You've probably noticed I've been quiet on this blog lately, eeking out a post every other week on average. I've been pretty wrapped up in SQLRally planning, getting MagicPASS started, and spending time with my family (note: everyone who warned me ahead of time was right, having a 3rd child is a game changer!). But there's one other really big reason I've been busy…
First, A Brief Background Story
Rewind the clock to the 2009 PASS Summit where Microsoft was pushing all the new BI features of SQL 2008 R2 pretty hard, or at least hard enough that it caught my attention. When I got back to work the next week I was talking to anybody who would listen about how we need to spend some time building a "real" BI solution. At the time we were running queries against an OLTP data warehouse; sure some queries ran painfully slow but overall things still ran in an acceptable amount of time. Jump ahead to Q4 2010 where the data warehouse had grown bigger and now query timeouts were becoming more visible.
It's been a longstanding goal of mine to learn Analysis Services even though I've never had a specific reason to (which is probably why it's remained just a goal). That changed when I discovered one of our managers was pulling data into Excel to analyze and had to run a query that took hours every day. Jumping on the opportunity I figured out how to build a basic cube in SSAS so that the data was ready when the aforementioned manager arrived at the office every morning. It was small win for me that opened the door to bigger things - a new job.
What I'm Doing Now
Since my story involves BI you're probably thinking I've joined ranks with Pragmatic Works (who has been hiring quite a few people lately). You're wrong. Actually, I haven't gone anywhere. I'm still working where I've been for the last 5 years - Channel Intelligence. But I have a new - and very different - job than what I've been doing.
After the new year we kicked off a new initiative to redesign our data warehouse and reporting solution and I'm part of the team building it. I'm going from being a full time production DBA to a Business Intelligence Developer\DBA.
Having spent the majority of my career working in production environments this is a major change for me but a good one. I'm going to get the opportunity to build on my core skills and really dig into the Microsoft BI stack - from SSIS to SSAS to SSRS and everything in between. There's a lot for me to learn but fortunately I've got a good foundation in hardware and the SQL engine to lean on (oh and all the SQL people on Twitter and that I see at SQLSaturdays doesn't hurt either). So despite the steep learning curve in front of me I'm really excited about what I'm working on.
So now you know why it's been a bit quiet here. :-)