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Consulting on Business Intelligence and COGNOS

Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 11:27 am

The other day I saw a posting on one of the COGNOS discussion boards and here is the reprint of the question and my answer…

Cognos Consultancy, Contractor Opportunities - Training- Career

Asked by David … on 12/2/2007 1:10:00 PM

Hi. Firstly I apologise if this is the wrong area to post this.I am an ex business manager.(A Man, taken 5 years out to bring up our two children while my wife pursues her career) 30yrs plus experience in a number of high tech industries in sales and marketing at a senior level(software / engineering/ semiconductors/ print/chemicals/lithography /electronics/++++) I have spent some time looking into Business Intelligence software and it seems Cognos is an excellent set of applications and solutions. They seem to have a comprehensive set of training tools both office and e based.

With determination and commitment would it be possible to embark upon the Cognos training as an individual and then be in a reasonable position to be considered as a Cognos consultant/ contractor upon completion.I am ore than willing to fund the invetment if there is a reasonable possibility of success.Business Intelligence seems to be an area that is ideally suited to my basic inquisitive and research orientated personality and I am in a good position with an MBA and a long business career to understand the requirements of customers across different functionalities.
Any help or advice is appreciated.


Reply from justin on 12/3/2007 8:17:00 PM

Dear Dave,

It really is a matter of what your business model is for yourself. If you are asking the question ‘can I take a series of courses and then position my self in the field as…’ the short answer is sure you can position yourself as Dorthy from OZ if you would like but the proof is in the pudding and to get repeat business and or referrals you will want to make sure you place your skills and experiences in the right manor.

Given your previous life in business with a mark/com and sales of technology it is feasible that you could place your self as a COGNOS trainer of the entry level UI tools but to go further then that you would need to distinctly need to re-evaluate what your position/business model is.

To be effective in BI, really takes time directly in the roles working up through the ranks of user, developer, back end architect before you get to consultant. As a trainer, the ones who have value are the ones who clearly have applied experience and can solve the trainees real-world problems during the classes. To be effective in BI as a consultant takes enough depth of skills / experiences to find creative solutions to very complicated situations.

Other wise you become Dilbert fodder.

It may be an easier pitch to go get PMI certified, start being a Project Manager and then focus on projects in the BI world and learn and gain experience from that angle to then be a Program Manager and or work to the consulting.

The real issue to learn how to solve is data. Data quality, what are the business KPI (key performance indicators) that are the reporting facts, to intimately understand the architectural affects of the system, to be able to translate business to technology and simplify technology keeping the eye on the ROI and deliverables.

My thoughts.

Justin Mead

Rocky Mountain Managed Information
:: Consulting Services since 2004 :: Business Data Systems
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Code source described in WIRED piece

Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 12:42 pm,70219-0.html

By Dylan Tweney | Also by this reporter
02:00 AM Feb, 17, 2006

For most people, open source is a synonym for free software. But for programmers, open source is about sharing code, building on the work of others and not having to reinvent the wheel — at least, that’s the ideal. In practice, code reuse remains very low, because it’s often too hard for programmers to find relevant bits of code for their applications.

A new search engine for programmers promises to alleviate that problem by making it easier to find and share code. That in turn could increase programmers’ productivity and give a fresh boost to the open-source movement.

Krugle, which launches officially next month, indexes programming code and documentation from open-source repositories like SourceForge and includes corporate sites for programmers like the Sun Developer Network. The index will cover around 100 million pages of what company founder Ken Krugler terms the "technical web" — high-quality technical pages for professional programmers. (By contrast, Google’s index covers about 11 billion pages.)

"This winds up being a window on all the open-source code in the world," said Krugler, who estimates the Krugle index will contain between 3 and 5 terabytes of code by the time the engine launches in March.

The new service joins other source-code search engines like Koders and Codefetch, but Krugle intends to differentiate itself by allowing developers to annotate code and documentation, create bookmarks and save collections of search results in a tabbed workspace. Saved workspaces have unique URLs, so developers can send an entire collection of annotated code to a co-worker just by e-mailing a link.

Krugle also contains intelligence to help it parse code and to differentiate programming languages, so a PHP developer could search for a website-registration system written in PHP simply by typing "PHP registration system."

Greg Olson, a co-founder of early open-source success story Sendmail and a consultant with the Olliance Group said Krugle will make it easier to reuse program components — something that the open-source movement has long promised, but never effectively delivered on. (Olson advised Krugle on the startup’s open-source usage.)

"It’s so cumbersome now to use tools like Google to search for code that the majority of programmers just write their own code," said Olson — even if they know that an open-source component is probably available that would meet their needs. "If you can’t find the pieces, it’s too frustrating to try to reuse components. But if you can reuse components, you can get a factor-of-10 improvement in productivity."

Simon Phipps, the chief open-source officer for Sun Microsystems, said Krugle could be useful as a learning tool, but the many different licenses that apply to open-source code are a potential stumbling block. In addition to the widely used Gnu Public License, Mozilla Foundation projects have their own licensing terms — and copyright holders may retain some rights even in otherwise publicly available open-source code, said Phipps.

"Let’s say you turn up a bit of code that’s licensed under the GPL … if you use it, that means your whole project needs to be licensed under the GPL. I hope that people are aware of these issues, because the licensing situation could get pretty hairy."

Krugle will make money from advertising on its free, public search engine. The company is also planning to create an enterprise edition, due in 2007, to facilitate code-sharing within companies.

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Maps the interface of the future

Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 11:40 am

There is a growing trend to use maps as the interface for many things. Such as Nextel ( ) phones having integrated partnerships with GPS and AVL solutions




Articles such as (,70020-0.html? that talk about the reality of satellite images being darn crisp, about Amazon and msn maps having links to ground based images of streets where the whole interface is likely to overtake the yellow page reality.

Services like FRAPPER that allow you to link things directly into the map points, whether it is research sites, business units, competition, or people who like to ride mountain bikes… this is all possible and just a click away where as five years ago, took a lot of integration with ESRI tools and map layers…

There will be a growing trend to localize how people find or list the services they offer. So if you are a Therapist, muffler shop, custom printing, or any kind of business… if you are the first one to get listed on these sites or incorporate your online presence with map interfaces…

You will have a competitive advantage for a while and that is good.

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Why Hire a Consultant or HOW TO Hire a Consultant

Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 10:01 am

The list of web site links (URLS) and summary of each article follows:

Whatever type of business consultant you decide to hire, you need to choose carefully. And you need to know how to get the most from the consultant you select. The Institute of Management Consultancy ( offers these nine rules for choosing and using business consultants effectively.

part a> A good consultant, looking at your situation objectively, should be able to identify and implement the solution to the problem more quickly and efficiently than you or your staff. The trick is knowing what types of problems warrant a consultant’s services. Here are basic guidelines:
part b> Develop objectives that identify: The
RFP provides basic information about your organization, and the project or problem you would like the consultant to address. The RFP should establish a general format for the proposals, which will allow you to evaluate and compare consultants equally and efficiently. The following is a proposed format for an RFP, which can be modified to fit the needs of your agency.
part c> How to manage a consultant
Insist on a work plan from the consultant Give the consultant sufficient information to get them up to speed Request that the consultant provide progress reports on the project as follows: …

10 Tips for Hiring a Computer Consultant As business-related technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and complex, many business owners, office managers and systems operators are turning to independent computer consultants to develop high tech business solutions that keep a company ahead of the competition and ensure their operation has the tools and training needed to run smoothly and efficiently.

Choosing a Consultant
This is a revised and edited excerpt from Selecting and Retaining a Planning Consultant:
RFPs, RFQs, Contracts, and Project Management by Eric Damian Kelly, FAICP. It is Planning Advisory Service Report No. 443, published by the American Planning Association in February 1993.

5Þ How To Hire.pdf
How to Hire a Management Consultant and Get the Results You Expect The inspiration for this manual came from a similar one developed in 1979 for the Small Business Association of New England by Stewart A Washburn CMC, FIMC, for The New England Chapter of The Institute of Management Consultants USA (IMC USA). Richard C.TenEyck CMC, FIMC, edited the initial manual for national publication. He later served as Chairman of IMC USA.
Despite numerous fads and changes during the ensuing years, no significant portion of the original content changed. This attests not only to the fundamental nature of the material, but also to the dedication of members of IMC USA to building the management consulting profession.

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Welcome to Consulting

Filed under: — Justin Mead @ 11:32 am


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A consultant is a professional that provides expert advice in a particular domain or area of expertise such as accountancy, information technology, the law, human resources, marketing, medicine, finance or more esoteric areas of knowledge, for example engineering and scientific specialties such as materials science, instrumentation, avionics, and stress analysis. See related Certified Management Consultant and MBA.

How a consultant works

Often the consultant provides expertise to customers which only rarely or occasionally require this particular type of knowledge, thus providing an economy to the client.

More recently the term is also used somewhat euphemistically to mean a person that is only temporarily employed by a company and working under the company’s direction in a skill area that the company already has, in other words as an adjunct to the company’s core set of employees. This usually implies that the consultant is more expendable when the demand for that particular skill diminishes.

Often a consultant is not an independent agent but is a partner or an employee of a consultancy, that is a company that provides consultants to clients on a larger scale or in multiple, though usually related, skill areas.

A consultant giving career advice and training to an individual or a team is a Coach (see Coaching)

Consultants are very pervasive in upper management in most industries. New trends are spread through corporations by the efforts of consultants, such as Six Sigma.

There are also independent consultants/directors who are interim executives or non-executives with decision-making power under corporate policies/statute. They sit on boards or committees.

Why Hire a Consultant or HOW TO Hire a Consultant

More information at:

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