EMC Elect 2016 – Just the Facts

EMC Elect 2016Yesterday, EMC announced the list of those who had been awarded the EMC Elect designation for 2016.

The EMC Elect is EMC’s community recognition program. Now in its fourth year, the Elect program seeks to recognize those who exhibit engagement with the EMC community, commitment to be “part of the EMC conversation day in and day out, offering thoughtful feedback and staying optimistic in [their] language”, and leadership.

This year there are 72 EMC Elect designees. This number is the lowest of any of the years of the program. You can see the official list of the 2016 EMC Elect here.

Last year, I posted my “by the numbers” breakdown of the 2105 EMC Elect membership. In the space below, I’ll do the same for 2016.

The Elephant in This Post

Before I get into the numbers, allow me to take a moment to address the elephant in the room (well, in the virtual room of the EMC Elect community):

I was not selected to be a member of the 2016 EMC Elect.

(As you read that previous sentence, you need to hear it in a “just the facts” tone of voice: water is wet, rocks are hard, I am not a 2016 EMC Elect.)

I don’t feel bad about that at all for many reasons, but the main two would be:

  1. It is and always has been EMC’s program. They can do whatever they want with it. (Well, they’ll be able to keep doing what they want with it until it becomes Dell’s program – who knows what will happen then.)
  2. As a member of the panel of judges who helped pick the 2015 EMC Elect, I was always the one bringing up the idea that a recognition program that had 10 extremely-qualified members was better than a program with 100 half-qualified members. It’s hard for me to be upset when people take my advice.

So, I have no complaints and no regrets at all. My last three years in the EMC Elect program were very good to me. I’ll still be around EMC events, and still be blogging about EMC products (although I may no longer be doing “day of” EMC announcement posts, since I imagine I’ll no longer be invited to the EMC Elect bloggers’ briefings).

So, we’re all good. I have a great deal of respect for all the folks who’ve played a part in developing and running the EMC Elect program over the past four years. While they’ve often made choices I wouldn’t have if I were in charge, I wasn’t in charge, and my respect has always remained undiminished.

So, with only one more small detour, let’s get to those numbers.


The EMC Elect program is not mine — it’s EMC’s (hence the name “EMC Elect”, not GeekFluent Elect”…).

If you disagree with any of the numbers I’ll walk through below, well, check your math — my numbers are impeccable.

If you feel like any of the numbers I’ll walk through below should be different than what they are, you can feel free to make your case in my comment section, but do so realizing that there is absolutely nothing I can do to change this year’s numbers (and likely won’t be able to for 2017, either).

You wouldn’t think I’d need this disclaimer, but last year’s number breakdown post prompted several folks to tell me that I needed make sure that some of the numbers reflected what they “should” be. Personally, I’ve always found “should” to be a red-flag word. Most often people use it to mean “the way I want”. So, please remember, it’s not my program, and it’s not yours either (unless you’re Joe Tucci reading this, in which case say “Hi!” in the comments below. Long time no talk, buddy — it’s not Michael Dell‘s program yet, although he was named an honorary member this year…)

The Numbers

Enough. You came here for the numbers, not for my rambling. Here they are:

The Narrowing Down

For this year’s program, EMC received 700 nominations. The folks in charge of the program narrowed those nomination down to 150 finalists (21.4% of the nominations). The panel of judges then selected 72 of those 150 finalists (48% of the finalists, 10.3% of the original nominations.

The 72 members of the 2016 EMC Elect make this the smallest year ever for the program, even smaller than the group in 2013, the programs first year. This number is:

  • 96% of the 2013 number
  • 90% of the 2014 number
  • 70.6% of the 2015 number

For the visually-inclined, the four years look like this:

EMC Elect Yearly Totals

The Breakdown

So who are the 2016 EMC Elect? Well, EMC officially recognizes four different categories of people in the EMC Elect community:

  • EMC Employees
  • EMC Partners
  • EMC Customers
  • Independents

(If you read the list of 2016 EMC Elect Members, you’ll notice that EMC actually lists six categories, not four, so we’ll look at this both ways.)

Going by the six categories, the break down of the 72 members is:

  • 31 EMC Employees (43%)
  • 1 EMC (Spanning) Employee (1.4%)
  • 1 EMC (VirtualStream) Employee (1.4%)
  • 25 Partners (34.7%)
  • 12 Customers (16.7%)
  • 2 Independents (2.8%)

Visually, that would be:

EMC Elect 2016 by Category

Pushing the numbers into the four categories gives us:

  • 33 EMC Employees (45.8%)
  • 25 Partners (34.7%)
  • 12 Customers (16.7%)
  • 2 Independents (2.8%)

Which looks like this:

EMC Elect 2016 by Actual Category

What About Repeats?

It’s interesting to note how many of this year’s members are first-timers, and how many are in EMC Elect for a second, third, or fourth year. Here are those numbers:

  • 14 first-timers (19.4%)
  • 18 second-timers (25%)
  • 20 third-timers (27.8%)
  • 20 fourth-timers (27.8%)

Phrased visually, that looks like:

EMC Elect 2016 Repeats

Note, that being a 2-time or 3-time EMC Elect member doesn’t necessarily mean that all the years were in a row. Some members had a year or two off. I have the data to track that, but the ratio of how much work would have been required to how interested I am in the result was just too high…

It’s also worth noting that five of the original 10 Founding Members of the EMC Elect are also EMC Elect for 2016. That’s 6.9% of this year’s Elect.

Who Are the New Folks?

I was curious about that, too. The 14 first-time EMC Elect members represent the following three groups:

  • 7 EMC Employees (50%)
  • 4 EMC Partners (28.6%)
  • 3 EMC Customers (21.4%)

That looks like this:

EMC Elect 2016 first-timers by catoegory

How Many Women are in EMC Elect?

Not one of the questions I had originally, but this question spawned off a lengthy discussion on Google+ (yes, some of us who don’t work for Google use it – it’s the smart, future-thinking folks’ FaceBook (Yes, I went there.)) at the time of last year’s number posting, including a few suggestions (and maybe one or two demands) for what I “should do” (or “need to do”) to “fix [my] program.

So, three reminders:

  1. Re-read the Disclaimer near the beginning of this post.
  2. Keep in mind, this ain’t my program.
  3. These are just the facts, the numbers as they are.

Do I think that more should be being done to get more women interested in and involved in tech leadership roles? Yes.

But that’s a simple answer to a complex issue, and I can’t change what’s already happened in someone else’s program.

That said (assuming that all my assumptions about which names on the list are men and which are women are correct), the 72 members of the 2016 EMC Elect are:

  • 67 men (93%)
  • 5 women (7%)

Those are just the facts.

If you like your comparisons in bar-format, that looks like:

EMC Elect 2016 Men-Women bar chart

If you prefer your comparisons in pie-shape, that looks like:

EMC Elect 2016 Men-Women pie chart

Wait! What About This Other Statistic?

This is all the info I had easy access to. If you’d like statistical analysis on other aspects of this (or other communities), feel free to reach out to me. You’ll find that my consulting fees are very reasonable when you compare them to the value you’ll receive.


First and foremost, congratulations to all the EMC Elect for 2016, especially the new folks, and the non-employees. I know from personal experience that this is something that’s harder to achieve as an outsider. My respect to all who earned their way here.

Second, what is my future with EMC Elect? Well, there’s none for 2016 — that die is cast.

Will I re-apply for 2017? I don’t know. It’s too early to say. A lot can happen in a year, especially one that will see the largest tech company takeover ever come to a conclusion. Ask me again closer to the end of 2016, when we have a better idea of whether or not there even will be 2017 EMC Elect.

I have no complaints and no regrets. I hope everyone in the 2016 program gets as much out of it as I did.

And, for those of you thinking ahead about this or other similar programs and how to prepare, check out the Tech Bloggers’ Support Group.

6 thoughts on “EMC Elect 2016 – Just the Facts

  1. Nice breakdown, Dave! I always love to browse through stats and graphs.
    And if I’m correct, ex EMC Elect folks are welcome in the EMC World lounge as well, so I’d say (but this is not my program, nor my rules) you’re welcome to try and find out if you’re still allowed in. See you soon!

    • In past years, alumni have always been welcome in the lounge. I don’t anticipate this is likely to change.

      • Whether or not I’ll be able to get in the Lounge isn’t even on my radar as a worry. There are enough great, friendly folks in this community that I’m sure I can be sometimes +1.

        The briefings, I will miss.

    • In the official list of 2016 EMC Elect, there are two people identified as “EMC (Spanning)” and “EMC (VirtualStream)”. That is reflected in my six-category breakdown.

      Since, as you point out, both of those organizations are actually part of EMC, I also included the four-category breakdown where I classify both of those people as working for EMC.

      I believe the list counts anyone working for another Federation company (e.g.: VMware) as a “Partner”, not as “EMC”, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.

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