Decision Inc. Australia Team Member Profile: Matt Cunneen
Matt joined our team a short few years ago but has been known to us as Data Analytics leader for more than a decade, loved by clients and colleagues alike for his absolute passion to drive better outcomes!
How did you get started in data analytics?
Back in 2007, we had put a proposal in for a client (Aon) where we were building them a web front end, a SQL back end and Crystal Reports for reporting. Just before we started the project, they asked if we could use this new software they had purchased in Singapore called QlikView, instead of Crystal Reports. I said sure, is there some training we can do. We were then trained at the same time as the client and fell in love with this new software – QlikView (I think Version 6.5). From there, we became a partner and went and sold it to every client that we had and used it for all of our internal reporting and analytics.
How long have you been with the company?
So before merging my company with Decision Inc. Australia in 2018, I founded a web and wireless business solutions company called Satsumas. We started that in the UK in 1999 and I brought the company out to Australia (back home) in 2001 after my eldest son was born.
What software do you champion and why?
I have a huge soft spot for Qlik, as it has been a huge part of what we do as an organisation for the past 13 years. Not only is it a Business Intelligence tool now, but it has also expanded to have very comprehensive data integration capability and data catalogue capability. The reason I champion it is that it is very simple to get started quickly, you can literally generate insights within hours of looking at the data. But it also allows you to do some very complex transformation of the data within the tool itself, so it gives a developer total control over the solution.
What Digital/Business Development trends do you predict for 2021?
I certainly see a lot more Australian companies start to embrace the cloud in the past 18 months, and I think this will continue at pace. Along with that, I see the rise of data integration and ingestion tools into cloud data lakes at near real-time and a real uptake in companies looking into Machine Learning and Augmented Intelligence. Products such as Data Robot, DataBricks and Azure ML are all on the rise and are part of any data conversations we have with our clients and prospects every day.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Sydney and spent all my childhood years in Epping, where my parents still live in the family home of 44 years.
Have you worked overseas? If yes, where and what industry?
Yes, I moved to London in 1997 and spent 4 ½ years there. Whilst living there I worked mainly in the UK but also did some work in Amsterdam and Budapest. I was a Lotus Notes contractor from 1997 until 1999, and then I co-founded Satsuma Solutions with two of my colleagues from the Lotus Notes team that I worked for. Our first client was United Distillers and Vintners which became Diageo. They had a bar in the office that poured the best pint of Guinness, which they owned, in London. Great first client!
What is your greatest career achievement?
I think bringing Satsumas back to Australia with just myself as an employee in 2001 and growing that too at one stage having 17 employees in Sydney and 4 in Melbourne was my greatest achievement. It was hard work, but I have always made sure that I maintained the work/life balance. Home by 6 pm when the kids were little and making sure I was there for any special moments at school or on the weekends.
How do you think the global pandemic will change the way we do business in the long term?
I certainly think that the pandemic has proved that you can work remotely and still be productive. In the past, we have had clients who were very much of the view that you needed to be present onsite to be of value. That has fundamentally changed now.
What are your goals in Decision Inc. Australia?
My goals are to ensure that the Business Intelligence and Data teams at DI continue to grow, both in numbers but also in capabilities. With so many fantastic new technologies emerging in this space, we need to continually learn and grow to ensure we can deliver the best solutions for our clients. My other main goal is to continue to coach and mentor the consultants in the team so that they can improve the way we service our clients.
What hobbies do you do outside of work?
I love my sport. I still go to the gym and keep threatening to play the odd game of AFL 9’s (like touch footy for AFL), but mainly I watch and coach sport. AFL (Sydney Swans and Lane Cove Cats) and cricket are my two favourite sports, but I can be guilty of staying up and watching just about any sport on TV, including the darts.
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