Business Intelligence Career, STATISTICA Enterprise

Written by: Angela Waner

I define “business intelligence” (BI) as transforming data into actionable information with computer-based tools. I did not realize it until much later, but BI was my first job out of college. And in many ways, BI is my job now. I work every day with my company’s business intelligence solution, STATISTICA Enterprise.

So back to my first job…I was hired as a software developer. Because I was the newest employee, I inherited a thankless task that no one wanted to do. I became the “report guru” and I quickly learned the mainframe language Easytrieve Plus. This language was actually created so that analyses and reports could be quickly generated on mainframes.

I was in charge of 50 scheduled analyses/reports. About 10 ran once a day. About 20 reports were generated every Monday. And the remaining reports were generated once a month. It was my job to make sure the analyses/reports were executed as soon as the data was available.

I also had to read and understand every report. I “validated” the analyses results as being reasonable. If I saw anything unusual, I had to investigate and fix it before I turned the reports over to management.

Every morning I had to summarize the 10 daily reports. I created a “dashboard” of KPIs (key performance indicators). Excel was my best friend.

(I know that some people will not see my activities as BI, but my work met the spirit of the definition. I was using a mainframe and Excel. These are computer-based tools. And I tried to automate as many tasks as possible.)

Occasionally I would see changes ripple through the company from the analyses, reports, and dashboards that I created. I felt powerful. I felt useful.

But many times management would respond to the “dashboard” by asking for an ad-hoc analysis that sliced the data differently. Or they would ask me for my interpretation of the KPIs. And they would want this information yesterday. I felt stressed.

Data moved too slowly into actionable information.

My first employer was focused on answering questions like:

What happened?

Why did it happen?

But management really wanted answers to questions like:

Why is it happening right now? (monitoring)

What might happen? (predicting)

I did not have the ability to provide this.

Eventually I left programming, became a parent, and changed careers. I have been a project manager at StatSoft since 2005. When I started my employment at StatSoft, I left the “analyze my data with Excel” environment. I joined an environment with enterprise analytics (templates, reporting, monitoring, and dashboards) and predictive analytics.

It has been an interesting adventure. I learned how to use data mining software. I learned how to create templates for my analyses and reports. And I plan on learning more about text mining. I feel empowered.

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About statsoftsa

StatSoft, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is now one of the largest global providers of analytic software worldwide. StatSoft is also the largest manufacturer of enterprise-wide quality control and improvement software systems in the world, and the only company capable of supporting its QC products worldwide, with wholly owned subsidiaries in all major markets (StatSoft has 23 full-service offices, on all continents), and its software is available in more than 10 languages.

Posted on October 22, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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