Saturday, April 3, 2010

Glassdoor Offers View inside Software Vendors

Glassdoor.com is an interesting website where employees post anonymous reviews of their organizations. If you are willing to share your own inside scoop, Glassdoor lets you see others' personal opinions as well as anonymous disclosures of salaries and interview experiences.

Even if you don't post any comments (I did not), you can still see company summaries. Glassdoor also includes job postings aggregated from the job boards.

As you scan through Glassdoor for the general software industry, some clear darlings pop out. For example, employees sing praises for Apple (where Steve Jobs gets a 97% approval rating) and Google (Eric Schmidt has a 96% rating).

So what do the workers within the BI software vendors have to say in private?

Well, it seems that many of these BI vendor employees are less than thrilled with their work situations. I took a look at nine of the top BI vendors and found only two where employees were satisfied with the company overall.

The clear winner for BI software vendor employee satisfaction is SAS, where happy employees awarded CEO Jim Goodnight a 79% approval rating. Microsoft employees are also satisfied, but they are not as chummy with Steve Ballmer, whom they gave only a 54% approval rating.

Actuate won the dubious honor of being the only BI vendor where its employees are openly "dissatisfied" with the company. Of course, when I looked at Glassdoor only three Actuate employees had bothered to take time to vote and only one chimed in on the top boss (luckily for Pete Cittadini, that person gave him a thumbs up).

Employees were "neutral" about working for BI software employers such as IBM, Cognos, Information Builders, MicroStrategy, Business Objects, and Oracle. In fact, half of these companies' executives got 50% or less approval ratings. Employees at SAP, the parent organization of Business Objects, were satisfied and gave Leo Apotheker a 60% approval rating.

Personally, I do not think that anonymous people behave appropriately -- just look at the rude comments of postings on major sites such as Amazon or CNN.

Being non-anonymous might have some benefits. For example, I bet if we put our names and phone numbers on automobile license plates, most of us would drive better.

Regardless, while some of the Glassdoor postings are obviously from disgruntled employees and are biased, they still convey something about a company's culture and possibly its future.

If only a few people contribute information, Glassdoor will not show a fair representation of any company. To help resolve this, read your own organization's reviews on Glassdoor and provide additional comments so that others can have a more accurate view into your firm.

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About Me

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I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.

During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting.