Data Talks, Episode 22
Data Talks is Exago’s podcast on business intelligence, analytics, and application software. This month, Anticimex Data Integrity Analyst Forrest Gordon offers insight into training self-service BI users of various abilities and backgrounds. As an expert in pest management solution PestPac and its white label implementation of Exago BI, Gordon is responsible for training users at six of Anticimex’s subsidiary companies — and no two use PestPac the same way. In this episode, we learn how Forrest navigates these and other instructional challenges.
Segment 1: Training BI Users
(1:35) Meet Chris, our new co-host!
(3:00) How Forrest went from pest exterminator to data analyst.
(10:35) Overview of Forrest’s training responsibilities.
(13:00) The self-service BI trainee demographic breakdown.
(15:00) Training techniques.
(17:40) Concepts trainees struggle with most.
(22:20) Topics trainees are most enthusiastic about.
(24:30) Teaching charting.
(25:20) Catering to different skill levels.
(29.30) How to learn BI organically.
(32:10) Teaching the data — and tools that help make that possible.
Segment 2: What We Are Nerding Out About
(40:06) Forrest: Two Minute Papers on YouTube, specifically those on AI!
(44:06) Nicole: Macronutrient tracking!
(45:35) Chris: Unreal Engine 5 on PlayStation 5 graphics!
“After a couple of discussions and a couple of forced reports — being voluntold to whip some things together — I started getting a feel for it, and I’m like, ‘Man, this is way better than accounting.’” (7:00)
“It really puts into perspective when you whip up a report — in, say, five minutes — for a process that was taking someone ten hours a week. And you say, ‘Okay, I just saved you 40, 50 hours a month trudging through this data.’” (23:30)
“So there are times that, yes, we will design all of the graphs and the metrics for that, but typically I’d say [training] tends to revolve more around just getting meaningful data exports.” (25:03)
“It’s a constant struggle — even now — with just getting unified definitions of…active customers, new sales, things like that. Just to make sure we’re all speaking the same language. Even within one company working between departments, that’s hard enough. Trying to bridge that communication gap between six companies or more, it gets tricky.” (38:15)
Forrest Gordon is a Data Integrity Analyst at Anticimex, an international pest management company and one of the largest in the world. Gordon oversees the data quality and integration of six Anticimex subsidiary companies, all of which use PestPac in their daily operations. When Gordon is not authoring reports, training PestPac users, or optimizing data pipelines, he is advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and caring for local waterfowl.