Entrepreneur and seasoned data analyst Ruben Ugarte isn’t interested in holding back punches. His new book, the simple but effectively titled The Data Mirage: Why Companies Fail to Actually Use Their Data, eschews any and all other approaches to companies and corporations’ attempts at supreme, seamless analysis for the years to come. He has an uncommonly direct house style, something that feels modern in terms of being completely and utterly irreverent to referential diplomacy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://rubenugarte.com/data-mirage/
Ugarte isn’t afraid to simply call a ball a ball and a strike a strike, using extreme analogies to keep otherwise dry and somewhat career-exclusive advice on broad concepts intriguing and amusing to the reader. He’s convinced he has the universal, objective answer, and that confidence is enthralling to say the least. Coupled with his simple, purposefully ineloquent articulations. Through this approach, however, Ugarte highlights an array of fascinating ideas and hypotheticals that said house style enables the reader to fully internalize and digest. Using his own prose approach, everything feels like a magnification of obscure ruminations and elaborations, translated to something discernible even to someone with a burlap sack over their head.
A particular example of Ugarte’s savviness with this lies in how he articulates concepts in the book’s fifth chapter, flippantly titled Creating Reports That People Actually Understand. He cites a childhood favorite of his, the Steven Spielberg-helmed Minority Report, as an analogical model for how people can have false expectations about maintaining successful data analysis. He highlights Tom Cruise’s usage of the fictitious ‘crime prediction machine’ as the epitome of said expectations. “This is how I think some companies believe their reports should be,” he writes. “…While I admit that this will be incredibly cool and would fulfill a childhood dream, I don’t believe this is very practical. Humans have an amazing capacity to consume data but not the kind that we are discussing in this book.
For people to actually use data reports, they need to be designed in a certain format while following fundamental principles.” It’s fun zingers like these appealing to the right-brain aspects of our psyche whether viscerally or pseudo-intellectually making the book feel fresh, and like something adequate for anyone with a head for business feel empowered by what it preaches. This is also helped by the systematic breaking down of the concepts Ugarte introduces in a ten-chapter model complete with sub-categorical tangents.
All in all, Ugarte is worth listening to and the book worth reading. The pace is good, it’s not too long, and within its 135 page count is packed to the brim with effectively translated technical obscurities that could literally make or break you from within on your first day. Needless to say, reading this book is a must.