In the world of data, everyone understands two fundamental truths: you have to store data, and you have to visualize it. Along the way, you may also have to do some data cleansing, and perform some calculations, but those tasks generally fall to the storage layer – and the results are then fed to the visuals in an “as-is” state.

Attendees of this talk will explore why this “storage and charts” mentality, while certainly pervasive, misses something spectacularly valuable: the power of a middle-tier modeling and calculation layer. Rob Collie will share lessons learned over two decades in the world of data: twelve years as a Microsoft engineering leader on SQL, Excel, and Bing followed by eight years as founder and president of an agile business intelligence consulting firm.

His firm has created over a billion dollars in value for its clients, all thanks to the power of the middle tier. In this talk he will share case studies and clear explanations of why the middle tier creates value that would be impossible with the traditional two-tier model.