Interview with Mary-Jo Diepeveen

Mary is the author of Artificial Intelligence with Power BI, we got the chance to sit down with her and find out more about her experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What are your specialty areas?

Mary: Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Mary: Artificial Intelligence remains very abstract for many people that don’t have a data science background. Power BI offers a great way to materialize AI and to show how AI adds value to business processes. I wrote this book to make AI more accessible for those without a data science background.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

M: I already worked with AI and Power BI in my job as a trainer and content developer. I learn best by doing and therefore created many of the demos in the last 4 years that you’ll explore throughout the book.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

M: The most challenging was to decide what was within or outside of the scope of the book. Because I wanted to make AI accessible, I didn’t want it to become too technical or too advanced. However, AI remains a complex undertaking which means there is so much that can be said about the topic.

Q. What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

M: I think many people focus on the cutting edge of what AI can do. However, there are already many established, and often simpler applications of how AI can provide value. I see the field of AI still evolving and I think more features will arise to help people use models that have already been trained for them.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

M: At the time of writing there is no book covering all AI options in Power BI. Next to that, it is written for those who have no experience with data science, helping them create value out of AI.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away with from the book?

M: Anyone can work with AI. The challenge lies in understanding when to use it, and when not to use it.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

M: I’ve always learned best by doing. Try creating applications yourself to keep yourself on top of what tech can currently do for you.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

M: For a first-time book author, there was a lot of guidance provided to steer me in the right direction.

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

M: https://docs.microsoft.com/learn/

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

M: Following the right people on LinkedIn will help you keep up to date on new possibilities.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

M: I always start with the hands-on component. Create what the outcome should be and walk through it. Then, explore what someone needs to know to be able to recreate that outcome.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

M: Just start. Don’t start at the beginning, but start with what you already know which is usually the middle part.

You can find Mary’s book on Amazon by following this link.

Artificial Intelligence with Power BI on Amazon.com

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