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Ask the right questions to get your data insights projects back on track
Learn about the thinking behind endjin's Power BI Maturity assessment by applying Wardley Doctrine, and asking more questions.
SQLbits 2023 - The Best Bits
This is a summary of the sessions I attended at SQLbits 2023 in Newport Wales, which is Europe's largest expert led data conference.
Putting total cost of ownership (TCO) into action
Total cost of ownership can be used a various stages in the lifecycle of a digital asset to support data driven decisions.
How to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO)
There is a broad spectrum of costs that a digital asset will accrue over its lifetime, which will typically span many years.
What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and why is it important?
Understanding the total cost of ownership is key to making informed decisions about technology investments.
A simple toolkit for IT budgeting and planning
We describe how to create a high level view of your digital assets, where everything is measured equally and actionable insights can be generated that allow you to optimise your budget and build a roadmap focused on business value.
SQLbits 2022 - The Best Bits
This is a summary of the sessions I attended at SQLbits 2022 in London, which is Europe's largest expert led data conference.
A visual approach to demand management and prioritisation
Spending more time planning then doing? Struggling to get stakeholders engaged in making tough decisions about prioritisation? This simple, light touch approach to visual prioritisation could help.
How to Monetize APIs with Azure API Management
Monetizing your APIs is a complex challenge; creating your business, revenue, & pricing model, then translating into a technical implementation requires significant investment. Working with the Azure API Management team we provide guidance, videos and code to help accelerate your journey.
Digital Asset Register
We describe how to create a high level view of your digital assets, where everything is measured equally and actionable insights can be generated.
How to enable intra-business communication using user stories, BDD specs and a ubiquitous language
Many companies struggle to bridge a communication gap between their business stakeholders, and the technical team. At endjin we employ a few different techniques in order to help our customers overcome this challenge. These include (but aren't limited to) user stories, BDD specs, and a ubiquitous language. This blog focuses on user stories, and how these can be used to enable business-wide communication or requirements.
Data is the new soil
Thinking of data as the new soil is useful in highlighting the key elements that enable a successful data and analytics initiative.
Do robots dream of counting sheep?
Some of my thoughts inspired whilst helping out on the farm over the weekend. What is the future of work given the increasing presence of machines in our day to day lives? In which situations can AI deliver greatest value? How can we ease the stress of digital transformation on people who are impacted by it?
Learning from Covid-19
Summary of key themes from the Doing Data Together conference hosted virtually by The Scotsman newspaper and Edinburgh University in November 2020. The conference agenda was pivoted to focus on the use of data to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. It provided a fascinating insight into the lessons learned.
How to use SQL Notebooks to access Azure Synapse SQL Pools & SQL on demand
Wishing Azure Synapse Analytics had support for SQL notebooks? Fear not, it's easy to take advantage rich interactive notebooks for SQL Pools and SQL on Demand.
Azure Synapse Analytics: How serverless is replacing the data warehouse
Serverless data architectures enable leaner data insights and operations. How do you reap the rewards while avoiding the potential pitfalls?
Benchmarking Azure Synapse Analytics - SQL Serverless, using Polyglot Notebooks
There is a new service in town that promises to transform the way you query the contents of your data lake. Azure Synapse Analytics comes with a new offering called SQL Serverless allowing you to query your data on-demand with no need for pre-provisioned resources.When we heard about the new service we were keen to get involved, so for the last 10 months we've been working with the SQL Serverless product group to provide feedback on the service and to help ensure it meets our customers needs. During this time we've put it through it's paces by implementing a range of real-world use cases. We were particularly interested to see how it stacked up as a replacement for Data Lake Analytics, where to date there has been no clear and easy migration path.
Does Azure Synapse Analytics spell the end for Azure Databricks?
Have you or are you about to invest in Azure Databricks? If so, the new Spark offering in Azure Synapse Analytics is likely to have grabbed your attention and rightly so. Why is Microsoft putting yet another Spark offering on the table and what does it mean for you?
5 Reasons why Azure Synapse Analytics should be on your roadmap
For years we have been building modern cloud data solutions on Azure and helping our customers transform their use of data to drive outcomes. Here are 5 reasons why Azure Synapse Analytics might just be the service that we have been crying out for.
Wardley Maps - Explaining how OceanMind use Microsoft Azure & AI to combat Illegal Fishing
Wardley Maps are a fantastic tool to help provide situational awareness, in order to help you make better decisions. We use Wardley Maps to help our customers think about the various benefits and trade-offs that can be made when migrating to the Cloud. In this blog post, Jess Panni demonstrates how we used Wardley Maps to plan the migration of OceanMind to Microsoft Azure, and how the maps highlighted where the core value of their platform was, and how PaaS and Serverless services offered the most value for money for the organisation.
Office 365 Wardley Mapping Templates
We use Wardley Mapping as a technique to give us situational awareness in our technical decision making process. We're sharing our Office 365 Templates for PowerPoint and Visio, so that you can make use of them too.
An experimental approach to software development
The application of scientific experimental process to software development leads to the development of fully-validated solutions. This approach provides you with confidence in designs and means that you can quickly identify ideas which are not worth pursuing. At endjin we use the ideas of hypotheses and experimentation when designing any solution and this gives us full confidence in the designs we produce. In this post we outline the steps and advantages of using this approach.
Help for the new CTO: Getting to know your team
As part of my series on guidance for CTOs, I discuss using the Office of the CTO (OCTO) approach to management, its strengths and limitations.
Help for the new CTO: Transparent salaries and the gender pay gap
Salaries. What a nightmare! Hardly anyone likes talking about money. Technical people don't like talking about money. Even a lot of sales people don't like talking about money. When a CTO comes into an organization (even a brand new start-up) one of the first things you need to sort out is the salary quagmire. In this article we look at the strategies and pitfalls of introducing open, capability-based pay levels for a product development team.
Help for the new CTO: IR35 and hiring developers
It has been a staple of IT projects to make liberal use of short-term contract staff. Upcoming changes in IR35 for medium to larger employers is seriously disrupting the IT recruitment market, and you should understand the impact bt
NDC London - A dive into responsible and inclusive technology
NDC London day 1 was mainly focused around the responsibility we all face when developing new technology. As developers we cannot absolve ourselves of the consequences of not considering diversity and inclusivity when designing our solutions.
A beginner's guide to agile estimation and planning
In this post Carmel runs through some of the main principles behind agile estimation and planning. At endjin we use a lot of these techniques in our projects and this is a great post which highlights the reasons behind some of what we do. The key motivation behind good estimation is to be useful for project planning. There is a huge amount of inherent uncertainty surrounding estimates, especially early in the project. So, we shift our aim from 100% precise, or "true", estimates, and towards providing estimates which are useful and accurate. Carmel also runs through the steps in an agile delivery and release process. Definitely worth the read if you have an interest in agile and/or project management!
Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" is the prequel to Satya Nadella's "Hit Refresh"
Having read Simon Sinek's 'Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action' back to back with Satya Nadella's 'Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone' I realised there was a lot of synergy between the two books.
10 ways working with Microsoft helped endjin grow since 2010
Microsoft recently shot a video interviewing endjin co-founder, Howard van Rooijen, and Director of Engineering, James Broome, about how Microsoft has helped endjin grow over the past decade. This posts the top 10 ways in which Microsoft helped - from providing access to valuable software and services, to opening up sales channels, to helping to navigate the minefield of UK Financial Services regulations around cloud adoption.
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Networking
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Mobile Services
All Bootcamped Out: the 5-day workshop survival guide
We've been running workshops and training sessions for a long time now, and one thing we've learned from that is that PEOPLE DO WORKSHOPS WRONG. From MBA classes, to design sessions, there seems to be a common problem: burn-out. We give you a survival guide for multi-day bootcamps and workshops, to get the most out of them, and take care of yourself in the process.
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Internet of Things
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Analytics & Big Data
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Database
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Storage & Content Delivery
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform - Compute
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform
What makes a successful FinTech start-up?
In this post we discuss the characteristics of a great FinTech startup, and the importance of the API Economy to innovation in Financial Services.
Why is blockchain revolutionising Financial Services?
There is a lot of hype about the blockchain - usually wrapped up with talk about Bitcoin and crypto-currencies. In this article, we look at its impact on trust, and auditability in financial services, and why it may (or may not) be appropriate for your solutions.
Regulatory Compliance and Cloud Adoption
In this post we review the FCA's guidelines for the adoption of cloud services by FinTech businesses, and help you to understand their impact across the value chain.
FinTech Week and the Microsoft Cloud
To celebrate FinTech Week, we've released an eBook based our our talk about Disruption in Financial Services at Future Decoded.
Chaos with a rhythm - controlling innovation
Running a start-up or bootstrapping a new product within an established business can feel pretty chaotic. We talk about strategies for managing the time of a team, and ensuring that you become predictable.
Stop coding, start developing your product
Technologists often get hung up on technology and forget about the customer (and the business!) We talk about a real-world example and some practical advice for getting your idea business-focused.
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 10, Organizational Structures
In the early days of a start up, the organizational structure is defined rather loosely, and typically by function. The technical founder has her domain, the sales & marketing founder his, and they work closely together to achieve their initial goals. As an organization grows, it is not possible to maintain that level of detailed personal control. How does a growing business structure itself for innovation? Or a larger organization pivot and allow an innovation culture to develop?
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 9, Iteration
We've put our MVP out into the market, and we can start refining the information we have about our product, its fit to the market, and the real drivers and buying behaviours of our clients. How do we iteratively improve the offering, and deliver more value?
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 8, Validation
In this article, we look at how we're going to tidy up our assumptions list, conduct some more low-cost experiments to satisfy ourselves we know exactly what we're getting into, then take the leap and build something that satisfies some core part of the value proposition, and persuade some customers to buy it.
10 ways to get hired by an amazing start up
Do you really want to be a founder? Or do you want to get some start-up experience on the inside, but at lower risk. We look at what it means to be involved in start-up and how to get hired as employee #1 (or #2, or #3)
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 7, Business model design
Business model design is all about sharing the value from the product. How do we ensure all the stakeholders get what they need out of it?
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 6, Follow on markets
Although you do not want to lose focus on the beachhead market, it is always good to consider the TAM for follow-on markets. If we do this thing, where might we take it next?
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 5, Getting to paying customers
Ultimately (however long you can put it off for by taking investment), you don't have a business if people aren't paying you more money than it costs to develop, acquire the customer, deliver it to them, and support them for their whole lifetime with the product. We look at how you can get to paying customers.
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 4, Competitive Positioning
What does "competitive positioning" actually mean? Are your competitors all solving the same problems as you, or are they the people competing for the same kind of attention, or pool of resources? We take a look at the challenges of "competition".
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development – Part 3, Understanding the Beachhead Market
Having got a very rough sketch of our product and its fit to the beachhead market, we now want to focus right in on that market, and better understand the size of the market, the customers, and our proposition to them. In this article we are going to explore techniques we can use to define our value proposition for the beachhead market.
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development - Part 2, Inception
The article is all about the very start of new product development: determining whether there is a market, and how the offering will fit that market's needs. We're trying to get a very quick, but comprehensive sketch of the whole product, and the market it is intended to address.
Hedy, Not Peck
Evolving a proposition or product by increasing the fidelity is a better approach than incrementing feature by feature.
Step-by-step guide to bootstrapping your new product development - Part 1, Principles
This is the start of a series on bootstrapping your new product development. We explore principles and tools that can be used in any environment, through the whole product lifecycle from inception to end-of-life.
A step-by-step guide to technology startups, valuation and the VC market
In this article we look at how technology startups are valued, how investors calculate their return, how you can position your business in that landscape, and whether you should!
Evidence-based Decision Making: Adding validation to your value chain
Start using evidence-based decision making to add some rigour to decision making process.
It's more than just merchandise: Developing a visual language
Laying the foundations to build a brand doesn't happen overnight. At endjin it taken many years to develop our brand look and tone of voice. In this post we talk about developing our visual language so that we can maintain a consistent look and feel across all our collateral.
Metrics & Reporting in Strategy Development
Having a strategy is one thing, being able to measure your progress towards implementing is, and its impact is another.
Phased Thinking: Tactics for strategy
Thinking strategically is incredibly difficult, especially if all your cognitive bandwidth is absorbed by business as ususal operational activities.
Live by the sword: A practical approach to our own digital strategy
7 years ago, feels like a lifetime - for you eldest it is - but this was when endjin took the first steps in refreshing our website promoting our cloud expertise and mobile first responsive design. In this post we talk about our strategic, creative, prototyping and production processes to deliver our website and enforce our brand.
Thinking About Strategy & Tactics: Some Practical Tips
Thinking strategically is difficult, especially if all your bandwidth is consumed by operational needs. Here are our top 5 tips for thinking strategically.