!

“...is it the practical reality that the BI teams are so freaking busy and overworked that they don’t have time to step back and say... is there a better way?." – 30:28

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3 Knowledge Bombs

  • Cindi on the biggest challenge in BI - “Culture remains the biggest barrier to allow an organization to unleash the full potential of the analytics"
  • Cindi on where BI should focus - Always focus on the "North Star." Using Business Analytics to achieve the goals of the organization.
  • Cindi on what's next for BI - “Analytics infused with artificial intelligence is where the industry is going.”

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • [10:59]  - Why Cindi almost left BI!
  • [13:30]  - Cindi's unique "North Star" for working with organizations.
  • [16:19]  - Cindi's describes being an author of the famous Gartner Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant.
  • [24:45]  - The three things you need to look out for in a BI tool.
  • [26:50]  - How to treat user loyalty and what to do with it to cause change.
  • [29:52]  - Key Quote: Look at what will move the needle higher, further, faster, cheaper, and those are the things that you want to bring into your organization. - Cindi Howson
  • [30:26]  - How to overcome the challenges all BI teams face and unleash the full potential of the analytics
  • [32:24]  - How to evangelize and sell BI and analytics.
  • [34:27]  - How to stop the cycle of just taking orders!
  • [36:00]  - Cindi shares her unique vision of the Analytics world for the next 3 years.
  • Right-click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

"... one of the biggest challenges is too many BI teams are still measured on least cost to serve and how many bug fixes, how many reports. That’s the wrong measure." – 30:50

Links and Resources mentioned in this episode:

  • Check out Cindi's Books
  • Check out Cindi's famous blog (golden Nuggets galore!)
  • Cindi recommends you read

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Mico Yuk

Mico Yuk

As the founder and CEO of BI Brainz, Mico has been in the Business Intelligence industry for 8 years. Besides leading a team of some of the most brilliant minds in the industry, she continues to share her passion for Analytics through the BI Brainz Academy, blogs, social media, global keynotes, training and workshops. In her time off, she enjoys being a beach bum and buying red bottom shoes.
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