My name is Laurie Voss. I do great things with data and I'm looking for my next role. This deck is about why you might want to talk to me.

If you're reading this it's probably because I sent you the link, so you already know who I am. If not, you can read my resume.

What is this?

Defining the problem and the solution.

  1. Data management challenges
  2. Business case for investing in data
  3. How I can help

Companies are drowning in data

The problem has evolved:

  • 15 years ago: how do we store all this data
  • 10 years ago: how do we process it all
  • 5 years ago: how do we query and visualize
  • Still the problem: what does this mean we should do?

Part 1: Defining the problem

Stages of data management

  1. Collect the data
  2. Query the data
  3. Display the data
  4. Choose the right questions
  5. Turn the answers into strategy

1: Collect the data

  • Define fields, formats, granularity
  • Instrument your code
  • Implement/buy data warehouse
  • Address compliance and privacy
  • Monitor data flows and quality


Labor-intensive but uncomplicated. Usually already solved.

2: Query the data

  • Clean, normalize, enrich data
  • Correlate events across systems
  • Aggregate or down-sample data sets
  • Implement access controls
  • Enable ad-hoc exploration


Usually partially solved, often some systems or data excluded.

3: Display the data

  • Define product-specific metrics
  • Identify internal consumers of data
  • Provide dashboards
  • Automate frequent reports
  • Feed into third-party tools


Often poorly solved. Labor-intensive reporting, long lead times, misleading approximations, long wish lists.

4: Choose the

right questions

  • Be aware of existing and potential sources of internal and external data
  • Selectively explore potential patterns, seek out "unknown unknowns"
  • Improve data collection in response to directions of inquiry
  • Prioritize questions based on internal needs and company strategy


Frequently reactive, "nobody's job".

5: Turn answers

into strategy

  • Internalize company strategy
  • Pro-actively find emerging patterns
  • Provide tactical help to all departments
  • Identify new opportunities, challenges
  • Inform strategic decisions with data
  • A narrative, not a dashboard
  • A recommendation, not a report


The promise of data, seldom achieved.

Why invest

in a data team?

Part 2: business case for data management

Output from a full-time data team feeds into every part of a company:

  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Product & Design
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Support
  • Engineering


Value of data for

  • Locate new markets
  • Understand customer base
  • Inform pricing decisions
  • Support fund raising
  • Identify upcoming challenges


Value of data for

  • Accurate data
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Improved forecasting
  • Automated reporting

Product & Design

Value of data for

  • Find UX pain points
  • Run A/B tests
  • Identify new use cases
  • Design for real users, not hypothetical personas
  • Suggest workflow optimizations

Sales & Marketing

Value of data for

  • Identify and segment customers
  • Inform messaging and positioning
  • Find up-sell and opportunities
  • Minimize churn
  • Cohort analysis


Value of data for

  • Provide context and customer history
  • Inform documentation priorities
  • Quantitatively prioritize bug fixes
  • Identify "problem" customers


Value of data for

  • Go beyond reactive monitoring
  • Forecast scaling needs
  • Predict "hot spots" before failure
  • Identify silent failures

A data team

is not a cost center

Ad-hoc, inaccurate, or partial reporting can be expensive. A data team pays for itself.

My skill set

Part 3: Where I come in

A lifetime* of working at the intersection of technology and strategy has given me the experience to sift through data and distill insights that can inform your actions and improve your company.


I take piles of data and transform them into persuasive arguments. (You're reading one right now.)

* You can read my resume

San Franciso

Street History


A simple web app that constructs a narrative history of San Francisco by zipping you around on a Google Map tour of the city. I got over 136,000 people to read a 50-slide deck about urban history by making it fun. I also wrote the app itself, and you can try it out.

Stuff Everybody Knows


A presentation for junior web developers that boils down my 22 years of career experience into 2 hours. 2 hours is an absurdly long technical talk, but it's compelling enough that I've been invited to give it over 30 times. You can see slides from a recent presentation.

Share of Registry


I created a novel metric to visualize true popularity of frameworks in the ever-growing npm ecosystem. It has since been used by major corporations and browser manufacturers to inform and direct strategy for the web industry. You can read the article that introduced the metric.

npm Ecosystem Survey


I designed, ran, and analyzed the data from the npm Ecosystem Survey in 2018 and 2019, turning it into a series of well-received talks and analyses, revealing previously invisible trends in JavaScript development. You can read the 2019 survey results.

JSConf EU 2019


The culmination of years of research into trends in npm's registry data, my opening keynote at JSConf EU took multiple sources of data, gave developers context of the state of JavaScript in the world, and made recommendations about where we as an industry should go. You can see the video.

What I will do

Take your organization from stage 1 to stage 5 by recruiting and running your data team.

  • Improve data collection and querying
  • Implement useful visualization
  • Automate processing and reporting
  • Embed into your strategic team
  • Increase efficiency across all teams
  • Supply recommendations, not data

Who you are

  • Established, growing team (50+ people)
    • Or growing team within larger corp.
  • Found product-market fit, looking to increase efficiency across the board
  • A product that grows the web: publishing, development and design tools, hosting and deployment services
  • Diverse team in an ethical company
  • Located in SF Bay Area or remote-friendly

Thanks for reading

If you'd like to get in touch:

Email: laurie.voss@seldo.com

Twitter: @seldo

You can also read my resume.

The Job Pitch

By seldo

The Job Pitch

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