Friday, July 6, 2012

Googling the Governor

The police car was something I noticed as we pulled into the restaurant parking lot. The two big black GMC SUVs parked nearby did not immediately catch my eye. However, smartly dressed guys with coiled earphones running down their necks were hard to miss. 

So as we waited for tables for breakfast, my group of vacationing friends knew somebody important was in the restaurant with us. From our spot in the lobby, we could see special service men positioned strategically throughout. In a private room, a crowd of smiling individuals were greeting each other. 

Politicians immediately came to mind. Secondly, we thought about campaigning. 

So on my mobile phone, I did a Google search for "campaign breakfast" along with the name of the city we were visiting. In the first few search results was our restaurant so I read about the owner having a background in Department of Defense before starting this morning coffee and egg shop.

Lower on the list of search results was the state governor's schedule which called for a breakfast meeting at an undisclosed location. Another quick image search confirmed the guy in the green shirt in the room next to us was the governor. 

I informed my friends that the meeting would be over in three minutes as the governor needed to head for the state capitol. Right on schedule, a guy talked into the sleeve of this suit jacket and called for the governor's departure.  

It is amazing at the amount of information that we have available to us at a minute's notice. 

Pull out a mobile device from your pocket and you can access the governor's schedule. You can read the restaurant owner's bio. We can read what dozens of other people thought about the food. 

The amount of content being created all around us--today's Big Data--is overwhelming. 

It's not just the governor's schedule that is public knowledge. If others were interested, they could even easily find tracks of my activities from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and other social media sites.

Today, there is a market for smart people who can analyze this social media data, identify useful facts, and take action. Who knows, a job like that might lead to breakfast with the governor. 

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, 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, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest 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. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.