I’ve noticed some puzzled looks to the Title I’ve taken in my company (bayon) of “Principal Business Intelligence Consultant.” This usually comes when they realize that I’m what is more commonly called a Data Warehouse Consultant, Data Warehouse Architect, or Data Warehouse Developer. People tend to think of Business Intelligence Consultants as those who define the accounting rules and metrics that will appear in report X, or those that help develop and track the strategic intelligence metrics required by an organization. They don’t typically think these are the people that are installing and configuring the database software, or building the physical applications that will breathe life into those metrics and business rules.

I think this is intriguing, since traditionally Titles are supposed to say what you do. Our industry might be a bit carried away with a focus on tools (any big surprises here?) instead of capabilities and skills. If we base our most fundamental labeling (a Title is the individual equivalent of the company elevator speech) on what software we use, instead of what we do does that say something profound about our industry?

The CHEF does not describe themself as a Cuisinart/KitchenAid Practitioner, but rather as a “Modern Chef.’
A PARALEGAL uses the term for their card, not the fact they are a “ParaLegal Software Version 1.1 Operator.”
CARPENTERs are not called “Hammering and Sawing Consultants.”

Don’t get me wrong, the tools and methodologies you use are important. My bio says that I use Oracle(and am certified), which helps people know if I can “do” what I “do” in their IT ecosystem (they use Oracle). In fact, in some environments it might be the paramount concern:

“Call yourself whatever you like but if you know how to write PL/SQL that builds dynamic SQL using execute immediate then you are our PERFECT fit.”

It’s not just important, it’s very important. However, it’s just not what a Title should be.

Bringing actionable intelligence to people is what I do. I deliver salient intelligence to business stakeholders so they can make decisions faster, and with greater likelihood of beneficial results. That is what I do. The method I use to accomplish this is almost always a Data Warehouse built using a variety of tools (who am I kidding, it’s almost always Oracle). That is how I do it; an architecture and tools.

What I do (Business Intelligence), has value. How I do it (Data Warehousing), is a cost center.

Anyone think I’m missing the mark? Please send me thoughts on the subject. I really need to get comments going on the site.

btw, I’m considering changing my Title. 🙂 Customer is king, and I’m finding most think in the “how/tools” view of the world.