DATA DATA DATA – October 2022

Do you want to grow your business, innovate, drive efficiencies, &/or create new revenue streams? Of course, you do! Well data is the starting point…and this is the only data-focused roundup you’ll ever need!


In DATA DATA DATA, I want to share the most important lessons learnt that I’ve realised in the last 5 years since I set up Data3 and started working with SMEs on their data challenges and data opportunities.

This time, it’s – today is the easiest it will ever be to tackle your data challenge.

What’s the one truth about data? It’s only getting bigger, more complex, more disconnected, more disparate, and more of a challenge. As we’re all collecting more and more data every single year/week/day/hour/minute/second. Think about all the data you’re collecting in your business – from financial transactions to customer records, to marketing responses, to call centre tracking, to social media comments, and a whole lot more. It’s all mounting up and getting bigger by the day.

So, TODAY is the easiest it will ever be to sort out your data as…

  • believe it or not…today is the simplest it will ever be!
  • the challenge of wrangling it into something useful will only get harder, more time-consuming, and more expensive, as your data volume grows
  • and the opportunities you’re missing, from using your data for insight or for good, are only increasing
Today is the easiest it will ever be to sort out your data, as your data is only getting bigger, more complex, and more disconnected - data cubed logo

So, start de-tangling your data today.


The news is heavily dominated by Ukraine right now, understandably, and the data tells a frightening story = 7,678,757 refugees as at 11 October 2022 according to UNHCR.

This isn’t a newsletter about the news though, this is a newsletter about data – so here’s a Power BI data visualisation for those of you who are Power BI fans:

Power BI data visualisation - map showing refugees from Ukraine recorded across europe

And you can find out more at


In the first two issues of DATA DATA DATA, I focused on the two most frequent questions, the team and I get asked – Microsoft or AWS? and Power BI or Tableau? This time, it’s ‘should we buy off-the-shelf tools’ or build it ourselves?

This is a tricky one…off-the-shelf tools include things like platforms or tools or systems, and could include solutions like data warehouses (eg Snowflake) or tools to process your data (eg Matillion) or data visualisation tools (eg Power BI). These tools enable businesses to set up their data solutions far quicker and easier than building something from scratch themselves. But all these tools will have some kind of licencing fee for using the tools, often related to either usage, on a PAYG basis, or based on the number of user subscriptions. So, whilst the set-up time is often low, there will be ongoing costs in future, for the lifetime of the data solution.

Alternatively, if you build a data solution from scratch, in a programming language like Python, SQL or R, you can create an entirely bespoke solution, and there won’t be any licence fees for the lifetime of the project. But there will be both significant setup and build timelines and costs, as well as ongoing development and support required, from an experienced programmer. So, there could be similar or higher people costs that could eradicate any potential savings from having no licensing costs.

Which one is right for which business? I always think about it like this…if there’s a tool out there that does exactly what you want already, then why build it from scratch? Use the tool. But if you have a very specific and niche business requirement, and the compromise of using a tool would be too great for your business needs, then build your own. Either way, make sure you fully consider the total costs of ownership first.

In future issues of DATA DATA DATA, I’ll cover other frequent questions that I’ve come across when talking data with our clients…anyone want to guess what they are?!


I LOVE seeing examples of good/bad/funny data visualisations, data wins, data mistakes, and more. This time, we have some data visualisation galleries to share with you…

  1. Tableau’s Viz Gallery – – contains great examples of data visualisations, covering topics as diverse as flight delays and fruit consumption, through to garbage in the ocean and the rise of Boris Becker!
  2. Power BI’s Gallery – – contains equally great examples of data visualisations, from trade in Europe to cancer analytics, through to ‘climate change is real’.

Have fun people…and don’t get too lost in the galleries!

Have you seen any examples of data craziness you want to share? Please drop me a line.


My favourite data-related quote this time is from my Mum… Proudly 75 years old (“as not everyone is lucky enough to grow old”), my Mum is not a data expert. So, how can she describe what I do to her friends and family, without people thinking it’s got something to do with mobile phone downloads? It’s a tricky parental challenge, for sure.

According to my Mum, data is all about “bringing all the information about a business together in one place, so people know what’s happening”. Nice. And not even a mention of the d-word too. We’d pay a fortune for this type of messaging…fortunately I can pay her in wine. Do you need any help with explaining data challenges and opportunities to your friends and family? Call my Mum!

In future issues, I’ll share more quotes I hear, quotes I read, quotes you tell me about, and more – what’s your favourite data-related quote? Let me know and we’ll find a data-related prize for the best one.

DATA FREEBIES                                         

I have one very special data tool to share with you this time, which is FREE to use (albeit with some optional extras!) – introducing BoomBoard which enables you to see your business performance headlines in your own customisable dashboard (powered by Data3).

BoomBoard enables business leaders to:

  • Know your numbers – all your numbers in one place, no need to go hunting!
  • Not be the last to know – find successes and problems as and when they happen
  • Access data anytime, anywhere – your key data automatically synced to all your devices
  • Get set up in minutes – quick and simple to connect to your key data sources

Create your own business dashboards, covering finance, customer & marketing metrics, in less than 2 minutes now…for FREE – get started at

In future issues, I’ll share more links to super useful, completely FREE videos, guides, templates, and similar…so, there are loads more freebies to come.

Thank you for reading…I’ll be back soon with more data news.

And, if you’re in data hell, I’m data Hels!

No alt text provided for this image

Recommend a friend or colleague to join our mailing list for DATA DATA DATA – or connect with me on LinkedIn –