Published: 14 September 2015
As we continue to diversify the content we provide on the exportBI blog, we have been working behind the scenes to bring you face-to-face with some of the brightest, most successful and inspiring Business Intelligence professionals and entrepreneurs who have Caribbean heritage or are based right here in the Caribbean. These features of influential and impressive Business Intelligence talents will form part of our monthly exportBI blog feature where we ask eight (8) questions to gain more insight into their career and journey as a Business Intelligence Professional. We hope you will enjoy reading their stories and they will leave you inspired and invigorated to start your Business Intelligence career or take your existing career to the next level.
Meet Mico Yuk - The Data Viz Queen
For this month's feature, we have none other than the Data Visualization queen, the energetic, beautiful and smart Mico Yuk. Originally from the tropical paradise Island of St. Croix, USVI, Ms. Yuk has carved out a niche in the BI industry with her Atlanta based BI Brainz startup, where she and her team build enterprise dashboards for global Fortune 500 companies. She developed the popular four step process coined BI Dashboard Formula that is equipped with templates and has helped BI professionals achieve BI success and strong user adoption. We are impressed, as I am sure you are too but Mico's success goes well beyond that, as she has authored the Data Visualizations For Dummies book and she is a global keynote speaker with her recent keynote at the Microsoft PASS Business Analytics Conference held in Santa Clara, April 20-22, 2015.
As fate would have it, the company I worked for at the time embarked on a Data Visualisation strategy and they wanted to build an executive dashboard with KPIs across strategic business areas. Mico was brought in to lead the challenge and not only did she train the team to build dashboards with Xcelsius but she expertly designed and coached us in the execution of a sexy dashboard that wowed senior management and executives across the company. We were sold, Mico was the real deal - The Data Viz Queen.
If you ever had the pleasure of meeting or working with Mico, there is no forgetting her smile, wit and candor as she speaks openly and honestly about BI and quite frankly any topic that you wish to throw at her. She is that type of person, well-informed, well-rounded, endearing and affable. It is then no wonder why Mico is our BI Blog Feature for this month as we managed to get a spot on her very busy calendar to answer our eight questions below.
" Focus. Focus. Focus.
Do not try to be
everything to everyone."
~ Mico Yuk
1. How did you get into the Business Intelligence field?
It’s actually quite a weird story. I started out as a Data Scientist (then known as a Senior Research Analyst) with a computer engineering degree. I then bumped into Excel, and was recruited by Ryder Logistics to build BI Xcelsius dashboards for their top customer executives (LG Electronics at the time). The initiative was a part of major Lean Six Sigma roll out they were doing for all of their biggest customers, and my role was to be the ‘visual factory’ assigned by the CIO to provide visibility to the process for the customers.
2. What is your area of expertise?
As Founder of BI Brainz, we are focused on helping enterprises take their big data and make sense of it via the use of data visualizations. We use the power of design to create experiences that customers will love. While our company is tool agnostic, a majority of our work is done in SAP BusinessObjects, Tableau, Excel and Qlickview.
3. Who are some of the companies you have worked with?
We have been blessed to work with some of the biggest companies in the world, particularly in the Fortune 500. In the last three years we have worked with Shell, Nestle, Ericsson, Qatargas, Kimberly Clark, VISA/Mastercard, Symantec, ConocoPhillips, Medtronic, Digicel, GraceKennedy and much more.
4. What is your greatest BI achievement to date?
I cannot take credit as it took the our brilliant BI Brainz marketing team to pull this off, but it has to be the launch of our new BI Brainz Analytics on fire blog and podcast. We officially moved on from our beloved EverythingXcelsius.com community (existing content will remain online).
5. What are your 5 year goals?
Our mission is to really change the BI industry, not just by focusing on critical less sexy metrics such as BI User Adoption, but also providing unique solutions to help customers continue to meet challenges of making proper use of their big data.
6. What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the BI industry in the Caribbean today?
After working with a few Caribbean based companies, what we have seen is a lack of investment in BI. Most companies use Excel and treat their IT department as a nice to have, when in fact it is a critical part of their success. To remain competitive, companies must evolve and exploit their data. (exportBI discusses this in a previous post as well)
7. What is your advice to someone wanting to get into the BI field?
Focus. Focus. Focus. Do not try to be everything to everyone. Attend one of the major BI conferences to network, gain exposure to the entire spectrum of BI and test the different software via the hands on workshops. Find what you have a knack for and work to become the very best at it. Read books, write blogs, engage online, join the relevant LinkedIn groups and most importantly seek real world experience. Also seek a mentor in the industry, someone who is where you want to be.
8. What do you do for fun when you are not working on BI projects?
Being Caribbean, I am addicted to beautiful beaches and water sports. Even if for a day, I will rent a yacht, go sit on a beach or do some jet skiing or parasailing. That resets my batteries.
Mico Yuk's Bio
Mico Yuk (@micoyuk) is an eight year veteran of using and teaching thousands globally how to harness the power of data visualization to create real business results. Mico speaks and blogs about everything business intelligence related on the Analytics on Fire community and podcast that she co-founded. She is the author of Data Visualization for Dummies (Wiley).
Mico is the founder of BI Brainz, a leader in enterprise visual solutions and the BI Dashboard Formula (BIDF) coaching series, focusing on helping enterprises embrace a more visual culture. Her company has worked with companies like Kimberly-Clark, Shell, Nestle, Qatargas, Ericsson and FedEx.
She has been mentioned on sites likes CNET, featured in SAP Insider Profies and TDWI. She is a highly sought after global keynote speaker and trainer, and was named one of the Top 50 Analytics Bloggers to follow.
She enjoys visiting the Caribbean, where she was raised. More Info: micoyuk.com.
Want more? Get Social with Mico Yuk!
LinkedIn: Mico Yuk LinkedIn
Blog: Analytics on Fire
Company Site: bibrainz.com
- Personal Site: micoyuk.com
About the author: Raquel Seville [@quelzseville] is a Business Intelligence Professional, SAP Mentor, BI Evangelist, Founder: exportBI | Co-Founder: eatoutjamaica. To find out more, please visit her about me page.