The Journey: Early Days to How I Got Here
It is important to get a first-hand & direct view of what BI stakeholders within organizations are after. Towards this, I think my onsite engagements at customer sites early on helped. I was able to demonstrate value to them within the data that was theirs – capital tranche (for a BFSI customer); mobile subscriptions analysis, churn analysis, downstream campaign management (for a Telco customer) & worked with them to achieve the business outcomes. Thereafter, it was about executing a large EDW/BI transformation project within a large program to customers’ success criteria. I then took up a BI Consulting role with the experience gained till then; and now propose BI solutions for multiple prospects/customers.
Decisions That Mattered
I think I figured out what my interests were, early on within the larger IT pie. Having been analytical by nature, it was always “data”. BI is in my genes. Once that was done, I have tried to give my best – making hands dirty with the BI tools & technologies. Along with BI technology aspects, developing proficiency in the business areas that I worked on has gone a long way to demonstrate that I was a part of their journey.
The Turning Points
It was about figuring my interests early on - From Infrastructure support to OLTP application development to BI/DW. Also, transitioning to a BI Consulting role from a Delivery role in 2009 amidst considerable pressure and extending it to MDM subsequently.
Work and Role: Then and Now
Currently I am proposing BI Solutions & Value to prospects/customers whereas earlier I was executing them. My present role requires interacting with Industry Analysts, Product Partners & attending BI Conferences.
Two Years Down the Line
Leading a team where we create solutions that can deliver consistent value at each stage of the lifecycle in the ever evolving BI space
Evolution of BI as I See it
BI has evolved from good-to-have to need-to-have for organizations in the last 12-15 years, in my view. My profession today is all about demonstrating real business value of BI initiatives & how valuable it is within the larger IT application landscape.
What I learnt along the way
Figuring out area of interest (our professional DNA)
Trends to Watch Out For
In-Memory Analytics, Self-Service BI, Big Data, Real-Time BI, Social Media Analytics, BI on Cloud. To me, these are opportunities & challenges. Opportunities to evaluate, create & demonstrate solutions in these areas; challenges in finding the right solutions in the market and enjoying the challenge in creating.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
Welcome aboard BI! You can expect only more & diverse opportunities with the BI trends being the most matched in the market (we BI Practitioners claim!)
Must Focus Areas in BI Domain
Predictive Analytics with Statistics, Figuring out Master Data (with all the internal & external sources of data), Open-Source BI.
Do We Need Certifications?
It was a must-have to get into newer areas. TDWI Certification (CBIP), TOGAF certification would go a long way to keep the concepts in-tact, while addressing the evolving BI needs.
Books/Websites I recommend
Business Intelligence Roadmap by Larissa Moss & Shaku Atre;
Some of the websites i recommend are
http://tdwi.org; http://searchdatamanagement.techtarget.com/; http://www.information-management.com;
Last but not the least
We lead a social life, after all. Hence, it is important to have conversations with BI Customers/Analysts/Practitioners when we get an opportunity to share our perspectives and lead BI Industry to glory.