Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summit 2011 for Networking

Information Builders' Summit 2011 is proving itself to be an excellent "people place." If you are here, you have made some great new contacts among this community of BI practitioners as well as run into some familiar faces from past events.

Information Builders has organized the event well to facilitate mingling and conversations. The breakfast, lunch, break, and reception activities are all perfectly suited for talking with guests, analysts, and vendors. Tonight is the offsite Rodeo event, another great place to interact with people.

Gerry, Vashti, and Mark
People from around the globe are here, from both small and large organizations (the Canadians will spend some extra time at the event now that Air Canada went on strike today). I would guess that the audience mix is 80% technical and 20% business users.

Yesterday, I had breakfast with Lt. John of the New York City's 1PD. Passionate about his job, Lt. John supports about 4000 detectives with a WebFOCUS application for incident reporting, arrests, and criminal investigations. In a few minutes, I will watch his presentation.

Equally passionate was Teri from a financial services firm who had created a SaaS reporting application using web services to get to the nuts and bolts of WebFOCUS and opened it up to external customers.

At lunch, I sat with individuals who use WebFOCUS to do financial dashboards for a non-profit organization in Texas. At dinner, I had a great time with BI professionals from a variety of industries.

I had the good fortune of sharing an elevator with Howard Dresner and having a nice chat while walking to the sessions. Later that night, Wayne Eckerson stopped by the Partner Intelligence booth for a conversation. I was also able to spend time with many of the great IBI employees.

About two hundred people have already dropped off raffle tickets to win a free Amazon Kindle book reader. I wish there was enough time to get to know each of them.

Talking to people, it is obvious that we have a tight job market for WebFOCUS professionals. There is a shortage of qualified people out there, everybody has a job, and many companies are trying to hire. I talked to several people who had just recently switched employers.

This is an exciting time to be a BI professional. The more people you know, the better your career opportunities. If you are here in Dallas at the Summit 2011, be sure to stop at the Partner Intelligence booth and introduce yourself.

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About Me

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.