Five Minute Interview: Edward Smith, Intuitive Business Intelligence

Intuitive BI director Edward Smith talks business inspiration, Gonzo journalism and Batman in our Five Minute Interview

Tell us what you do for a living.

I am technical director and one of the three founders of Intuitive Business Intelligence where I build the simplest to use, interactive data visualisation solution on the market.

Why are you the right person for this job?

After specialising in business intelligence during the early stages of that sector and remaining there ever since, I have in-depth expertise and knowledge of the importance of BI and what makes data visualisation a success, both in the eyes of the end-user as well as technically.

What gets you up in the morning?

The opportunity to provide a customer with the answers to questions they’ve been asking for years.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My family.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

The best advice came from American business magnate, Warren Buffett who suggested that, in the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield.

The worst advice I received was as a new and impressionable young graduate; my boss at the time told me that innovation was an expensive luxury and it was far more efficient to tweak existing products and business models. His firm (a large retailer) later went bust.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Learn both technical and business skills because the people who will always be in short supply are those with both.

What’s running on your smartphone?

Podkicker Pro – I’m a Freakonomics and Radio 4 addict. No car journey is complete without them.

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

Application integration. Channel businesses need to enhance and improve options for their clients, both on-premises and in the cloud.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I lived in Medellin and survived to tell the tale.

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

To leave the world in a better place than if I had never existed.

What is the best book you've ever read?

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. I laughed until I was sore.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Moulin Rouge by Baz Luhrmann. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

The Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the UK.

Joni Mitchell – Sweet Bird.

Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians.

What temptation can you not resist?

Battenburg cake.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car was a Mini as opposed to my current car which has room for the kids!

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

The Lighthouse Family. They made the most brain-achingly bland records of all time.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

I’d be a trilobite just to experience being an arthropod.

If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?

I’d choose synchronised swimming so I could peg my nose.

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

I would want Batman by my side because everybody’s scared of a guy in a fitted black rubber suit hitting another guy who wears a mask made by a 10 year-old.

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

My money’s on the grizzly because he had a fish supper.

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