Aus – my journey to being a BI Consultant with InterWorks

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Aus – my journey to being a BI Consultant with InterWorks

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So let’s fast forward the early bits. Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science, worked for Fidelity Investments as an out of uni job blah blah. Then things started to get a lot more interesting.

I started a fledgling engineering business which quickly warped and twisted its way into a games console repair company. Fun. Anyone who has started a first business will know that you spend the first year just finding your feet. Learning about regulations you’ve never heard of before, wondering where the next day’s work is going to come from. I think it takes most people that long just to pop their heads up out the fog and take a look around and for me this was the point where I really started enjoying myself.

We had probably 6 or so employees, 5 repairers and a Quality Control/warehouse guy by this point. Even then I recognised the benefit to giving back the right information and feedback to staff as near to real time as possible. I had designed a simple data base and logging system and was using excel to query it a graph out the productivity. Nothing gave incentive to accurately log the repair like seeing your little bar in the chart jump above the guy next to you. At this point in the business it wasn’t even financially incentivised just good positive (quick) feedback. And that was the key.

The business doubled in size year on year and our graphing nudged its way into other areas of the business. Trying to get info out of emails we were receiving, desperately trying to get something better than the standard reporting out of SAGE Line 50 Accounts (reach out to me if you want to hear more about InterWorks solution with SAGE). With a workforce of 70+ we were spending a lot of time on it and had to come up with better quicker solutions.

Access tables turned into SQL tables. Access forms turned into .NET. Excel graphs turned into Tableau Dashboards. Sold!

From that point on Tableau has formed a big part of my life. For the remainder of the lifecycle of that business through to becoming a BI consultant and Tableau Trainer with InterWorks. I’m still using it and still enjoying using it.

So what now? Helping as many people as I can understand that access and insights to data matters. It’s not just for the CEO, not just for directors and managers but for everyone doing every job within an organisation. To even attempt this you have to have a tool which a lot of people can use and you have to open up the available data to many many more people.

More About the Author

James Austin (Aus)

Analytics Practice Lead, EU
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