How Qualified is Your Hired BI Consultant?
Posted by thomasivarssonmalmo on April 2, 2011
Since I am on my fourth year as a inhouse working BI so called BI expert I have seen the competence and incompetence of consultants coming and going.
A BI expert can work on several technical platforms so the discssuion is not about that. Also, a good BI expert never starts from technology but from business requirements and use his/her technical skills to promote business requirements.
When should you start to worry?
My own baseline is that the only true knowledge is how little I know and how much I have to catch up with it is amazing to see some consultants that know everything about BI and the MS BI platform, down to nitty gritty details in each product. That is simply not possible and a consultant with these opinions are not serious. Most MS BI professionals that I meet know one or two product really well in the MS BI platform but not all. If you dig that deep into technology you are probably missing the main story, business requirements.
Good consultants always discuss their ideas, not technical ideas first but how to implement business requirements. If they are silent on business requirements but big mouths on technology you have probably hired the wrong consultant.
From a MSBI technology standpoint I am also amazed on how little influence some consultants takes from good outside sources like SQLCAT and hoards of white papers, blog posts and news group comments about best practises. The same guy failing on the first point above can still say that he/she knows about all the information in these sources. Still in their daily work they do not follow these practises and practically work against them.
Finally, these technology knows it all guys have never read a book about BI methods / best design practises. Mostly they are good coders that have started in BI because it is better paid.
With PowerPivot an organization have the opportunity to build strong BI models and minimize the influence of the techies that I have mentioned above. Please do not throw out the good BI progress that I still think is the mainstream in this business.
Be aware of these so called BI consultants that will turn your BI solutions in to a business requirement failure.