Honolulu, Hawai‘i October 9-12

the rattenbury
Instructor: Tye Rattenbury, Senior Director of Data Science and Machine Learning, Salesforce

Tuesday, 9 October, 9–12:00, East-West Center
25 participants, fee: $100  


Today nearly every business and corporate executive claims to be data-driven—but what does that really mean? Typically, it doesn’t mean that the CEO is deep into the data sets, but that a basic handful of business statistics are routinely reported to the C-suite. This tutorial will unpack some key stats that get run up the flagpole to decision makers, empowering you to understand and influence how they’re created, used, and—yes—abused.

The most common digits that influence executive business decisions provide a magnitude or direction that makes people feel good about their leadership or confirms an intuition that is already steering the conversation. They may be measurements of “impact”, an aspect that differs “significantly” between two groups/conditions, or a forecasted/predicted future state. We’ll learn and practice a few different techniques for creating each of these, as well as reflect on their value and relative benefits. We’ll also ground the techniques and the statistics in the ethnographic practices of the tutorial participants. In particular, we’ll discuss how the “evidence” that you regularly collect can inform these calculations, and how they can motivate meaningful ethnographic work.

The goal of the tutorial is to give you enough hands-on familiarity and “under the hood” perspective on these statistics to engage meaningfully with the people who generate them for your organization or client, reflect critically on them, and position your own ethnographic work strategically with respect to these key metrics. Participants only need to have basic familiarity with spreadsheet tools (Excel, Google Sheets) and basic calculations like averages and standard deviations.

Prior to the tutorial, we’ll offer some recommended exercises and reading to help everyone arrive with the requisite basics.


Tye Rattenbury is a Senior Director of Data Science and Machine Learning at Salesforce, supporting the Customer Success organization. He is primarily focused on generating predictions of customer attrition, likelihoods to purchase additional products and services, and forecasts of support volume. Prior to Salesforce, Tye held various data science roles at Intel, R/GA, Facebook, and Trifacta. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a BS in Applied Mathematics from CU Boulder.

How to Register

Tutorial registration is open to all EPIC2018 attendees. You can purchase tutorial tickets during conference registration, or login to your existing registration and add a tutorial. When tutorials fill you may join the waitlist, but we recommend registering for your second-choice tutorial, since we see very few cancellations.