Speaker Spotlight Column: Missy Wittmann on Logical Data Models

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edw2013-speaker-spotlightby Charles Roe

In an effort to leverage the knowledge of several of the top minds in the Data Management industry, DATAVERSITY™ has been conducting a series of interviews on some of the most relevant topics in the field today. Recently, we interviewed Missy Wittmann, an Information Modeling Engineer Specialist at American Family Insurance, and the President of the Wisconsin DAMA Chapter.

Missy will be giving a session at the Enterprise Data World 2013 Conference in San Diego, CA from April 28-May 2, 2013. The session is titled “Why Logical Data Models are Important.”

The Speaker Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Sponsor Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Missy Wittmann on her work and history within the industry, with particular importance on her presentation at the upcoming conference: 

DATAVERSITY (DV): Please tell us a little about yourself and your history in the industry e.g role at company (as opposed to job title), past experience and how you got started in the data profession)?

Missy Wittmann (MW): Currently I coordinate data modeling for the operational side of the business.  How I got started in my profession is a little unique, American Family hired me as an entry level policy processor and through the years I applied for jobs that were of interest to me and to my pleasant surprise, I was hired.  This gave me an opportunity to learn the business and reach for higher goals.  There was a project using Information Engineering and I was asked if I would participate to take notes and update the data models.  I was hooked and from that project forward, my career changed and have loved it ever since.

DV: What’s the focus of the work do you currently do within your organization?

MW: My primary focus is data modeling on the operational side.  There are opportunities for some process modeling and business analytics based on availability.

DV: What is the biggest change going on in your particular area of the industry at this time?

MW: I would have to say promoting standards and data quality with the influx of purchased packages.

DV: How does such a change affect your job?

MW: There are days where I feel sales person should be part of my job title!  There are various different mindsets with that it means when you purchase a package.  At the end of the day, the data is what is important to the business and I am regularly promoting the value of data quality and modeling business.

DV: are you going to discuss during your session at Enterprise Data World and what will the audience gain from attending your talk? (Please be specific about one or two issues you’ll be addressing, and the benefits the audience will obtain).

MW: My presentation really focuses on why logical data models are important and some of the soft skills that are valuable in achieving results.

DV: How has your job, and/or the work you’re doing at your organization, changed in the past 12 months?  How do you expect it to change in the next 1-2 years?

MW: Most recently I have presented the services we can offer to areas of the business that lack data models or documentation of processes used.  This has opened doors to learn another aspect of the company.  I am also getting more and more involved with business analytics which helps build collaboration between the operational and business intelligence people.

DV: More broadly speaking, what do you believe is the most significant change happening in Enterprise Data at this time?

MW: I feel that more and more the value of data is being recognized.  Even though there are shifts in how we capture or process the data, what that data is, where it is being used and who has access to it is moving up in priority.

DV: How is Big Data going to affect your job (in your organization) in future?

MW: Time will tell.

DV: What is something noteworthy about yourself that you would like to tell the conference attendees and our readers that they may not know?

MW: On a personal note, I was a member of a Drum and Bugle corps until I was 21.


If you are interested in attending Missy’s session at EDW2013, please see the conference schedule at:

The workshop is on Tuesday, April 30, at 3.20pm.


About Enterprise Data World:

Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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