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The T-Shaped Data Professional - Achieving Data Management Goals with Real Life Examples - DAMA PDX November

Standard Insurance Center Auditorium
900 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204, United States (map)

Take escalator at entry, down one level



This presentation is an expanded and updated version of “The Multi-Skilled Influencer”,
the highest-rated session at the 2015 Enterprise Data & BI Conference in London.
It was also the keynote at the recent Higher Education Data Warehousing conference in Rochester, NY.

Organizations increasingly value individuals who have deep expertise in a specific discipline, such as Data Modeling, but who also possess skills in other areas. This is the so-called “T-shaped skill set” – depth plus breadth.

Becoming “T-shaped” is a goal for anyone in Data – not only does it make you more valuable to your organization, experience shows applying skills not usually associated with Data Management are an excellent way to meet data goals.

After introducing the core ideas behind being “T-shaped”, including the two essential soft skills, we'll look at a variety of real-life examples where Data Management goals have been achieved by applying other skills. In addition to showing how applying these techniques has supported our goals, we'll provide useful tips and frameworks for each of them, with emphasis on four in particular:

  • Business Process Change: Business processes work on "things" (a Part, a Product, an Issue, etc.) which typically move through the process as data; we'll look at techniques to make the "data" perspective valuable;
  • Application Requirements: Use Cases and User Stories are well known techniques many Business Analysts struggle with; we'll look at a data model-based approach that overcomes some usual difficulties, and is especially popular in Agile settings;
  • General Business Frameworks: Frameworks such as the four quadrants of corporate culture, the impact of paradigms, the enablers of organizational change, and the strategic differentiator have all contributed, often in surprising ways, to achieving Data Management goals;
  • Facilitation: Questions that are standard practice for facilitators ("What do you mean by...?") can surface familiar data management issues of consistency and communication, particularly with senior management teams.

NOTE: We are also having our annual board elections at this chapter meeting. As a volunteer run organization, we cannot run without participation by our local data community. We welcome interest in helping run the Portland area DAMA chapter. If you are interested in a board position, please check out the position descriptions at damapdx.org and/or contact the [email protected].


  • 830-900: Sign In and refreshments
  • 900-1015: Presentation
  • 1015-1030: Break, Job and Chapter Announcements
  • 1030-1130: Presentation continued


  • Please register at damapdx.org so we order enough food
  • Costs covers refreshments and speaker travel costs.
  • Free for Members and Employees of corporate members!
  • Students with valid student ID: $5 / Non-Members: $15
  • See our corporate members list at damapdx.org

About DAMA Portland

  • The Portland Metro Chapter of the Data Administration Management Association has been serving the Portland data community since 1984.
  • We are a not-for-profit, vendor independent, professional association dedicated to advancing the concepts and practices of enterprise information and data resource management.
  • Our Mission: Deliver thought provoking data-centric presentations to make you more successful in your job.
  • Upcoming DAMA PDX Metro Event January 2017: "Advanced Data Visualization"