December 29, 2015

2 years 2 months and 22 days ago

5 years ago I picked up responsibilities at Pentaho and as an immediate consequence my blog activities slowed down. 2 years 2 months and 22 days ago I did my last blog post. Today, I've added to my 2016 list of good intentions to restart blogging.  Given the time of year, some reminiscing about the past seemed a good start.

The last 5 years have been a blast and I have picked up plenty of topics to blog about. More than I ever expected I would.

Prior to joining Pentaho I was running my own consulting business. The reason I started my own company is because my experience with the small or large consulting firms I worked for, was they were not interested in growing my experience, they just cared about utilization and billable days.  When I finally took control over my own projects I could pick projects that provided me with the right level of new experience and learning.

Working for myself gave me access to large enterprises as well as SMBs, international and local, across various sectors,  filling all possible roles in a business analytics project, doing short and long term gigs, training complete BI newbie developers and presenting to the board of directors of a large multi national. Working for myself led me to explore open source BI technology ahead of the curve and I was the first to market and sell open source BI projects on the Benelux market.

So when I joined Pentaho, after 10 years of being self employed, I truly believed I had seen most of what business analytics had to offer. Boy was I wrong!

The last 5 years with Pentaho gave me the opportunity to participate in 5 fold the amount of business analytics projects compare to the 15 years before. I ran some stats. We did 313 business analytics projects in which I filled every possible role between technical expert and project sponsor. The ability to oversee such an enormous amount of implementations has provided me with a learning experience in the field, I did not anticipate.

Additionally, I had the chance to start riding the big data wave very early. Already when I joined Pentaho, the first Hadoop connectors were created and Pentaho moved into the big data analytics space before any other analytics and dat integation company. Learning the new big data related capabilities, helping sales position and scope big data projects and actually implementing a broad range of big data projects for various customers across Europe, was a great learning experience too.

And finally there was the rapid growth of the company. Pentaho exploded from a small start up with hardly any presence in EMEA, to the large EMEA/APAC team we have today. It's been a challenge growing the consulting team from a 1 man band to the large consulting group we have now. Even (or especially) after the company got acquired by Hitachi earlier this year, growth stays very high in the services area, offering plenty of opportunity for larger and more complex business analytics implementations. 

So stay tuned for some more blog posts over the next weeks and months. I believe I learned some new tricks that are worth sharing, and to find the time in 2016 to write them up.