Shining A Light on Shadow IT In Data And Analytics


February 24th, 2020

46 mins 8 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


Misaligned priorities across business units can lead to tensions that drive members of the organization to build data and analytics projects without the guidance or support of engineering or IT staff. The availability of cloud platforms and managed services makes this a viable option, but can lead to downstream challenges. In this episode Sean Knapp and Charlie Crocker share their experiences of working in and with companies that have dealt with shadow IT projects and the importance of enabling and empowering the use and exploration of data and analytics. If you have ever been frustrated by seemingly draconian policies or struggled to align everyone on your supported platform, then this episode will help you gain some perspective and set you on a path to productive collaboration.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Sean Knapp, Charlie Crocker about shadow IT in data and analytics


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by sharing your definition of shadow IT?
  • What are some of the reasons that members of an organization might start building their own solutions outside of what is supported by the engineering teams?
    • What are some of the roles in an organization that you have seen involved in these shadow IT projects?
  • What kinds of tools or platforms are well suited for being provisioned and managed without involvement from the platform team?
    • What are some of the pitfalls that these solutions present as a result of their initial ease of use?
  • What are the benefits to the organization of individuals or teams building and managing their own solutions?
  • What are some of the risks associated with these implementations of data collection, storage, management, or analysis that have no oversight from the teams typically tasked with managing those systems?
    • What are some of the ways that compliance or data quality issues can arise from these projects?
  • Once a project has been started outside of the approved channels it can quickly take on a life of its own. What are some of the ways you have identified the presence of "unauthorized" data projects?
    • Once you have identified the existence of such a project how can you revise their implementation to integrate them with the "approved" platform that the organization supports?
  • What are some strategies for removing the friction in the collection, access, or availability of data in an organization that can eliminate the need for shadow IT implementations?
  • What are some of the inherent complexities in data management which you would like to see resolved in order to reduce the tensions that lead to these bespoke solutions?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?


The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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