1891 – Optimizing Analytics Development with Abdullah Ahmed

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Founder of Serene DataOps, Abdullah Ahmed.

Ahmed Wide

Abdullah Ahmed discussed the pivotal role of data operations (Data Ops) in the current data-centric environment. He revealed the importance of Data Ops for businesses aiming to succeed in a data-dominated era, emphasizing that adopting Data Ops is essential, not optional.

Data Ops represents a significant shift in organizational approaches to data science and automation. Abdullah described how Serene Data Ops leads this transformation by helping companies speed up their data initiatives. The company facilitates a more efficient data lifecycle, from collection to analysis, enabling quicker and more informed business decision-making.

Abdullah also covered recent advancements in AI and analytics. He provided insights into how machine learning and predictive analytics integration are increasingly accessible, allowing even smaller companies to compete with more giant corporations. This trend is leveling the playing field across industries.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Interview with Abdullah Ahmed of Serene Data Ops
  • The work of Serene Data Ops in accelerating data science and automation journey for organizations
  • Importance of data ops
  • Examples of client projects
  • Insights on trends in AI and analytics

About Abdullah Ahmed:

Abdullah Ahmed is a prominent figure in the realm of data science and SAP leadership, and he is celebrated for driving efficiency in supply chains with his data-centric innovations. His career highlights a commitment to strategic innovation and a knack for devising solutions that yield significant cost savings, underlining his ability to tackle complex challenges with unique approaches. His efforts have consistently enhanced the value of his organizations, thanks to his visionary insights and steadfast resilience.

Educated at Texas A&M and the University of Texas, Abdullah has sharpened his analytical skills to craft transformative AI solutions, earning acclaim for the projects themselves and their impactful narratives of success. His achievements include developing a cost-saving RPA system and strategically centralizing data across numerous locations, enhancing global decision-making processes. Through his founding of Serene DataOps, Abdullah has also redefined Data and Operations consulting, blending the best practices from Data Science, Software Engineering, and Lean Process Improvement to expedite the analytics development cycle, facilitating swift value delivery to businesses.

About Serene DataOps:

Serene DataOps specializes in enhancing the capabilities of Data Science teams, enabling them to develop and implement data-driven business processes rapidly. Recognizing that the success of process savings extends beyond just creating a good model, the company tackles common challenges customers face. These challenges often include converting robust proof of concept AI models into seamless data-driven processes and overcoming deployment delays caused by cloud migrations and code optimizations for scalability, ensuring the data perfectly aligns with the intended processes.

Serene DataOps ensures production-ready code from day one by offering a suite of services to bridge the gap between Data and Operational teams. The company focuses on closing the loop of data-driven process reengineering and benchmarking existing data engineering, data science, agile, and continuous improvement practices. By establishing foundational processes for high-quality code development, managing process reengineering projects, and designing and implementing Data Lakes/Lakehouses as foundational infrastructure, Serene DataOps positions itself as a critical partner for businesses aiming to leverage data for strategic advantage.

Tweetable Moments:

07:20 – “My passion and specialty is to help those who are working hours on a process that doesn't work, whether it's through automation, analytics tools, or decision prioritization tools.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Serene DataOps’ website at

Check out Abdullah Ahmed on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Abdullah Ahmed. Abdullah, you are the founder of Serene Data Ops. You're on the web at Serene Data Abdullah, thank you so much for joining us.

Abdullah (00:01:12) - Thank you for having me.

Josh (00:01:13) - Yeah. Give us an overview of the work you do.

Abdullah (00:01:16) - Yeah. So Serene Data Ops is really focused on helping companies and organizations accelerate their data science and automation journaling.

Abdullah (00:01:25) - You know, you might have a team that's looking to bring some of that in-house and really wondering where they can get started. So we offer a lot of services for best practices, setting up architecture and like development workflows. And then we also have some validated designs that we can work with clients and customize for every client state.

Josh (00:01:45) - Yeah. So let's kind of start in. Imagine that, you know, we're talking to we're kind of talking off air about this. But imagine that we're talking to a group of like say eighth graders or something. And they don't really know a whole lot about this. So we're going to kind of explain what you do and why it's so important to that group. I'll let you kind of take the floor and give you a little mini Ted talk on, on what data ops is.

Abdullah (00:02:10) - Sure. So really, when we think about an organization, any organization is going to have processes that lead to them creating value. So, you know, typically there's a few really key business processes that make up the bulk of the value that a business is bringing.

Abdullah (00:02:31) - So one thing with larger and larger organizations that can help is using some sort of analytics, AI and automation to help improve or speed up a process. So any time that someone has to make a decision, how can you have tools that can help them make the decision faster, help them execute what they need to do after the decisions made faster, and eventually like store that information to be able to further analyze it and make sure that you're making the right decisions.

Josh (00:03:09) - Give me an example of maybe a client that you've worked with. And what was it that they needed better clarity around and what was you know, kind of the now knowledge or you know, just the visibility that, that they were able to get.

Abdullah (00:03:25) - Sure. You know, so we work with worked on projects that were doing forecasting or like decision, analytics for different organizations. So, you know, a company or division might be working to manufacture a certain product, and they have their system that's giving them a lot of different messages. And, you know, especially over the pandemic, a lot of supply chains and operations personnel were really overwhelmed.

Abdullah (00:03:58) - And all the systems kind of flooded everything with messages. So we were able to build on previous projects, tools to help analyze the data and automate what give the personnel a a prioritized list of, you know, what key things they can work on to improve the business and bring in like the most revenue or the like, save the most money, and then also have automations to help them execute that faster. So when you really look at the process as a whole, there's savings on the decision side and then savings on the process automation side. And together that's what I like to call our data ops.

Josh (00:04:45) - Yeah. And what is it that that you do with Serene data ops that maybe, you know, someone who's maybe they're trying to do this themselves? where do you see that? There's typically, maybe internal limitations or, you know, said, I guess asked a different way, you know, when you come in essentially, like, what can you help them see that they may not be seeing for themselves?

Abdullah (00:05:11) - Yeah.

Abdullah (00:05:12) - So one thing that I've experienced personally, as someone, as a user and developer and the the data science base is just the overwhelming number of options that are out there, and there's not really a one size fits all tool for anything. So it's very easy to fall in love with a product that might not be the right fit for your specific business, and the it could lead to like, pretty significant cost implications later on if you're using the wrong product or the wrong architecture for for your business. So, really the, the trade off for doing your own research versus, you know, hiring a partner is, you know, are you going to be able to navigate the increasingly complex landscape. And once you do make a decision, will it be the right one?

Josh (00:06:05) - Yeah. And when you engage or when you start working with the client like what is that process. So someone is like, okay, well I'm open to this, but what does it look like? You know, when we work together.

Abdullah (00:06:17) - I'm a real fan of conversations and just understanding someone's business, right. So it doesn't have to be like a a transaction upfront. You know, we're really looking for specific partners and having a, a small number of customers per year and really honing on providing them the best value and building a lasting relationship. So I like to always start with, you know, an initial intake, understand the business, the current state and the key processes that, you know, lead them to create value. and then, you know, once the relationship matures, you know, having sessions where we determine a data strategy, highlight an initial project to kind of rally the flag of the organization around, and then, of course, set that up with milestones and consistent feedback along the way in a formal engagement.

Josh (00:07:09) - Yeah, yeah. And tell me about your company. Like where you came from and who you work with and, and like, so if someone's like, well, okay, I'm open. They just want to learn about you.

Abdullah (00:07:20) - Yeah. So, you know, I started work in a manufacturing facility down in Texas, and this was my first job right out of college. And I, you know, used to do production planning. And I was working 12 hours a day just on this really broken production planning process. And you know, that for me, that experience sort of sort of started and, and grew my obsession with, you know, improving process automation and using data to make the right decisions. You know, with large organizations or medium sized organizations, you know, there's. If the organization has data and data driven processes as their core competency, it can really be a competitive advantage. And you know, from my perspective, any project that I work on, I really want to help that person who is in that position that I was years ago. Right? Working, hours and hours a day on a, a process that doesn't work. So whether it's automation, whether it's helping them with analytics tools or decision prioritization tools, that's that's really my passion and my specialty.

Josh (00:08:35) - Yeah. And you do you work primarily with more mid-market enterprise level companies or do you also work with SMBs?

Abdullah (00:08:43) - So we're really focused on the mid-market right now. I think for SMBs, I'm happy to have workshops and, like informational sessions with them. And at the end of the day, like that might be enough for an SMB to be able to to take what they need and implement on a smaller scale. So educationally, we're open to anybody. And for larger engagements, we're focused on that middle market.

Josh (00:09:08) - Speaking of which, so here we are recording this in, toward the end of March 2024. Given the current landscape, you know, with everything that we've been seeing in AI and and certainly hopefully, you know, analytics have gotten much, much smarter. but what would be like if you were to give, like a presentation to a group of, SMB founders, what would you imagine some of the your core messages might be to that group?

Abdullah (00:09:34) - So one of the biggest trends right now, of course, is generative AI.

Abdullah (00:09:38) - Being able to deploy that safely and securely at your organization is definitely going to be a productivity generator over the next year or two. And then, you know, one trend that I'm seeing is, you know, before we had this, this trade off of buy versus build, right? Do you want to buy a SaaS product or do you want to to to build something? I think now the new trend that I'm seeing is really a cloud or cloud or no cloud. Like, do you really need all of your infrastructure in the cloud and have a cloud first approach, or does your business or your specific project, could it benefit from some cloud components but some simpler designs that are not cloud components? And could that be a more cost effective and easier way for you to accelerate democratization of data in your organization? So those are really the two key things that I see as differentiators and trends for the next year.

Josh (00:10:41) - Yeah. All right. So someone that's been listening to our conversation, they're like, well, I'd love to have a conversation.

Josh (00:10:48) - I'd love to learn more. Your website is serene. Dataops. Com what would you recommend people click on do. What's the next step from here?

Abdullah (00:10:57) - Sure. Definitely visit the website. Take a look and see if that fits with your needs and your interests. And then there's a forum at the bottom where you can send a custom message or a calendar link in the top right corner. They'll both say something like talk to an expert and definitely start the conversation.

Josh (00:11:18) - Yeah, again, the website Serene Data The button right there. It says talk to an expert Abdullah Ahmed. Again thank you so much for joining us. Great conversation.

Abdullah (00:11:29) - Thank you very much.

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