To be successful in one’s career, it is critical to get the basics right and be clear on what one wants to achieve. I believe in thinking big, no matter what and have always aimed high. This has helped me scale up from a rookie engineer (from my early days) to a seasoned BI professional today.
Decisions that mattered
One of the important decisions was to move from application development to a specialized role in DWBI, which involves DWBI Consulting, Competency building and Delivery. I felt the latter is more challenging as it requires deep domain proficiency and involves interacting with multiple stakeholders across geographies and deals with overcoming numerous constraints.Hence, the accomplishments are even more fulfilling.
Work and Role: Then and now
My current role is largely strategic, unlike my previous role, which involved a mix of strategy and execution. I am happy to have conceptualized and operationalized the Data Warehousing & Business Intelligence (DWBI) Center of Excellence at Collabera. This involved building a proficient team with high end managers and architects in a short span of 6 months. Two years down the line
Given that I thrive on challenges, I would most probably be managing and maturing larger DWBI Competency Centers and Delivery organizations.
What I learnt along the way
One important lesson is to not taking ones eyes off market dynamics and consumer behaviour/expectations, while ensuring that the basics are still solid.
Evolution of BI as I See it
A decade back, DWBI was pretty new; organizations were skeptical about the ensuing ROI and were in two minds about implementing DWBI solutions. Things have changed a lot since then! Chances are that we will find a DWBI solution being used in most large organizations, while mid-size and smaller organizations are steadily following suit. This space is just getting more and more interesting,with organizations looking forward to newer ways of converting data into information, along with newer and better ways of consuming data.
Trends to Watch Out For
Mobility and Big Data are two of the areas that I am keenly following. With BYOD (Bring your own device) becoming more prevalent, it is important to look at how existing BI solutions can be made available to these devices and how efficient their usage would be.
One thing is certain – Big Data is here to stay!While the problem has been in existence for some years, the magnitude has increased exponentially.This will affect every organization at some point in time.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
DWBI is one of the domains that’s gained unprecedented popularity in recent times. DWBI professionals are a sought after lot in many organizations these days as they directly affect decision making.
Someone starting new should decide what space they would like to be a part of:either the Data Management stream – which includes Data Integration,Data Quality, Governance and building Data warehouses, or, the Business Intelligence/Analytics stream – which consumes the centralized data and converts into meaningful information. The latter involves a deeper understating of the business while the former requires a sound sense of refining raw data.
Must Focus Areas in BI Domain
DWBI Maturity, Innovative Solutions and managing Competency/Delivery centers will grow in importance.
Do We Need Certifications?
More than the certifications per se, the learning(s)/knowledge that come with them are utmost vital in any professional’s career. There are numerous DWBI technology certifications available today that a person can undergo towards becoming a DWBI professional.
Books/Websites I recommend
Ralph Kimball and Bill Inmon, two foremost legends of this domain, have authored quite a few wonderful books. Two of them are - The Data Warehouse Toolkit, 2nd Edition: The Complete Guide to Dimensional Modeling and Building The Data Warehouse, Fourth Edition.
Tdwi.org is a good website for reference. There are many groups like Information Excellence, which focus on knowledge sharing within the DWBI Community. They also conduct monthly and quarterly sessions for DWBI professionals at multiple levels.