Often throughout my career we’ve often discussed the journey… It could be the journey to automation, analytics journey from reporting to data as product, or just a journey of self development. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about my own joirney given my recent career change.

Late last year I was given the opportunity to take on a role where I’m focused entirely on data analytics as a solution. Why am I so excited by this you ask? Let me tell you…

Several years ago in a previous role, as a presales SE, my customers forced me down a path that would eventually, many years later, lead me here. However, in the beginning, I dabbled at best. I learned just enough to remain relevant, and somewhat understood the power of analytics and what it could mean to my customers. Initially it was to solve problems of time. For example, data captive to a rdbms meant a certain customer’s queries were running in hours or days not minutes. No amount of flash or scale up architecture was going to change that. For them, and their needs, hadoop was the answer. Now at the time there was very little I could help them with besides engaging my consulting team and finding a data scientist to assist.

Fast forward a short time and another customer issue. This time it was building a customer 360 platform for a call center. Now this time, not only was I more prepared but so was our product portfolio, as well as my customer. They came to the table with defined use cases, we knew where all their data was stored, and we worked together to quickly spin up a virtualized hadoop environment with shared storage on Isilon to expedite a solution to meet a time frame.

Once I’d gotten to this point, I had the bug. How could I do this more? Where were the other like minded individuals within my company? How could we join forces to do more? Fortunately there were more folks like me who wanted to wander this path. This initially was in the form of a loosely defined team of excited SEs who were to be trained to help drive these solutions in a broader context on top of their day job, but I was thrilled to be part of the team. This carried me for a while but I needed more, and thought our customers were demanding it from us.

Fast forward another few years, and the Dell EMC merger is done. I’m working at a Cloudera show and managed to randomly meet a member of a data analytics team at Dell, and learned more of what our true capabilities were. Take this one step further a small, like minded team decided to begin blogging more, talking more, speaking more, and generally being public about our love of analytics. Not only was I fortunate enough to join the Big Data Beard team as a contributor, but I was also given the opportunity to do this as my day job.

What does this mean to you? My hope is to share with you what i learn along my own personal journey to becoming a domain specialist in analytics, and maybe help you along your own journey as well. It’s going to be a fun ride!