January 21, 2019

Set dependencies between Airflow DAGs with ExternalTaskSensor

Problem You are an analyst/data engineer/data scientist building a data processing pipeline in Airflow. Last week you wrote a job that peforms all the necessary processing to build your sales table in the database. This week, you are building a customers table that aggregates data from your previous sales table. Should you add the necessary customers logic as a new task on the existing DAG, or should you create an entirely new DAG? Read more

July 17, 2016

Test your product assumptions with GA Intelligence Alerts

A good chunk of the job of being a PM or analyst involves spending time analyzing patterns of user behaviour, often to answer specific questions. Over time though, we build up mental models and heuristics which allow us to use our prior knowledge to answer questions more quickly. More knowledge is good, right? On one hand, past experience calibrates our sense of prior probability, which allows us to make better decisions in noisy contexts. Read more

June 7, 2016

Book review: Remote Research (user research)

This is a brief review of the book Remote Research, and a summary of points that resonated with me. Key Concepts Moderated research – Real-time interaction with a user that is time-expensive, but is easier to discover unanticipated insights due to the greater “texture” of the interaction. “Moderated research allows you to gather in-depth qualitative feedback: behavior, tone-of-voice, task and time context, and so on. Moderators can probe at new subjects as they arise over the course of a session, which makes the scope of the research more flexible and enables the researcher to explore behaviors that were unforeseen during the planning phases of the study. Read more

May 11, 2016

Book review: Web Form Design

I finished reading Web Form Design recently on the recommendation of a mentor. The author makes a good case about web forms being a high leverage area to invest design efforts. The combination of forms being mandatory, complex, and not particularly sexy, results in an experience that is often the worst part of a user’s interaction with your product. He then breaks down the form into the building blocks of Labels, Input Fields, and Actions, then lays out best practices for each. Read more

February 12, 2016

Tracking: Organizational Challenges

There are plenty of technical guides online about tracking user behaviour using GTM. But I haven’t found as much about dealing with the organizational challenges that may arise when making changes to tracking. One of my main projects at Carmudi was improving our tracking. The key challenge was that I was not building tracking entirely from scratch. We already had a buggy tracking implementation that was feeding data into some of the most important reports in the organization. Read more

© Geoff Ruddock 2019