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Exploring Machine Learning, AI, and Data Science

Kamal Hathi on Data Culture, Karate, and Being Data Driven

On this week’s Data Driven, Frank and Andy are honored to have Kamal Hathi on the show.  Kamal Hathi is a General Manager at Microsoft.  As the co-founder of Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar Analytics and Business Intelligence products, today Kamal leads the team that is responsible for the end-to-end strategy, design and engineering of Power BI.  The data analytics and visualization technology delivers an innovative platform, tools and cloud service that helps organizations worldwide easily build and deploy robust interactive data visualization and business intelligence solutions at all scales with low total cost of ownership.

Notable Quotes:

  • “We’ve [Microsoft] been in this space for a while .. two decades” ([7:02])
  • “BI for the Masses” ([7:24])
  • The “5 by 5” design ethic of PowerBI   ([8:36])
  • “PowerBI growing organically like crazy.”  ([9:22])
    • “An organic community that loves the product” ([9:43])
  • Excel jockeys run the world. ([11:01])
  • “PowerBI is the PowerPoint for Data” ([12:10])
  • “Excel is a universal tool and PowerBI works very closely with Excel” ([13:40])
  • “A number of capabilities that no other tool has” ([14:53])
  • “PowerBI was built in a modern age, so it’s a modern tool” ([15:33])
  • Frank “fan boys out” at PowerBI’s awesomeness. ([16:30])
  • Using Cortana and not realizing your using PowerBI ([16:50])
  • Leveraging Microsoft Research’s brainpower and innovations  ([18:10])
  • “And then the AI kicks in and finds all kinds of interesting suggestions.” ([19:24])
  • Detecting “ballot stuffing” in User Voice with PowerBI. ([19:47])
  • “Assistive Intelligence” ([20:48])
  • Virtuous cycle of customer feedback and iterative development ([23:59])
  • Experimental features ([27:27])
  • “We are Data Driven” ([27:57])
  • Impacting the world with PowerBI ([29:34])
  • News organizations, charities, NGOs, and local governments using PowerBI ([32:11])
  • Karate ([35:58])
  • Thinking in German ([40:00])



About the author, Frank

Frank La Vigne is a software engineer and UX geek who saw the light about Data Science at an internal Microsoft Data Science Summit in 2016. Now, he wants to share his passion for the Data Arts with the world.

He blogs regularly at and has a YouTube channel called Frank's World TV. (www.FranksWorld.TV). Frank has extensive experience in web and application development. He is also an expert in mobile and tablet engineering. You can find him on Twitter at @tableteer.