Working for AYB: The week of Jesse
05 Mar 2021
Reading time 8 minutes
I’m Jesse, pleased to meet you! I’m a BI Consultant at All Your BI. Together with the team I work on optimising company data and work processes in ambitious, growing organisations. From care organisations to innovating retailers.
My background is in Business IT and Management, so now I dive into gather and analyse business data to help businesses to develop. With more insight and efficiency there is more room for companies to make better decisions at board level. In this blog I share my week at AYB with you.
At 8 in the morning I arrive at Lloydkwartier. Our club house – our name for the head office – is in a beautiful part of Rotterdam. Nice start to the week; today I start on a project for a new client.
The client is a major player in vocational education and has a wide range of teaching materials. They have little insight into their sales, which produces obstacles in efficiently maintaining client relations and sales procedures. I start by connecting Power BI with Salesforce and Multiverse, and then start analysing the data that comes into Power BI. Both systems provide access to the data, which means I’m quickly looking at more than 200 tables. From those, I filter the ones we need and the ones we don’t. Then I look at which dimensions of the systems can be connected to spot links.
And before you know it, it’s 11:30, time for the MaMo (Monday morning meeting). During the MaMo, we lunch with the whole team and discuss each other’s work so that everyone is up to speed on the ongoing projects. We look at last week’s results and discuss the focus points and objectives for the coming week. We also look back at our weekends! That ranges from parties Anne-Claire went to, DIY projects of Ruben cool takes about his time with his BMW on the track of Michael. I had a nice and quiet weekend, so after the MaMo I’m rearing to go.
The rest of the afternoon I carry on with the new project. As soon as I have connected the Salesforce and Multiverse data in the next few weeks, I can continue building reports and dashboards in Power BI.
With a tune of Dune in the background (headphones of course, otherwise the rest of my colleagues wouldn’t get anything done ;-)) and a coffee on the table, the last few hours are gone before you know it. We call it a day!
Today I travel to a new client to carry out a Power BI Quick Scan. It is a total supplier of professional and industrial washing machines. Nothing like vocational education! This organisation is looking for more automation and quicker insights into the reports. The current reporting process is exports from various systems to Excel, and then producing reports manually. A process that takes up an unnecessary amount of time and effort. During the Quick Scan I dive into the figures with the financials. I already did some work in advance, but during the Quick Scan itself you get some really cool insights. There are a number of possible scenarios for this organisation. I’m going to write out the scenarios and then turn them into advice in a clear presentation. The first scenario I work out on site.
Halfway through the afternoon I travel back to the office. It is the last Tuesday of the month, and that means the Pub quiz at Verhip! Between the last few emails, we prepare together for possible questions this evening (that means we all take the opportunity to Google the right answers). The Pub quiz starts at 21:00, so first a bite to eat and a beer with the rest of the club house. Who knows, maybe we win the trophy tonight!
Unfortunately, we did not win… We console ourselves with a large coffee. Time for a meeting with the Marketing Team. Soon, there will be another Power BI webinar. We hold this webinar once a quarter, and it is focused on explaining and showing Power BI and its possibilities clearly to entrepreneurs and financials. During the webinar I give a live demonstration: build a dashboard in 10 minutes. It’s a great challenge. We continue brainstorming about the details of this webinar.
On Wednesday, exactly the midpoint of my week, I check my weekly schedule. As I work on lots of different projects, appointments get moved sometimes. If necessary, I adjust my schedule.
After lunch and a good cup of coffee, I prepare for my biggest ongoing project: a Power BI implementation for a large care organisation. For this project I’m on site with the client every Friday. It keeps the lines short and I can make great strides. Our Senior BI Consultant is also involved with this project. We work closely together.
In the afternoon, I take time to structure the back-end of the care organisation’s data. Together with our Senior BI Consultant we go over the last few questions. At the end of the day, I’m fully prepared to get motoring with them again on Friday.
Whilst the coffee beans are grinding I start up my PC. This morning I’m expecting a call from a food supplier to advise them on their Power BI project. In contrast to other clients, I’m only an adviser for them. I support them where required for a few hours every month. Previously I made sure all their data was recorded in the ERP system. I installed and configured a Microsoft On-premises data gateway for that purpose. I used Excel documents as the “Realtime” source, combined with a connection with their ERP system. The phone rings. The issue is a calculation that does not produce the right result. Within 30 minutes, I found the right formula and implement it straightaway. Problem solved!
In the afternoon I get a call from the financial manager of the care organisation I’m visiting tomorrow. Something is not right with the refresh of the data set. Each time there is an error message from the server. Despite the fact that I’m there tomorrow at their office, I get working immediately to solve this problem. It will save a lot of valuable time tomorrow. The rest of the afternoon I spend on getting their configuration back on track.
And it’s already 18:00. As I’m not at the club house on Friday, my colleagues decided to have the drinks tonight. We wrap up the day together on the terrace.
Today I work on site with the care organisation. The origins of the project are that they use SAP Business Objects as their reporting platform. However, that system is really old and almost end-of-life. So now we’re moving to Power BI. Their current systems consist of lots of data: in healthcare hours are recorded down to the minute, so you’re quickly looking at millions of lines that are saved in the systems. This data from ONS, Aternes, DBS and Exact Globe we linked with the data warehouse. In the second phase of the project, we evened out the data from SAP Business Objects and implemented the business logic. That is not just adding all the hours, as there are always exceptions. Some hours count for 20%, or not at all. This project is quite a challenge!
We’re now in phase 3. That means building the reports and the dashboards. I do that on site in cooperation with their financials and P&O people. In the end, they need to expand the reports themselves. In the final phase, I will only be used for the technical problems.
Around 16:00 I take a final look at my weekly schedule and look back with satisfaction. This week proves once more that it doesn’t always go to plan. The issues that cropped up were solved and my clients got the help they needed and were able to move along. That type of week has its own challenges. That’s what I like best about my work: not just delving into the data, but targeted problem solving together with the client. It’s that variety at AYB that works for me!
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