Ternary Data works from…a climbing gym?!

Did you know that Ternary Data works from a cafe…in a climbing gym?! It’s true. One day after a climbing session at The Front Climbing Club, we camped out in their cafe to knock out a bunch of work. One day became many, and the cafe became our de facto office.

We’re very happy with this arrangement. Instead of going to the gym after work, why not bring the gym to your work? We get to climb – and work out of – one of the world’s best climbing gyms. It’s also a nice place to bring clients, and the coffee and food are excellent.

Thanks to the Front for this write up.

Cafe or Office Space?

Ternary’s Thoughts on Digital Transformation, Data Reads, and more (11/15/2019)

Ternary’s thoughts on digital transformation, and why people matter in the process

Digital transformation is insanely hard. Especially for older companies. Yet, it can be done. And the path probably isn’t what you expect.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about how older companies can digitally transform in one piece, without destroying themselves in the process.

It’s still early days for digital transformation in big companies. Another interesting tidbit – “Big, established companies in particular have been slow to embrace digital organizational practices, a recent McKinsey & Co. study found. Only 26% of world-wide sales are made through digital channels and only 30% of internal operations have been digitally automated, according to the study.” 

This echoes what we see in the wild. Most bigger companies are in the middle of changing direction with their digital practices, and it will take many years for this transition to yield change. Again, the biggest barrier to change are the embedded habits and culture. This means CIO/CTOs in big companies need to focus as much or more on getting visible wins that will get the support of laggards within various parts of the company.

Most critically, take time to focus on the culture and the organization. Just as important – don’t mistake new tools and technology for digital transformation. We’ve seen this happen quite often – a hot technology is seen as the cure-all for a business. Several months after introduction, this once hot technology is highly unpopular, and the person who introduced it is either equally unpopular, or already working at another company. Political and organizational capital must be grown carefully and wisely invested.

The punchline – Move Slowly. Solve the biggest pain points first. Don’t try to do everything at once.

How to Transform a ‘Big, Old’ Company into an Agile Digital Business (WSJ)

Data Reads

Data Warehousing/Analytics

Looker 7: Making Data Experiences a Reality (Looker Blog)

A Simple Recipe For Analytics-Driven Operational Decisions At Scale (Forbes)

Data Pipelines

Open Sourcing Amundsen: A Data Discovery And Metadata Platform (Lyft Engineering Blog)

Machine Learning/AI

AI Doesn’t Actually Exist Yet (Scientific American Blog)

Computers Evolve a New Path Toward Human Intelligence (Quanta)

Stalled Enterprise AI Gets Unstuck from Surprising Source (Information Week)

Adopting AI in Health Care Will Be Slow and Difficult (HBR Blog)

Engineering Uncertainty Estimation in Neural Networks for Time Series Prediction at Uber (Uber Engineering Blog)

Upcoming Events

Utah Data Engineering Meetup – Snowflake Presents – The Modern Way to Share and Monetize Your Data. Wednesday 11/20 at Recursion Pharmaceuticals (downtown Salt Lake City)

RSVP here

Great Data Minds and Ternary Data present – AWS vs. GCP: Understanding the Key Differentiators. Join us on 12/10 for a live Q&A about the differences of AWS and GCP, particularly around data. Free event.

Register here

If you like this…

Setup your free 30 minute data consultation with Ternary Data. Register here.

Join the Ternary team on Great Data Minds (12/10)

Ternary Data is doing a collab event on 12/10 with Great Data Minds to discuss the differences between AWS and Google Cloud, as it relates to data.

Intended for a business minded audience, this one hour, slide-free session provides the audience with key differentiators for each platform, along with information around key areas such as capabilities, security, infrastructure, cost models and more.

RSVP here.


Another week, another list of cool data/tech articles.

Note – We’re going to be turning this into a more elaborate newsletter this month, featuring our commentary and opinions on the current state of data. Stay tuned.

  • Coding habits for data scientists (Thoughtworks)
  • Scale your Amazon Redshift clusters up and down in minutes to get the performance you need, when you need it (AWS Blog)
  • Thank you, Guido (Dropbox Blog)
  • How to orchestrate Cloud Dataprep jobs using Cloud Composer (Google Cloud Blog)


Have a spooky Halloween weekend! But before you go out to your Halloween party, do the responsible thing and read some of these data/technology articles.

  • WINNING WITH AI (MIT Sloan Review)
  • Future of Business Analytics Trends in 2020 and Beyond (SelectHub)
  • AWS Customers Rack Up Hefty Bills for Moving Data (The Information)
  • Machine learning requires a fundamentally different deployment approach (O’Reilly)
  • ‘Feel the Force’: Gut Instinct, Not Data, Is the Thing (WSJ)