PwC Canada’s Sustainable Agile Analytics Journey

McDonald’s Big Mac. Once a symbol of consistency and managerial discipline, the iconic hamburger has now been displaced in the popular imagination by Starbuck’s Tall Latte. A large part of the reason for this is that Starbucks operates in a fluid manner (pun not intended) allowing it to respond quickly and efficiently to unexpected modifications to the Tall Latte and other drinks. The differences between how McDonald’s and Starbucks operate are easy to observe, with the former more like a Henry Ford assembly line, and the latter performing more like a jazz ensemble. Starbucks is growing faster, its margins higher, and its customer and employee satisfaction are anecdotally more positive.

Since 2011, Neil Hepburn from PwC Canada has been running Agile Analytics proof-of-concepts across a diverse set of industries in a quest to determine why it is so difficult for organizations to thoroughly answer unexpected questions at executive speed.

The culmination of Neil’s research reveals the stark ground truth that when it comes to data and analytics there needs to be a common set of tools, data resources, human resources, and processes shared between the Business and IT users.

In this presentation you will learn about the obstacles and bottlenecks that hinder Agile Analytics and what types of tools, organizational structure, and processes are needed in order to sustain Agile Analytics beyond an initial phase of excitement leading to a common Culture of Analytics and the inherent capability to answer unexpected questions at executive speed.


Neil Hepburn is a Certified Data Management Professional (mastery level), holds an honours B. Math in Computer Science, and has over 20 years IT and data management experience.

Neil works within PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Information Management practice and is a recognized thought leader in the area of Agile Analytics.

Neil has spoken on the topic of information management in numerous public forums including: Enterprise Data World; FSOSS (Free and Open Source Software Symposium); CMA IT Symposium; and numerous universities including University of Toronto, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, Ryerson, and McMaster.



Mar 18 2015


8:30 am - 11:00 am


The Albany Club, 91 King Street East (near King/Yonge subway), Toronto, ON M5C 1G3.

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