I’m the Gobán Saor (pronounced Gobawn Sayer) a master datasmith.
If you’re looking for a “final-mile” BI/Reporting/ETL/Excel expert who has a deep understanding of business process and who can quickly and cost effectively develop solutions to your data reporting problems, I can help.
My speciality is data, more specifically, data at the edges. Data that has been extracted from, or needs to be generated outside of, formal systems. Such data tends to be the extremely valuable and useful, but only if shaped into a format that has meaning to those who can use and analyse it.
I’ve been extracting, marshalling and shaping such data for most of my 30 years in the IT business, I’m a datasmith.
I specialise in “modern” Excel based reporting solutions. Excel is now an integral part of Microsoft’s BI stack (aka Power BI), with the same columnar reporting engine embedded in Excel, SharePoint Excel Services, Office 365 and SQL Server.
No longer do businesses need to invest up-front in expensive DW/BI initiatives; Excel’s self-service BI capability offers a more organic and cost-effective path; allowing for traditional “pass-the-parcel” Excel based reporting to migrate to a SharePoint, O365 Cloud or SQL Server deployment if (and only if) needs justify.
A side effect of this new way of doing BI is that every business with Office 2010/2013 now has a “free, poor man’s” BI platform.
I have a long background in the design & delivery of ROLAP & MOLAP reporting solutions. PowerPivot (Power BI’s Excel component) is essentially a 3rd way of producing OLAP cubes, heavily influenced by the dimensional modelling technique commonly known as the star-schema, but with the presentational simplicity of the Excel’s PivotTable and an Excel-like formula language (DAX) bolted on. PowerPivot models built with an understanding of the usefulness of the star-schema approach will allow for richer and simpler data analytics. I can provide that knowledge or help you master it.
Before data can be reported on, usually it must first be “shaped”. The technical term for this is ETL (Extract, Transform & Load), the skill-set and tools associated with the movement of datasets. It’s the unglamorous, but essential backbone, to a whole range of IT deliverables: Data Warehousing, BI (Business Intelligence), Planning & Forecasting, New System Commissioning, Systems Integration.
I’ve both the skills and the tools to build a rock-solid Excel-based ETL back-end for your Power BI (or indeed any other BI toolset, such as RStats, or even a traditional plain-old-pivot-table) project. This can be as simple as a “good enough” data shaping automation for a single PowerPivot cube or a sophisticated ‘micro-Data Warehouse’ which would act as a foundation for a more long-term self-service BI strategy.
I can also automate the work-flows and non-ETL repetitive tasks associated with such projects. Tasks such as: generating questionnaires, marshalling and recording the resulting replies, generating non-PowerPivot workbook reports/pivots.
Data is the DNA of any business, systems come and go, data lives on forever.