Week 1 on the job

Most of this week I spent learning the lay of the BI land. There are many departmental reporting groups that have their own data silos. I knew this going in, so no surprises. I need to gather information about them – put together an inventory. Part of the program strategy will be to bring some of the groups under the umbrella of a competency center-like structure while taking over the work of the others within the BI team proper. An inventory of subject areas, tools, strengths and weaknesses of the departmental reporting groups will be critical to making those decisions.

Right off the bat, I’m faced with a tough decision about a BI tool. One reporting group has several Tableau client licenses and wants get Tableau server. Being new, I have no idea why Tableau was chosen or how it’s being used. I don’t know what need they think having a server license will satisfy. It seems the decision to allow this to happen was made before I arrived. I’ve been asked to meet with the users and then facilitate the acquisition and implementation of the server.

The scariest thing about this is that they’re using Tableau to query against their core transactional systems, not against a data warehouse. Yikes. Perhaps this particular user group is savvy enough about the data that it’s less of a risk than it seems on the surface. I just don’t know yet.

I’ll meet with the users next week and then I’ll have to decide whether I need to push back on this plan. The tough thing is that if I feel I have to try to stop this initiative, I’ll have to do it without having an alternative solution to offer. This genie just may need to let out its bottle for the short-term.

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