Jerry DiMaso from Axis Group discusses data literacy and NodeGraph

We had a chat with Jerri DiMaso, VP of Enablement at Axis Group, about NodeGraph and data literacy. Enjoy the full interview or read the transcript below.

“[I’m] Jerry DiMaso, Vice President of Enablement at Axis Group. I’m responsible for all of our partner management and all of our sales strategy, sales enablement and things like that – so that’s what I do.

What was your first impression of NodeGraph?

“I found out about NodeGraph just kind of perusing some Qlik websites, kind of Google searching through. We have our own data lineage tools that we had built over the years, just to kind of ad hoc – the customer had a need, we wanted to provide them with the ability to look into their logs and see who was doing what, where the data was coming from. And then, one of our customers was asking for a more official release of a tool that we would maintain and support, so I started doing some research, googling around, things like that, and I found NodeGraph.

And I couldn’t believe that this was like a thing that had been invented and then, as I was looking at the tool, I couldn’t believe it had not already been invented, years and years ago.

I mean this is something that Qlik has needed for so long. So I reached out to you, filled out those contact-us-forms and said, “Hey, how much does this cost? Like what is this about? Can we sell this because all of our customers need it.” And Carl reached out to me and [we] kind of started talking back and forth and I said yeah, “We could definitely, like can we see a demo of it?”

And as I saw more I was more and more impressed with all the different things. And then that was before the test module came out and even then I was like this is amazing, people need to have this. So since, I think it was November, we partnered together and we basically push it everywhere that we can, because everybody needs it.”

Why do you think that Qlik has needed a tool like NodeGraph?

“How does this field relate back to our source data? Or does it at all? Did somebody make it up? Did somebody add a percentage to it? Or something like that. Like, can we actually have this traceability? And a lot of our Qlik customers, they just didn’t have that kind of capability.

So that’s why when I found NodeGraph I was like this is exactly what people need. It should be a part of the Qlik software but it’s not. And so we try to just push it wherever we can.”

Let’s touch on data literacy

“Over the past couple of years, it’s gotten a little bit easier to wrangle data, pull it in, put it into a visualization tool like Qlik, or like Tableau, or whatever it is, and then give people dashboards to be able to see. So now that kind of capability is pretty easy to come by. And you know companies are creating these dashboards, creating data repositories, data warehouses, and now are realizing that they’re handing people reports and they can’t read them.

It’s like we spent all of this time printing out Shakespeare’s works and then distributing them to people who can’t read it. Why even bother with that?

And there they can maybe read some of it but they don’t really understand truly what the data is telling them and then they can’t ask the next question. So, you know, data literacy is far more important. That’s a key tenant of being able to understand what a dashboard is telling you. Yeah, having the dashboard is great and you need to have that but I think organizations now are realizing that their employees can’t really even read or understand what the data that they are serving them is telling.

So I think it’s kind of come to, as technology is improved, it’s been easier to create visualizations and surface that issue right because you have people who are in a boardroom talking through a scatterplot and it’s obvious that they don’t know what they’re even looking at. So the technologies help to surface those issues and it’s a big deal – like a lot of people cannot read.”

What should companies be doing in order to battle this data illiteracy?

“Companies, I think, are gonna need to start engaging in more programmatic education – side-by-side mentoring with people who are actually trained to teach data literacy. Having an ongoing program, having your employees go through – not just, “Okay, here’s the two-hour seminar on how to read a scatterplot”. It’s more than that, it’s more than just a one-time thing.

So I think as companies need to improve their data literacy, we’re gonna start seeing them take a more programmatic approach to giving their employees resources and experts. So that’s how I think we can combat the lack of data literacy.”

Finally, what are some of the reactions you see from customers when you show them NodeGraph?

“[One of] our customers is a financial services company and they are utilizing NodeGraph in order to manage and track and see the data flows coming from all of their different source systems that eventually goes out to their customer base. So they have this Qlik application that is serving data to their customers or customers can log in through a portal, and as a result it’s it’s very critical for them to be able to make sure things update and make sure that nothing, no data is stale, make sure that if something fails – they are notified.

Before they do a refresh out to their customers, it’s very important that their customers have an accurate up-to-date information – these people rely on it. So they’re using NodeGraph and creating exception based reporting rules and email alerting and Slack alerting to make sure that all of their data is being updated properly.

And then if there’s a problem, they’re able to really quickly go back and see exactly where the problem happened. So they are really loving it there.

They actually were like angry with me, like why didn’t you tell us about this before? I was like, I didn’t know. More people need to know.”

If you are new to NodeGraph, first of all – welcome. We are a data quality platform for QlikView and Qlik Sense. To find out how we can help you take control of your data, get started today.