A Lifetime of Loving Data

Posted in: Business Insights, Love Letters to Data

Dear Data,

As you know, I’ve always been a “numbers guy”.  I was a math award winner, calculus book prize champion, and national merit scholar based on you!  My second master’s degree was all about you with an engineering bias and my thesis was an operations research dissertation combining technology with finance – you dominated!  Basically, you and I have been best friends for over 50 years. Thank you for always being there for me!

I started falling for you early on; all my sporting activities seemed to focus on you!  Baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, golf, and tennis all required scoring and averages and specific analytics to compare favorite players and affirm role models. Points per game, yard per carry, birdies, shot accuracy, and scoring mechanics all brought me closer to you.

Then I fell deeper in love with you during my engineering education and early career. To become a nationally certified Professional Engineer, I needed to know everything about you, and thankfully, you were up to the task, as open and honest as ever.

As my business career progressed, not only have you become more important to me, but you’re one of the most valuable assets to all of my customers!  I now leverage you to produce more analytics & insights, visualization, and dashboards that leverage machine learning, the Internet of things, and real-time advanced algorithms. How I love to help enterprises unlock your power and drive massive digital transformations with enterprise data platforms where you are the star!

I’ve come to rely on you for almost everything every day. From GPS to GPA, from rotten tomato scores to buyer’s guides, from daily nutrition to nightly REM tracking, you are an invaluable partner in every moment of my life. You have been a steadfast element in my adventures and learnings and an ever-present pi in my life cycles.

As CEO of Pythian, I get to say “Love Your Data” every day!  I get to embrace and talk about you with customers worldwide. I get to see your real power exposed by clever data scientists and engineers – wow!

Thank you, data, for being straight and true, explicitly rational, and while sometimes odd or even, always there for me. Thank you for bringing the wonderment of chaos theory to the universe and for being the basis of explaining everything. And thank you for remaining constant in an ever-changing world.

Your friend for life,




About the Author

Keith Angell joined Pythian as CEO in 2019. He has been a C-Level executive or Board Director at 12 VC/PE backed, high growth tech companies (3 IPO, 6 Acquisitions), including most recently as Director for Pythian and an Executive Partner for Mill Point Capital. Previously, he was CEO of Velocity Technology Solutions (Silver Lake Sumeru company), a leading global cloud managed services company, specializing in moving complex enterprise IT/ERP+ to the hybrid cloud.

Prior to Pythian and Velocity, Keith was President, Global Services at Virtustream, where he was responsible for Cloud Managed and Professional Services. Virtustream was acquired by EMC in 2015. Before Virtustream, Keith spent nine years as an executive in IBM’s Global Cloud & Technology Services, including Vice President, Cloud Managed Services, and Chief Revenue Officer at SoftLayer. Keith managed much of IBM’s services portfolio and had key technology experiences in cloud, mobility, analytics, and networking.

Keith has held executive positions in the U.S. and Europe, including business development, M&A, sales, and product offering activities. Before IBM, Keith held CEO, COO, President, SVP of Operations & Sales roles at four software/services and consulting firms. He started his career in the management development program at Exxon Corp. Keith holds BS Engineering magna cum laude (Duke), MS Engineering (Northeastern), and MBA Finance (LSU) degrees, numerous professional certifications, as well as two patents.

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