Friday, August 17, 2012

Declining BI Jobs?

This summer, things have seemed to be extra quiet. Lots of people are away on vacations, making it hard to get business done.

BI Job Trend 

Perhaps that is what is reflected in some trends I see using SimplyHired graphs. Looking at job posting trends for some of the popular BI products such as Cognos, Business Objects, SAS, and MicroStrategy, I see a downward trend that appears to have started in June 2012.

Demand spiked at the beginning of June but fell at the end of the month, even below the annual average. Of course, this is showing a percentage of the total jobs, so perhaps there are other jobs taking the place of BI.

Software Job Trend

When I look at the entire software market, I see that same downward trend near the end of June 2012. Notice that June's job market is well below that of June in the previous year. Software is a smaller percentage of the total job market. If this is seasonal, it is more pronounced that last year.

What about just programmer jobs? Yes, the downward trend is even sharper there. In fact, it looks like a steep slope with no plans to level out any time soon.

Professional Job Market Trend

What does SimplyHired say about all of the "professional" job postings, especially the "managers?"

Yes, a downward trend is there too. Professionals and Managers are a smaller part of the total job market.

I'm hoping for a good excuse like summer vacations.

The Death of Delay

As a kid, I used to save coins to buy things from mail order catalogs or from the offers found on the back of candy wrappers.

Many of my childhood memories are a result of a mail order catalog from Johnson Smith Company. This comic book-like publication was special. It was full of essentials for American boys: X-Ray glasses, spy message decoders, pocket telescopes, and rubber dog poop.

You had to send in a request for the catalog from a magazine ad. I would wait for its arrival in the mail, race with it to my room, and consider thoughtfully how to best allocate the metal coins stored inside my piggy bank. The next step was to fill out the order form, send it in the mail with payment taped securely to cardboard, and wait.

Back when I was a kid, we did a lot of waiting.

We were okay with delays between events. Similar to standing in line at the county fair for a rollercoaster ride, the wait seemed to add something special. With delay came anticipation, enhancing the actual event when it finally took place.

So nobody thought it strange to drop something in the mailbox and wait weeks for it to make a very slow journey.

Today, the concept of requesting a paper catalog, waiting for it to arrive in the mail, responding with a paper order form, and then waiting patiently for the results seems foreign, even ridiculous.

NBC's handling of the Olympics 2012 shows that today's culture does not appreciate delays, not even if it is only for a few hours. We want things immediately.

Global technology ties us to events happening right now. We need to be involved and get immediate feedback. Waiting is not something we know how to do any more.

Paper mail was replaced by telephones and e-mail. Telephone calls and e-mails were replaced by short text messages. We now lack patience for a delay between communicating to a person and getting a response.

Paper catalogs, magazines, and newspapers will always arrive too late. The content cannot be fresh if somebody took the time to print it, carry it to a truck, and ship it to us.

Even website content is too slow. An example of this is CNN's 2011 acquisition of the online personalized magazine called Zite.

Unless there is a world calamity, I am not going to tune into CNN on the television. I stopped going to the CNN website when it started cranking out garbage about celebrities.

But Zite is different and I use it throughout the day. The people who created the content delivered to me don't work for the network. CNN employees do not even pick the content.

With Zite, the reader chooses content suitable to his or her liking, which was created by other connected individuals who have decided to create and share information. CNN had to acknowledge the trend to fast, crowdsourced information.

Squeezing out the delay between events is often a good thing. I know I don't like to wait for things anymore.

Which reminds me.

If anybody from Lik-m-aid is reading this, you still owe me that miniature spy camera. Check to see who received my quarter in the mail back around 1970.

I'll wait.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodreads: Healthcare Business Intelligence

If you are looking for good information on using Business Intelligence within a healthcare environment, see Laura Madsen's new book. Here is my Goodreads review:

Healthcare Business Intelligence, + Website: A Guide to Empowering Successful Data Reporting and AnalyticsHealthcare Business Intelligence, + Website: A Guide to Empowering Successful Data Reporting and Analytics by Laura Madsen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Laura Madsen's book provides a good primer on the topic of business intelligence data and software for the healthcare industry.

She defines "BI" and the major tenets of using that for healthcare. In addition to the main book material, Laura provides a full appendix of useful information as well as a companion website with electronic content.

Laura stays at a high level and does not dig too much into details. This should be a good read for healthcare executives considering a BI project or for those new to the BI topic.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Other Blog is a WebFOCUS

If you are interested in the WebFOCUS enterprise BI software from Information Builders, be sure to see my other blog by clicking here.

About Me

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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.