At WhereScape, our people are at the heart of our success. WSQ would like to profile three members of our great team, starting this month with New Zealand Head of Sales, Matt Bartley; Wellington Consulting Manager, Chris LaGrange; and Senior Solutions Architect, Martin Norgrove.
Matt Bartley – Head of Sales, New Zealand
Matt Bartley drives the sales engine for WhereScape and is responsible for all client-facing sales activities in New Zealand. WhereScape have built a loyal and devoted customer base over the years, and as a result Matt thrives on the interaction this role provides in dealing with such a wide variety and diversity of clients.
Matt began his professional career as a Marine Biologist, however after moving to London in the mid nineties he discovered that his interests lay in the tech-world. As a result, Matt made the highly logical decision to move into the technology sector, and over the past 20 years has held a variety of client facing roles with a number of international and local technology companies, including CSC, Lexel and IBM.
Four Questions for Matt:
1. How do you stay at the forefront of the BI/DW industry? I’m a big fan of information and possibly border on ‘internet dependency’ (it’s a recognized condition) for feeding this thirst for information. I’m an avid reader and subscribe to a large number of Information Management feeds. The thought leadership and analysis around trying to predict where different types of technology may lead us in the future fascinates me, for example BI/DW’s role and evolution in the rise of the phenomena of Big Data.
2. How do you handle unforeseen issues and problems? I tend towards having a fairly relaxed and easy-going personality so will often display these characteristics in dealing with unforeseen issues and problems. However I may be far from relaxed on the inside! Sense of perspective is often the key here.
3. So, you like cycling? Yes, I have a penchant for sitting around cafés in Lycra drinking extra strong coffee. However this does generally follow some sort of regular early morning training ride with like-minded Lycra clad cyclists. I love road cycling in particular, and as a result July is typically a very sleep deprived month for me whilst I spend late nights avidly viewing live stages of the Tour de France!
4. If you were a superhero what power would you have? That superhero would have to be Danger Mouse. I’m not even sure DM had any special powers but hands down was the coolest superhero to have ever walked this earth. Furthermore, he also boasted one of the greatest all time TV show theme songs.
Four Quick Facts About Matt
1. Surfing is my meditation – tried Yoga but it doesn’t even come close to surfing.
2. I have played guitar for over 20 years therefore should be so much better than I actually am.
3. I was educated in Sweden and speak fluent Swedish.
4. I recently got married – it took me 41 years to find the girl of my dreams.
Chris La Grange – Consulting Manager, Wellington
Chris La Grange has built his career developing and managing Data Warehouses for some of New Zealand's most well known companies. Heading up the WhereScape consulting team in Wellington, Chris works to help our customers achieve their full information management potential and is central to WhereScape’s national growth strategy.
Beginning his career serving on US Navy Nuclear Submarines, Chris returned to New Zealand to study computer science at Victoria University. He began his own web development company in the nineties, back when he still had to explain to people what the web was. Eventually he fell in love with all things DW, and has since built and managed Data Warehouses for organisations including Fonterra, Telecom/Spark, and Kiwibank.
WhereScape already boasts a number of innovative and dynamic customers in Wellington, and Chris is excited to be able to help them leverage their information to the fullest, whilst continue to grow the WhereScape DW customer community. He believes that with great information, people can achieve great things.
Four Questions for Chris
1. How do you stay at the forefront of the EDW/DM/BI industry? I'm an information junkie so I get a lot of my information from social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter, and more than my share of RSS feeds. I'm also a regular speaker at BI and Big Data events, which means I'm always conducting deep research for my next presentation, and get to hear many other experts speak at each event.
2. How do you handle unforeseen issues and problems? I'm a big believer in the principle that big problems are the accumulation of small problems, so I focus on breaking things down, getting everyone communicating, and addressing things step by step. I'm also known for becoming more calm as things get more hectic - the benefits of my military background.
3. What do you like to do outside of data? My last boss once said he thought he was the biggest geek he knew, until he met me. I cycle commute for exercise, but I'm really addicted to pop culture and sci-fi. I'm a gamer (console, PC and tabletop) and read voraciously. The thing that I love most however is spending time with my daughters, which has meant developing an appreciation for fairies, mermaids and dragons.
4. If you were a superhero what power would you have and why? Many people don't think of it as a super power, but I'd have to say Sherlock Holmes' power of deductive reasoning. The idea of a mind that powerful is thrilling.
Four Quick Facts About Chris
1. Coffee lover - I have been known to enjoy a good single malt, but my first passion is coffee - one of the reasons I love Wellington so much!
2. King of the clutch - I've driven a manual car my whole life. I like total control.
3. Vocal man - I was a bass in my junior high chorus.
4. King of the hill – according to my cycling app I’ve ridden the Houghton bay to Mt Albert track (which includes a 175 metre climb) more than anyone in the Wellington region.
Martin Norgrove – Senior Solutions Architect
With a BSc in Physical & Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Auckland, Martin initially started work-life as a lab technician & logistics specialist for Carter Holt Harvey. After his OE Martin became interested in IT working for IBM in the UK, working with databases and crystal reports. At IBM, he discovered he had a knack for understanding data and decided this was the career for him. On returning to Auckland in 2002, Martin started working for the then Auckland City Council, becoming involved in a major IT upgrade of the council Land Information System. This was his introduction to writing complex SQL and the foundation for his interest in building DW/BI systems, being involved in large and complex projects, and particularly enjoying the dynamic environment of projects and the pressure of delivery deadlines.
Martin’s first experience of WhereScape RED was at the then North Shore City Council where he was an Analyst, and he’s never looked back. Martin says he hates repetitive mundane tasks and got the DW automation angle straight away. In fact, he couldn’t imagine building data warehouses with any other tool! At North Shore City Council he was responsible for building the DW, the report solution on top of it, integrating it with the council intranet, and also developing the BI Strategy for the council. After a period working as BI consultant, firstly at Gen-i where Martin was involved numerous BI projects at then Telecom, WaterCare, Z Energy and Super Liquor, he decided to make the move to join the WhereScape team. At WhereScape, Martin has been able to leverage his skills and knowledge from his previous roles to the full, working on a number of exciting customer engagements including ASB, Auckland Council, Auckland Motorway Alliance and most recently, Lotto NZ.
As Senior Solution Architect, Martin’s involvement advising in architectural matters across the organization, plus his role in technical presales, fulfills his passion for the design, architecture and strategy side of BI.
Four Questions for Martin
1. What do you love about working at WhereScape? I love at WhereScape how we always have our customer’s needs foremost in our minds. Our mantra is to deliver value for the customer now, not in 3-6 months but by the end of the week. That’s very powerful.
2. How do you handle difficult situations with your projects? I find customers want two things from you as a consultant; honesty, and a plan forward. If I have a problem I always discuss it with my customer, but I always have a plan to address the problem.
3. What are your thoughts on the future of BI? I think the future is very bright. BI has been on Gartner’s top 10 list for CIO’s for many years and it’s only getting more critical. We are constantly going through change, but it’s an evolution not a revolution, as some would have us believe. I think the future is very bright both for people getting into the industry right now and for those hacks like me who’ve been around awhile. One thing is for sure; we need many more data people than we have now.
4. So you like cricket? Who is the greatest fast bowler of all-time? Easy. Richard Hadlee. He’s a Kiwi Legend.
Four Quick Facts About Martin
1. Critical thinker - I’m usually able to quickly understand the core concepts of most business problems.
2. I love Test Cricket - I would watch it all day if my wife would let me!
3. Family man - My wife and two boys mean a great deal to me, along with our Labrador puppy Sinda
4. I’m a bit cheeky and love a good windup!