Dan Murray
Episode #2 Analytic Stories™

Dan hears it all the time, “Can’t you just make me a dashboard?”

Short answer : Yes.

Better answer : Without addressing basic questions about goals, there might be incomplete data and access issues which results in the dashboard not working.

Here are specific actions Dan recommends to improve project outcomes and client relationships.


  • Identify the customer and learn about them. Many times, you get engaged too late to understand their critical needs and what are they trying to do. (1:38)
  • Break the project into small nuggets. Creating a series of small sprints allows you to deliver something to the client and they can begin to learn – and start to see value. (2:30)
  • Always ask about the data. If the person you are engaging does not know the details, you won’t be able to efficiently utilize the data. (6:37)
  • Checklists provide consistency for projects. At the beginning of a project, a checklist serves as a mental model for your team and the client working together. (10:07)
  • Don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re not failing, you are not trying hard enough. Get through the failures and adapt. (12:40)
  • As a consultant, I’m there to help people succeed. If you know how to help people succeed, they are actually learning how to leverage their skills and help themselves long-term. (22:32)

how have you gotten over your fear of failing?

what's your story of helping someone succeed!


Dan has nearly 30 years of business experience as a CFO/ CIO/ COO/VP Planning/ VP Operations and decided to join InterWorks to provide the best possible data visualization solutions available. He strives to give clients high-value solutions that can be implemented quickly, incrementally and without significant risk.

Drawing from his extensive experience, Dan wrote the acclaimed Tableau guidebook "Tableau Your Data!" His contributions to the Tableau community have earned him the title of Tableau Zen Master.

Outside of being a business-intelligence guru, Dan’s hobbies include blogging, analyzing the federal budget and offering his opinion on solving any of the world’s major problems. He also enjoys mountain climbing, long wilderness treks and hanging out with his family. According to Dan, after all his life experiences, the most insightful question he’s ever been asked was by his daughter: “Daddy, are there any mommy long-leggers?” As you can see, Dan also benefits from a good sense of humor.

Register for upcoming webinars and replays!

  • Lee Feinberg says:

    John Black asked … (Lee submitting on behalf of John)

    Could these small sprints be run in tandem? Similar to a safe-to-fail concept from a Cynefin framework…

  • Dan Murray says:

    Hi John;

    Yes you can run multiple sprints in tandem. During the call, I was focused on the initial (proof-of-concept) stage. Once you are through the POC and have a plan for your larger rollout you can absolutely run multiple different subprojects concurrently. I haven’t used the Cynefin framework but having an end plan/goal that provides enough specifics to drive the order and cadence of the work is imperative. Many times order is driven by need and data availability. Sometimes less important deliverables can be started/finished because the data is available. We like to deliver early and consistent wins as the larger project proceeds. This builds credibility with your information consumers, confidence on your team, and enthusiasm for more deliverables – and possibly an enlarged budget for more BI deliverables.

  • >