The PRQL: If You Were Building a Data Team What Would Your First Hire Be?

July 22, 2022

In this bonus episode, Eric and Kostas preview their upcoming conversation with Emilie Schario from Amplify Partners.


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Eric Dodds 00:00
Hi. Welcome to The Data Stack Show prequel. We just had an amazing conversation with Emily. She was at Netlify. Before that she was at Kitt lab. And she knows a thing or two about building data teams, Costas, this is a bit of an unfair question, because we just listen to this episode. But if you can entertain me, before we listen to this episode, if I’d asked you the question, what’s the first data hire you would make an accompany you were starting? What would your answer event?

Kostas Pardalis 00:36
That’s a good question. Because I had to do that. And I made many mistakes. I would try to hire someone. First of all, I would probably I mean, even if the company is big enough, let’s say incidences, like a start up with like five people, maybe I would, I would try to recruit someone from within the company, someone who has, let’s say, the knows, like, what’s going on with the business, and at the same time, knows enough to go and sit up, like a very basic, but functional engineering, let’s say data infrastructure, but it can be just like Google Sheets, at the end, it doesn’t matter, right? Because you’re still at the stage, when you’re like, early on that you don’t really know like, which direction the company will go and what the needs will be. And I think there is like something that we both of us have seen many times with, like all their companies that we had like to work out. So having someone from within the company helps with at least not coming like to figure out how to communicate the business context, which is very important. And when it’s very early, it’s really, really hard like to do that yet. So at an early stage, I would definitively try like to keep that internal, or small and help someone from within the team like database responsibility. Until things becomes more clear, we figure out like, which function of the beginning at least needs more data support, maybe marketing for a job, right? But okay, if you’re like, a sales driven organization, for lots of the price wrong, it’s not marketing. So much data might be something else, I don’t know. So until these things are, like, get your doubts. I think that and as Emily said, like, pretty much everyone should be like a data person inside to compete, right? Yeah. So I would keep it, I would keep it my insides, the the, the new shell team, but make it very clear that someone is taking care of that, and actually just like a chore, and is lifted out of their opinion without like maintaining or taking care of it,

Eric Dodds 02:57
as always, very sage wisdom costus, which I think is appropriate, because we’ve learned so much from Emily, both from her experience at GitLab. And in particular is interesting, the data team there started under findings. They were an enterprise focused organization. But she also talked about the different places that data can originate from, and then the different paths that they generally take from them, which was fascinating. She gave us probably some of the best advice I’ve ever heard about building a data team and then structuring a data team. And then we also got advice from her about sort of managing a Dunkin Donuts and how that influences the way that you think about hiring. Yep, and so listen all the way to the end of the episode for that because it was probably one of the best one of the best parts of the episode right at the very end. So you’re definitely gonna want to check this one out. Such a great episode also cost us we have to mention we have a newsletter now which is super exciting. Brooks is coordinate all of that we pull you know different things from the show notes into it. And it’s really good. So definitely head to dataset And subscribe to that and we will catch you on the next one with Emily and have a great day.