Building a New Platform: Week 4

Welcome to the next entry in my series where I’ll be chronicling the journey of building a new 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 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

Let’s dive into Week 4.

Where is my time going this week?

Making Sense of the Data

Ongoing business discovery

The more I dig in, the more challenging I find this to be compared to previous work. Im noticing a very distinct difference in service data compared to product/SaaS/Healthcare. It is still transactional but the data is much dirtier since the inputs are based on time and not process. The tables are not easy to read.

2 things working in my favor…

This week, I really dug into building some entity tables. These tables are crucial to the base understanding. Luckily, there are 2 big things working for me.

First, the company for our core platform, Viewpoint, has APIs through a service company called Trimble. Using (Ethan and team are amazingly fast), I was able to start pulling over the first 3 API groups into Snowflake. Once the raw data is there, I had to start piecing together some of the core entities.

Tip: Don’t try to do everything, pick a single entity and just get that done. Progress is the most important part at this stage. Once you do, you will see lots of momentum.

Second, Gallo has partners who have been building out Crystal Reports in Vista and they have been pretty awesome. I was able to talk to them and get the understanding of how data is built. Interestingly I found out that all the APIs align to the UI for data entry. That is making things a bit easier to figure out.


I have decided (after discussions with leadership) that I am going to focus on getting data organized for the service company (we have 3). If you can find a focus, you can work on getting the pipeline built from start to finish quicker. Don’t try to do everything, especially if you are a small team. I met with the leader over that business and we have identified a few reports they build manually and I’ll target those for automation first.

Important: Deadlines and expectations were set this week to hold myself accountable. Don’t miss this step because it will keep you laser-focused on prioritized items.

There are so many opportunities for efficiency using data.

Vendor and Software Selection Begins

For BI Tools, there are so many choices. Just because you know something, that is not a good reason to use it. The tools should be chosen based on the business and how THEY work. As I meet with people and learn the business, I am understanding the goal for the visualization tools. A few questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the analytics intelligence of the business? (more info)
  2. What tools do they currently use? Excel? Smartsheets? Other?
  3. What time do people have for reporting at each level?
  4. What is the hunger for self-service? (Note: if <25% of people in company will do it, don’t prioritize this right now)

Action Summary

  • Ingested more data via portable to the raw warehouse
  • Continued to design the core data structures that I have access to
  • Set expectations for first delivery
  • Reviewing BI and Automation platforms

Looking Ahead

As we move into Week 5, the focus is now on core entity development. I should be able to start delivering some ad-hoc exploration reports next week.

Week 1 – Laying the foundation
Week 2 & 3 – Foundation & Planning

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.