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  1. #1

    Still gathering requirements...


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    Default Analyst skills/technologies

    I'm not a contractor but figured I'd ask this here because you guys probably have as good an overview of what's going on than anyone.

    I've worked in various analyst roles (Excel, Access, some SQL, BI and reporting) but am looking to upgrade my skills as I'm not seeing step-up roles that I could apply for, only sideways moves.

    I've worked a little with Python and done a few online R courses but never used it in anger. Also used Trillium for data quality work. In my current role I have access to people working with Business Objects, Tableau, SAS and BigInsights, which I can spend some time getting up to speed with although the learning curve with SAS looks pretty steep (or if not steep then very long).

    Is there anything else I should be looking out for? Which of the above skills would make me most marketable in the future, or is it just a case if the more the merrier?

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    The BI market is dominated by the Microsoft stack - SSRS, SSIS, SSAS.

    If you're up north, you'll see far more of it, as you will in the public sector.

    BusinessObjects is still getting to grips with SAP taking them over imho (yep, over 8 years later!); 4.2 SP3 is out and looks good but SAP themselves don't appear interested in you unless you have a seven-figure budget.

    Tableau? Looks good but too many managers are falling for the promises that it can replace BO/Cognos rather than be a complimentary tool to them.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonManc View Post
    The BI market is dominated by the Microsoft stack - SSRS, SSIS, SSAS.

    If you're up north, you'll see far more of it, as you will in the public sector.

    BusinessObjects is still getting to grips with SAP taking them over imho (yep, over 8 years later!); 4.2 SP3 is out and looks good but SAP themselves don't appear interested in you unless you have a seven-figure budget.

    Tableau? Looks good but too many managers are falling for the promises that it can replace BO/Cognos rather than be a complimentary tool to them.
    Long term I suspect that BI stack is going to head towards azure - so I wouldn't be rushing to learn the historic Microsoft Stack now - its more Power BI (replacing excel and the simpler SSRS reports) and SQL Data Warehouse (bigger reports) with Azure Data lake attached to whatever analytics service you want for big data.

    The one thing that comes out of the .... Saturday events I attend is that there are now about 15 different ways to skin the cat. You aren't ever going to learn all of them so pick a tool set you are comfortable with and use that.
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    I think big data is another agile - been banded about as a must have for all but will turn out to be good for only some.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonManc View Post
    I think big data is another agile - been banded about as a must have for all but will turn out to be good for only some.
    +1. Big Data has a purpose but like most things you need to know exactly what you want to find out before you start working with it.

    Agile is actually the perfect analogy. Businesses think it allows them to avoid up front planning - when really agile just allows the team to ensure you get something by the randomly decided deadline.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    +1. Big Data has a purpose but like most things you need to know exactly what you want to find out before you start working with it.

    Agile is actually the perfect analogy. Businesses think it allows them to avoid up front planning - when really agile just allows the team to ensure you get something by the randomly decided deadline.


    Managers love it because they never really bought into it but it keeps the architects happy.
    Developers like it because they can ignore the documentation and the business like it because they feel more involved in the delivery of something that they're not sure they asked for.
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonManc View Post


    Managers love it because they never really bought into it but it keeps the architects happy.
    Developers like it because they can ignore the documentation and the business like it because they feel more involved in the delivery of something that they're not sure they asked for.
    As often the business does not know what they want iterating every 2 weeks and getting feedback is often the only way to illicit real requirements from people actually doing the job as opposed to getting a few execs/senior managers in a room and asking them what their requirements are for a system they do not use to support a job they do not do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    As often the business does not know what they want iterating every 2 weeks and getting feedback is often the only way to illicit real requirements from people actually doing the job as opposed to getting a few execs/senior managers in a room and asking them what their requirements are for a system they do not use to support a job they do not do.
    I'd say that the real problem lies with the analysts failing to conduct business interviews with the correct staff in that scenario.

    I'm open to using waterfall or agile and believe in a "horses for courses" approach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LondonManc View Post
    I'd say that the real problem lies with the analysts failing to conduct business interviews with the correct staff in that scenario.

    I'm open to using waterfall or agile and believe in a "horses for courses" approach.
    Often the 'analyst' is guided to speaking to senior members of staff as they 'know the answers' and they are not encouraged or even allowed to speak to staff at the grass roots level.

    But yes horses for courses is always the best approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    Often the 'analyst' is guided to speaking to senior members of staff as they 'know the answers' and they are not encouraged or even allowed to speak to staff at the grass roots level.

    But yes horses for courses is always the best approach.
    I've also worked at places where the "business analysts" aren't analysts; that's simply their title because they're not managers, testers or developers.
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