Building a New Data Platform: Week 9

Welcome to the next entry in my series where I’ll be chronicling the journey of building a new data platform, week by week. This project is not just about the technical aspects of platform development but also about the business insights, stakeholder interactions, and the tools that make it all possible. I invite you to my world to come along for the ride.

I recently joined Gallo Mechanical as their VP of Analytics. Gallo is a national leader in the construction services industry and from day one of speaking to them, I knew this was a place I wanted to be. The success of Gallo is a testament to the strength and focus of its leadership, family and employees. Im excited to help bring a data and analytics mindset and apply it to the day to day and strategic operations of the business.

In case you missed it, here are the previous weeks:
Week 1 – Laying the foundation
Week 2 & 3 – Foundation & Planning
Week 4 – Data Modeling
Week 5 – More Modeling
Week 6- 8 – More Modeling

Let’s dive into Week 9.

Where is my time going these last few weeks?

Implementation of BI, Data Modeling

Business Intelligence (ThoughtSpot)

Things are moving fast. Once the selection was made, I dug my heels in and continued to model the views needed to showcase the valuable data we have. Im inspired by our people and amazed at how much they have accomplished without the ability to view the data in the ways I can provide.

This week has been so informative. As I met with people, I learned many of the nuances that come with the processes here. Those are critical to understand so I can build models that accurately represent the outcomes here at Gallo. It is very similar to what I did for Shiftkey at the beginning. Having that experience of doing this 3 times now, really reduces the stress. I know where this is going, so I make the decisions to get there. You can’t really teach that.

Adding data structures to Thoughtspot has been super intuitive and easy. Once you learn the way it works, you can set things up pretty quickly. Added the connection and you can see that I am only bringing in the modeled views. You can quickly create aliases too.

A bunch of my time has been spent creating the descriptions for each column and making sure they are correctly set (data types, column types, etc). Also adding synonyms for the user experience. It’s a big change from Looker but I think it’s perfect for us here at Gallo.


The service part of our business is my primary focus. In any service company, cash flow is critical so I want to zero in on efficiency and scalable opportunities. Im also working on the models for the other parts of the business too but service dashboards are first along with some high level corporate views.

Where we are…

Core Platform: Snowflake
Aggregation: (short term until summer)
BI: Thoughtspot
Data Observability / Monitoring: TBD

Action Summary

  • Building the business models.
  • Reworked core aggregation tables
  • Built views to be leveraged in Thoughspot
  • Review with leadership (they were pretty happy)

Looking Ahead

Contracts are done, now it’s heads down. I’ll be at a construction innovation conference next week so work will be limited to 2 days. More modeling and dashboards. Looking to launch the new BI in a limited audience on Feb 1 (meeting expectations!)

Join me next week as we delve deeper into the intricacies of platform development and witness how a concept gradually transforms into a tangible, functioning entity. Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome, so feel free to email me your comments.