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Doing business with Nick Hearn of LAB360

Doing business with Nick Hearn of LAB360

The GM of LAB360 talks about a career built on ‘on all things data’, and the data scientist who should join Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the pantheon of 'tech visionaries', Dr Jim Goodnight.

Nick Hearn

Title: GM, LAB360

Twitter handle: @hearn_nick

How long have you been in your current role? One month.

What business technology issue is your organisation focusing on? Getting outcomes-based insight from all things data. And doing this simply!

What are your interests away from work? Family, fitness, golf, music. Life in general, really. You only get one lap of the track, so I think it’s important to make the most out of the opportunities you get.

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What are you reading at the moment? I’ve got a couple of books on the go, and I am in catch up mode. I’m almost finished the Steve Jobs biography, as well as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The Cut magazine is never far away either.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received? Ironically, it was a piece of advice an old mentor gave me. He said that lots and lots of people will try and give me advice. Be open to all of it, but apply only what works for you, and throw the rest away. The key learning was that you need to find something that works for you, instead of trying to think like or be like someone else.

Professionally, who do you admire most? That’s a tough question. Jim Goodnight, the founder of SAS, is pretty amazing. He owns the largest privately owned software company in the world that dominates its market segment. He doesn’t get compared to the likes of Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak, but he should be, in my opinion. To me, he optimises what it means to be a visionary and committed to his concept. Broadly speaking, I admire those that are passionate about what they do. Passion can’t be taught and it’s the most important attribute anyone can bring to any business.

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We live and operate in a world that is too fast changing to be across everything. Rely on the experts in your team to be across those aspects that they manage and trust them in their decision making.

Nick Hearn, LAB360

How long have you been working in IT? Scarily, it’s been 14 years now!

If you weren't working in IT, what would you be doing? I’d be a rock and roll legend, or a touring golf pro. Getting paid to do your past times is pretty cool, don’t you think? In reality though, I’d like to help those less fortunate than me. There are plenty of ways where that can be done. You just need the time to do it.

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What was your first job? Strictly speaking, it was a bartender. My first full-time job was a sales role for the power tool company DeWalt. It was a superb learning experience and really enjoyable first job that got me passionate about fixing business problems... i.e. selling.

A key pointer for managing tech savvy teams? Collaborate. This helps fostering the sharing of ideas, and teams that collaborate achieve more and are more motivated.

A key pointer for keeping abreast of business and technology trends? It’s impossible, so don’t try. We live and operate in a world that is too fast changing to be across everything. Rely on the experts in your team to be across those aspects that they manage and trust them in their decision making. Most importantly, use technology to help you get where you are taking your business, not dictate where you are going. It’s a subtle difference, but a very important one. The former allows you to be more flexible and dynamic in what you take to market.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

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Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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Tags business intelligencesasdata scientistdisruptive technologyLAB360Nick HearnJim Goodnight

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