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Thought Leadership

The 2017 Presentation That Inspired Action

Gareth Branwyn
AuthorGareth Branwyn

In 2017, Action Analytics’ Founder and Managing Director, Keith Helfrich, gave a presentation at the San Francisco Bay Area Tableau Users Group. Entitled Compelling Action: Telling Stories with Data, the presentation did more than inspire the attendees in the audience.

In his insightful 45-minute presentation, Keith unveiled a new vision for data analysts and the field of data visualization. He urged analysts to fully embrace their roles as authors and storytellers, emphasizing the profound impact and responsibility they hold. Keith highlighted the need for analysts to connect their work to a higher purpose, illustrating how compelling data stories have the power not only to inform, but to inspire action and drive global change.

This talk definitely inspired action in one attendee. Impressed by the talk, Sharon Resheff, who was in the audience that day, decided to join Keith on his journey to create a new kind of networked data consultancy and home for purpose-driven information workers. Sharon now serves as a member of Action’s leadership team.

Catalyst for Growth: Action Analytics’ Evolution

This SFBATUG talk became something of the starter culture from which Action has grown over the past seven years. One of the developments that demonstrates how far Keith and Action have taken their own data story is the well-received Season 2 of The Sensemaker’s Video Podcast, the regular video program on YouTube which explores practical applications and advanced concepts in Tableau. Here’s a sample episode.

Responding with Agility to Industry Changes

Another sign of where Action stands is evident in Keith’s immediate response to the Slalom layoffs in September, 2023.

From the outset, Keith envisioned every member of his team, affectionately known as Actionauts, as empowered communicators. His dream was for Actionauts to possess the skills necessary to rapidly produce professional-grade video content. This capability isn’t just for taking Action to market; it’s crucial for sharing our unique industry insights and methodologies with a global audience. Keith perfectly expressed this in the video he created and posted right after the Slalom layoffs. It was a great opportunity to reach out to new talent suddenly out of work, to share Action’s mission statement with a wider audience, and to demonstrate our ability to generate professional-level content, basically, on the fly.

See Keith’s video message to laid off Slalom workers.

Currently, Action primarily aims to communicate its benefits to fellow, highly-talented, independent-minded data workers. This is a population that is under-served in the landscape of today’s professional career market.

In the near future, Action’s message will begin to focus on communicating our benefits to customers who might want to hire our interdependent network of top-tier data professionals. We are excited about the future and the power inherent in telling compelling data stories.