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Five minutes with a Business Intelligence professional


Last week I sat down with my latest business intelligence candidate for a Q&A about her background, how she moved into Business Intelligence & Analytics, and her thoughts about the future of the field.

What was your background before getting into Business Intelligence (BI) / Analytics?
After seven years in the military working with information systems, I left and joined a Swiss bank as a technical analyst creating multiple types of reporting.

What motivated you to get into the BI / Analytics field?
I was made redundant from my role in the recession in the early 2000’s, and was offered a consultancy role for a hedge fund custodian.
What is the biggest change you have seen in BI / Analytics in the last 3-5 years?
The most fundamental change is probably the trend to move from highly structured data on residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) databases to the utilisation of semi-structured and unstructured data using the new breed, such as ‘not only structured query language’ (NoSQL) and cloud databases.
What is your biggest BI achievement within your career?
Building a complete management information system (MIS) or geographic information system (GIS) for a hedge fund custodian with a portfolio of 250 billion assets under custody.

Where do you think BI & Data Analytics will be 5 -10 years from now?
BI and Analytics is moving rapidly towards more pervasive analysis of behaviours and sentiment of both customers and staff alike in order to  

In your opinion – what is the best BI Vendor currently in the market and why?
I have had experience with a wide variety of BI / Analytics, from small solutions such as SlamData, through to Tableau and DataWatch. All of these solutions have their place in the ecosystem of BI Tools; for me there is yet to be a clear winner due to the large variation in cost and time of deployment.
In your opinion, which division do you think BI should fall under within an organisation?
I suppose that depends on your perspective. Although the infrastructure of any BI / Analytics platform should be owned and supported by IT, the reporting and business logic therein should rightly be owned by the business – maybe it’s time to create a new division? 

What do you think the next trend in BI / Data will be, & what impact will that have?
With the pervasive power of social media and the current issues regarding privacy, the pendulum of public opinion is likely to swing towards the other extreme with a backlash against these large platforms. Since the recent allegations of social media swaying public opinion in politics and voting, I believe that the public face of BI and Analytics will be portrayed as a move towards the protection of national security and anti-terrorism.


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