About Me

Me wearing a kilt
Not my usual ‘on site’ attire.

Hi, My name is George Beaton. I’m a Data Analytics Consultant with over 15 years of experience. My home is in Scotland, but I’m based in London. On this blog I write about all things related to visual intelligence and data analytics.  I’m particularly fond of writing about BI Strategy, software development processes and Qlik Sense and QlikView development.  I’m a senior director at FTI Consulting LLP.  More details on my professional credentials are available on my LinkedIn page at  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/georgebeaton and I’ll be happy to send you my CV/Resume upon request.

How I got started in analytics

Data Analytics is something I’ve been passionate about ever since my first foray into numbers and statistics back in 1994.  It was then that I was using a green screen spreadsheet program on the family Amstrad computer to keep tallies of trees I was planting for the Forestry Commission.  Each night, after a long day on a cold, wet and windy Scottish hill, I’d sit down and type in the day’s counts for each planter who had been out that day.

A man planting trees
A bag of around 200 Sitka Spruce. On a very good day, a planter could get through 1,200 trees.

Data collected would include species planted, weather conditions, rate earned per tree, miles travelled to site and geographic information such as site name and type of terrain.  The next morning, I’d distribute a copy to the lads in the van who would check over the numbers, view their tallies and gauge how hard they needed to work to move up the leader board and get to the number one spot on the most productive planters list.  We called this document ‘The Daily Sheet’ and it was eagerly awaited each morning. Although this was a basic report by today’s standards, it was cutting edge back then.  I was struck by how the power of this piece of paper in the hands of the young men who were about to spend another day planting trees on a bleak Scottish hillside could motivate them to change tactics, could cause arguments and could settle them.  It also allowed me to keep an eye on profitability and ensure I’d be able to price the next job using fact rather than gut feel.  My passion for the power of data and analytics had been born.

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