I have made a career out of turning novel ideas for data analysis into software that has real value and impact. My passion is for all things technical, but I also tend to become directly involved in leadership, process, and the articulation of value.

I am proud to have helped develop and introduce to the market the very first implementation of the now well-known and highly regarded Grammar of Graphics philosophy for data visualization. Since then, I’ve played a significant role in several leading-edge data and visualization projects, including RAVE and IBM’s SPSS Catalyst product, a precursor to Watson Analytics.

Three things have come together in resounding fashion over the last decade: an increased desire for simplicity without sacrificing data analysis flexibility; the growth of Domain Specific Languages (DSLs); and increasing popularity of open source software. So, an open source initiative that returns to the roots of what the Grammar of Graphics defined makes almost too much sense.

I’m not all about the software. One of my favorite places to visit is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s so interesting because the barrier islands are not stationary — they’re actually moving quickly enough that I’m now driving on a new road when I visit. The one I originally drove on had to be replaced after the ground literally shifted from underneath it.

That kind of necessary re-invention is imperative. If you ignore the need for change, you might soon find yourself with your head beneath the waves instead of blazing a new trail.

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