Interview with Prashanth H Southekal, Ph.D. – Author of Data for Business Performance
Hello everyone! Welcome again! Hope you all had a blessed and very meaningful Holy week. We have a new featured author and as always, we are excited to share this author’s interview to all of you. We won’t make this introduction long! Hope you enjoy reading and please do share this with your friends!
Today’s featured author is an experienced Digital Technologist and has worked with big companies such as P&G, SAP, General Electric and more. He has written books including our featured book, Data for Business Performance, a bestselling book in Computers and Technology category, Implementing the Stakeholder based Goal-Question-Metric (GQM) Measurement Model for Software Projects, also one of the bestseller books in Computers and Technology category and more. His books are very well known for helping programmers to code and implement data for digital transformation properly and easily. The book Data for Business Performance explains how the building blocks of transforming digital IT context for business enterprise in an easy way that even a beginner can understand.
Get to know the Author
Name: Prashanth H Southekal, PhD, author of Data for Business Performance
Background: I bring over 20 years of Digital Technology experience from companies such as SAP AG, Accenture, Deloitte, P&G, General Electric to name a few. I have managed teams and delivered digital solutions related to Digital Architecture, Cloud Computing, ERP Technologies, IT Management, and Metrics. I hold a Ph.D. in IT Management and I have published 3 books on Information Management including the most recent book- Data for Business Performance.
Favorite gadget: My Android Smartphone
Hobbies: Juggling, Cricket, and Music
1. What does your typical workday look like?
My day starts at 5.30 AM with a chai tea. I then check my emails and social media (LinkedIn, Facebook and WhatsApp) for the next 30 minutes before preparing breakfast for myself, my wife and two kids. My work typically starts at around 8 AM and the day goes by mostly on meetings and working on proposals and project issues. Every day, I make an effort to meet someone in my professional network for lunch or coffee. In this way, I am not only in touch with my network, but also aware of the latest industry trends and the situation in the job/consulting market.
My work day normally ends at around 5 PM. When I reach home, I normally spend time with my family. I also make an effort to exercise every day and this makes me happier and more productive. My favorite exercises are badminton, skipping, and hooping. I have my dinner at around 8 PM together with my family. After putting my 2 kids to sleep, I generally read books and articles pertaining to my work before going to bed at 10.30 PM.
Normally in the beginning of every year, I make a list of items I and my family need to work on. This year the projects which I have embarked on are – learning to play guitar, raise $1000 from my book sales for charity, getting the Data Science certification from John Hopkins, and helping my kids do well in their studies and extra –curricular activities. Therefore sometimes my day also includes some amount of work associated with my yearly or long-term goals.
2. What inspired you to write your book?
I wanted to leave a legacy by sharing my experience and knowledge. I also want to make an impact to the community. So 50% of the royalties I receive from the sales of this book – Data for Business Performance, I plan to give for charities and community development initiatives.
3. What, in your opinion, is the current most exciting technological advancement and why?
In my opinion, autonomous vehicles are an exciting technological advancement. Though self-driving cars may not yet be fully functional, they have the potential to reduce accidents, cut pollution, improve economies, and enhance the overall quality of life.
4. If there’s one chapter in your book people should have read, which one should it be, and why?
Many organizations worldwide find it challenging to leverage data and information i.e. analytics for business performance. In this backdrop, my book – Data for Business Performance, redefines analytics as using data for answering relevant questions. The framework I have used to leverage data for business performance is the Goal-Question-Metric (GQM) Model. Chapter 6 is about the GQM model including the pertinent tools and techniques. So if I were to pick one chapter from the book, it would be chapter 6 i.e. Leveraging GQM for Information Management.
5. As an author, which book(s) made the most impact on you?
There is no one book which I can pick. Lot of professional and self-help books have helped me in my career. Apart from books related to SAP, Cloud Computing and Data Analytics, some of the professional books I recommend include – How to Measure Anything (by Douglas Hubbard) and Getting Design Right (Peter Jackson). Also, some of my favourite self-help books are – How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci (Michael Gelb) and The Happiness Equation (Neil Pasricha)
6. What is the best thing that happened to you as an author?
When I wanted to write the book, I thought I am an “expert” in this field of deriving value from data for improving business performance. But during the 2 years of writing the book, I had interactions with many professionals and I learnt a lot not only from their knowledge and experience but also from their professionalism. I would have easily spoken to over 300 people to collect their insights and feedback about my book. It was a humbling experience. Dr. Tom Redman (Data Quality Guru), Mario Faria (VP of Gartner), Doug Laney (who coined the term Big-data), Steve Hoberman (the publisher of my book), and Lance Calleberg (who proof read my book) were very thorough in their work and I learnt a lot from them.
7. What would you like to ask the next author being interviewed?
While every author has a message or story to communicate to the world, reaching the audience or the market is not easy. Despite numerous channels and social media platforms available today, marketing the book is difficult. So if I were to meet an author, I would ask her/him on the different marketing strategies and resources she/he uses.
Mr. Prashanth H Southekal, Ph.D. gladly accepted our interview request. We know Mr. Southekal is a very busy person, but we are so lucky that he gave some of his time for us. We’ve been truly honored, as always, for interviewing a great author like him. Mr. Southekal, sir, thank you very much. Thank you for accepting our request, and for sharing your opinions and experience, your vision and mission to us. You are a great, humble, and a very kind person.
To our dear readers, thank you too for following us. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be here.