Vincent Yates

Fountain of Youth or Polluted Swamp: Is your data lake revitalizing your business or eroding the foundation?

Director of Analytic Engineering at Zillow Group

@ZillowGroup

Bio

Vincent Yates is the director of Analytics Engineering for Zillow Group. His team is chartered with ensuring the trustworthiness of the all the data that powers Zillow from products like the Zestimate to marketing and sales. Vincent joined Zillow from Uber, where he was the Head of Data Science in Seattle leading half a dozen different products including: UberFamily, Scheduled Rides, Airports and Venues. He has also led teams at Microsoft and Yammer. He got his start in data science after a Ph.D. program in Statistics at U.C. Berkeley. He is passionate about education and evangelism and loves learning how new parts of a business work. In particular, he loves finding new places to get people excited about using data to change their jobs/teams/lives.

Abstract

Fountain of Youth or Polluted Swamp: Is your data lake revitalizing your business or eroding the foundation?

We’ve all been promised the shangri-la that is data lakes: more data means more insights—synergy! But has it really panned out? The trouble is that data lakes are more like the early days of the internet than they are a panacea of pristine useful information. Anyone can publish data, and even when they have the best of intentions, priorities shift, people leave and ultimately the priceless data become worthless. Those data may have been reliable when they were first published but are now wrong. Yet like many stale webpages, there is no way to tell, and the business continues to rely on those wrong data to make decisions. We at Zillow faced the same problem and decided to change it. I will describe the tools we’ve built and the tenants behind our team to help you ensure your lake rejuvenates your organization. Einstein said it best, “whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

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