the short version
I’m Q Ethan McCallum. I’m interested in helping businesses to succeed and improve. I’m also interested in technology and data. Some publications sport my name on the cover — most recently, a book on using R and Hadoop together and another on dealing with data problems — and, once in a while, I speak to groups about how to use data and technology to improve their business.
This site hosts links to my publications, custom tools, and the occasional bit of news.
I offer private consulting services and training in addition to my public projects, speaking engagements, and publications.
The notion of “consulting” means that I help companies to identify, explore, and solve problems. Those problems often involve technology, with an end-goal to improve the business in terms of reduced cost, reduced risk, and smarter decisions.
Some people start with a technology and apply that to a problem. I prefer the other direction: to explore and understand a problem, establish goals, and devise a solution (which may not even involve technology).
I’m not beholden to any vendor, which means I don’t have any hidden obligations to sell you third-party software licenses or refer you to particular companies. My focus is on helping you improve your business.
where I fit
People often ask me what I do, but are perplexed when I give a very broad picture instead of a list of technologies. I have a range of experience and interests. There are many places I can fit in an organization, and many ways I can help. For example:
- collect and analyze raw data to yield actionable information and profit
- (re)set your firm’s technical direction: serve as a shadow CDO (Chief Data Officer) to help you build an internal data practice
- identify revenue streams in data collections: turning raw data into actionable information and profit
- understand when/why/whether to build a custom technology solution
- assessment and adoption of open-source tools (especially to replace home-grown or commercial implementations)
- assessment of the operational risk/financial impact of technology infrastructure (especially the “cloud vs local” debate)
The unifying theme is, helping the business understand and improve its position. I understand business, technology, and data. If you’re involved in any of those, we should talk
I am not married to any particular tool or technology, though I acknowledge that certain topics get a lot of attention (especially my work blending Hadoop and R). That said, my focus is on designing and developing solutions.