This is an excerpt from Ashish Verma’s talk at Strata + Hadoop World San Jose 2017. Visit Safari to view the entire presentation.

To learn more about building a culture and team of data-driven professionals, check out the Strata Business Summit at the Strata Data Conference in New York, September 25-28, 2017.



Getting value from data requires more than just software tools: in order to really turn insight into action, a company needs to hire the right team and reorganize itself into a data-driven organization.

Ashish Verma, who directs Deloitte’s big data and analytics practice, outlined what it takes to build an analytics-driven company in a presentation at this year’s Strata + Hadoop World Conference in San Jose.

The first challenge, says Verma, is to identify the connection between analytics and business objectives. “If you can’t start with a conversation about what it means from a business objective standpoint, then ask yourself why you’re doing it.”

The next challenge is building the right team. “It does not require just one kind of skill set,” says Verma. “It’s very hard to find somebody who knows data science and can apply it in the context of every domain and every sector. There are like 10 or 12 people like that I’ve met in my life, and, clearly, they can’t be in every organization.”

Instead of wishing for that elusive all-star, managers should look to assemble teams with five essential roles:

  • Domain/sector practitioners

  • Technology application experts

  • Data storytellers

  • Data management professionals

  • Data scientists

Article image: Structure. (source: Pexels).