Benn Stancil
An at-least-weekly-but-probably-more Substack on data, with data, plus some stuff on technology, culture, sports, and politics.
Created 15 Dec 2019
  • The more the merrier
    31 Dec 2021 • 12 min read • 10 4
    I should start off by saying that I have no idea what I’m doing. My formal writing education started and stopped with the five-paragraph essay, a sentence-by-sentence recipe taught to North Carolina p...
  • Fwd: Exec KPIs - Daily
    17 Dec 2021 • 8 min read • 6 2
    The dashboard worked, but it didn’t work. Somewhere, in the twisted labyrinth of its aging diesel engine, my friend’s forty-year-old Land Cruiser sprung a leak. The jeep would irregularly lose oil, so...
  • Delirium
    10 Dec 2021 • 6 min read • 9 0
    It took a marching band to wake us up. The last job I had before moving to Silicon Valley was at a think tank in Washington, D.C. In that job, I wore Jos.A.Bank BOGO khakis, my office was a windowless...
  • Data is for dashboards
    03 Dec 2021 • 8 min read • 4 2
    The perfect crime. The county I grew up in is known for three things: Fred Durst, serving as the inspiration for Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,1 and being the home of several people who ...
  • Lies, damned lies, and coffee cake
    26 Nov 2021 • 3 min read • 6 5
    “The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.” – The Joker, immediately before trying to burn down all of Gotham I was 27 when I learned that there’s no coffee in coffee cake. It was ...
  • The missing analytics executive
    19 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 11 7
    An advisor, advising. Source: Washington Post. There’s a treadmill at the mountain top. Among the data leaders I know, many of their stories are the same. After rising up the ranks of their organizati...
  • Does data make us cowards?
    12 Nov 2021 • 10 min read • 9 0
    Let's talk about a hard decision: Choosing a movie on Netflix. You and your roommates are looking for something to watch on a Friday night. After burning an hour watching trailers and wading through p...
  • A method for measuring analytical work
    05 Nov 2021 • 10 min read • 4 15
    To be, or not to be, that is the question. If only this analysis did a better job of helping me decide. One of the great ironies of the analytics industry is its utter inability to measure itself. Des...
  • Data and the almighty dollar
    29 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 4 0
    The modern data stack is an Alexander Calder mobile: Complex, delicately balanced, and expensive. Source: The McNay Art Museum. Halloween, I’ve heard, is the second most important night of Uber’s year...
  • The future of operational analytics
    22 Oct 2021 • 10 min read • 11 9
    Choose your fighter. For those of us on the far side of thirty, planning a night out used to be a very different experience.1 If you wanted to get dinner with your friends, you’d gather people’s opini...
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