Who Am I?

Howdy y’all!** Welcome to my work blog!

Who are you?

My name is John Zekind. I’m a Business Intelligence Analyst with the Office of Institutional Research and Strategic Analytics.

That doesn’t mean anything to me–it sounds generic or overblown. What does it mean?

It means that I’m one of the guys that takes the information from various parts of Lehigh’s campus, and I help people understand it, aggregate it, and make sense of it.

Why would anyone want that?

Well, here’s the deal–people need data to survive and thrive in today’s atmosphere. There’s nothing in the world these days that doesn’t have some sort of information component–that’s the “survive” component. Without their data, people are sunk just doing day-to-day activities. The “thrive” component comes in when you use that same information, in a different way, to make what you do better.

That’s where I come in.

OK so data data information knowledge blurgh–what’s the bottom line?

I spend time making sure people have the right data at the right time for the right reasons. I spend time understanding people’s business processes, and helping them understand what the right questions are. Then I go about finding how to make the answers available to them. That way they can spend their time doing the business they were hired to do, and do it better!

Don’t people already do that, though?

Truth. I understand that completely. Most people will say they already spend time understanding their data, aggregating it, slicing and dicing it, etc. Where I come in is trying to give people their data in an automated fashion. This allows a few things to happen:

  • The information is fully vetted–i.e. when I do data things, it’s usually after fully understanding the process by which the data is created.
  • More available–people don’t have to do the same process over and over again; it’ll be ready when you want it.
  • Automated–You don’t have to waste your time doing the same thing over and over again; you can spend your time doing what you were hired to do; doing business work, instead of dealing with spreadsheets
  • Consistent–If the process is automated and vetted and available, when you look at data from yesterday, and data from today–looking for trends–you know you’re comparing applest-to-apples, instead of apples-to-marmosets or something.

OK so, after all that. What else should I know about you?

  • I’m a referee with a local roller derby league.
  • I love digital illustration.
  • I’m a pretty princess (?)
  • I’m pretty garbage at, but love playing, video games.
  • I enjoy understanding what makes people, places, things, and processes… Tick.


** I come from St. Louis, the nexus of all United States Cultural Phenomena. I use weird east-coast words, some weird west-coast words, and some southern and ultra-midwestern words escape from me at times too. I’m an amalgamation of nonsense!

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