Power Pivot Job Opp in Washington DC Area

October 27, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

image

Is This You?

Join one of Microsoft’s Most Progressive-Thinking Customers

My friends in Microsoft’s Mid-Atlantic region have asked us to help connect one of their customers with Power Pivot talent.

And, you know us.  We like this sort of thing Smile

High-level details:

  1. Washington DC Area.
  2. Little or no travel required.
  3. Power Pivot skills a must.  Broader knowledge of the Power BI stack a plus (but not a must – the rest of the stack is quick to pick up).
  4. Strong communication skills and ability to understand the human/biz side of the equation.
  5. Ready to change the rules of the game & revolutionize the world of data (OK, I added this.)

Drop us an email at careers@powerpivotpro.com with resume, CV, and/or questions.


Reinventing an Industry: Welcome Avi Singh!

October 16, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

Our Merry Band Has Found Its Luke Skywalker

GENERAL MADINE:  “General Solo, is your Strike Team Ready?”
SOLO:  “We’re making huge strides.  The Death Star is Toast.”

Avi Singh Joins PowerPivotPro Full-Time!

Avi SinghFile under “Coup, Major.”  Folks, this is a CRAZY cool moment for us at PowerPivotPro.  We like to think of ourselves as the Rebel Alliance of Data, and seriously, we feel like we’ve found our Luke Skywalker.

That’s Right:  Avichal (“Avi”) Singh has left Microsoft to become a full-time member of the team here at PowerPivotPro.  Microsoft’s loss is our gain, which is…  ALSO Microsoft’s gain, ultimately.  Because in this role, Avi is going to “light up” people and organizations all over the world.  As opposed to performing data miracles strictly within the internal Microsoft org, he’s going to be helping MANY OTHERS perform their OWN miracles.  With MS’s platform, of course, which is great for them.

So hey Microsoft, please don’t be TOO upset with us for poaching him.  But really, we did nothing of the sort.  He um, kinda stalked US.  Let me explain.

To Build A Different Kind of Firm, You Need a Different Kind of Person

Avi Singh With Hand on Heart

I had just finished a presentation at BA CON ‘14 in San Jose, California – a presentation I had opened with the theme of “I have the best job in the world – I work in data, and I get to spread HAPPY wherever I go.”  (Which is the truth, btw).

Out in the hallway after the talk, I met Avi in person for the first time.  Like me at the time, you probably know Avi primarily through the excellent guest posts that he has penned from time to time. 

The written word does not do justice to the “in person” version of this human.  He is one of the absolutely most sincere, genuine, and positive people I have ever met, and that was clear in the first two minutes.  (If I say he’s in the Donald Farmer Zone, I mean it as a compliment to both gentlemen).

What followed was LITERALLY a “hand on heart” moment.  The very first thing Avi said to me, in reaction to the talk I’d just given, was to zero in on that “spreading HAPPY” theme.  He said something like “That’s so true, I’ve seen it!  And I feel it…  in my heart.”  And to emphasize that last part, he lightly bumped his fist to his heart.  That moment was so incredibly genuine, and conveyed several years’ worth of information in an instant:  this guy was special.

You kinda had to be there to see why that was so impactful, so convincing to me, but if you get to meet Avi in person, you will see what I mean.  And I think you will ALSO see what I mean in the coming months, as you hear from him more often on this site and in other media.

“Different” Kind of Firm?  “Reinventing” an Industry?

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Reminder: Live Class in Philly in < 2 Weeks

October 10, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

PowerPivot University - Philadelphia

Final Reminder:  I Will Be in Philadelphia Oct 21-22, Teaching a Two-Day Class
(at the Microsoft Facility in Malvern, specifically)

  1. More Details
  2. Blog Post on Why You Should Attend
  3. Register

See you there!


Winston Wolf Has a Power Pivot Job Opp For You

October 3, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

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That’s a Pretty Badass Quote, Prominently Displayed When You Walk Into KAMAN HQ

Wanna Work for One of Our Coolest Clients?

imageMike Miskell is Winston Wolf.  That’s basically his job description.  When the executives at KAMAN identify a problem, they send The Wolf to fix it.  And The Wolf, is Mike Miskell.

Last year, The Wolf found Power Pivot.  Nine minutes and thirty-seven seconds later, KAMAN had revolutionized their entire culture around profitability.  (You get the 9:37 reference, Pulp Fiction fans?)

(For the record, I don’t think Mike has even SEEN Pulp Fiction.  He’s just The Wolf naturally.  And he promised me he’d watch the movie if I posted this.)

We even got on stage together, The Wolf and I, at PASS BA 2014 in San Jose to talk about the success of this project.

We then co-presented on a VERY different stage, last month, at the Secret Microsoft/PowerPivotPro Summit.

 

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“I Know SQL Queries, So Why Do I Need Power Pivot?”

September 30, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

because I am very familiar with databases and the ability to create custom SQL queries and data models using SQL Management Studio,  I struggle to see why I would need PowerPivot if I can do much of this heavy lifting using SMS.

Got This Question the Other Day, and it is LONG Overdue That I Answer It

Some of You Are Confused, Some Are Nodding

Generally speaking, I think the people reading this fall into one of a few camps:

  1. People who are early in their Power Pivot journeys, and who also do NOT know SQL (most Excel Pros fall into this camp at some point, before hopefully moving into group #2 below).
  2. People who are pretty good at Power Pivot, but do NOT know SQL (I fall into this group).
  3. People who are good at BOTH Power Pivot and SQL (this is a blessed group).
  4. People who are good at SQL but still early in their Power Pivot awareness/knowledge.

Group #4 is the “target audience” for today’s post, but it’s still relevant for groups 1-3, because we WILL get asked this same question from time to time, and it’s good for us to be able to answer.

“I Started Out as a DBA…”

SQL Queries as BI - More Common Than Really Any Other Method of "Official" BI

For Many People and Organizations, THIS is Business Intelligence
(And to a Certain Extent, This is Effective, So it Persists as a Workflow)

Let’s say you began life a a DBA.  Which means you know SQL, of course, but writing SQL is not the only thing you do as a DBA.  You’re maintaining indexes, watching for bottlenecks, talking about I/O, number of spindles, TempDB…  all that good DBA stuff that I understand at a conceptual level but have never learned to actually DO.

But one day, someone from the Business has a question.  They figure all the data required to answer it is “owned” by you, so they come to you with said question. 

And hey, it turns out that you CAN write some SQL and answer the question!  Which is pretty damn helpful and makes everyone involved feel pretty good.  (Hey, we are all still fundamentally wired for cooperation after all).  It also makes you more relevant to the front-line business, and no longer “just a cost center” from the perspective of the company’s leaders, which is VERY good for your career.

 

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Tuesday Grab Bag of Biz and Fun

September 16, 2014

Post by Rob Collie
 
mullet with labels

Today’s Post is Like a Mullet Haircut:  Business in the Front, Party in the Back

Let’s Go!

Series of quick updates today, mixture of pure fun and serious biz, sometimes simultaneously.  In this post:

  1. Download the Draft Index for the Online University – whether you are currently enrolled or not, this may be relevant.  Grab it here.
  2. Live Class in Philly – seats still open for Oct 21-22, more details here.
  3. “Secret Summit” Between Microsoft and Power Pivot early adopters last week.
  4. DAX:  The Power of Paper
  5. Yours Truly taken into police custody for Possession of Industrial-Grade Data Tools

 

Read the rest of this entry »


The Benevolent Virus Spreads to Australia :)

September 3, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

PowerPivot Pro Training Australia

“Scaling Out”

Despite me being arguably the loudest advocate of our favorite technology, it remains true that this Power Pivot thing is much bigger than any one person, and everyone needs help.

I’ve already reached the limits of my own personal travel calendar.  As much as I would LOVE to jetset around the world and teach classes everywhere, well, my family would never see me except for occasional burned-out stopovers at home.

The fortunate position I find myself in is that I’ve met AMAZING people over the years.  When I need help, I have the luxury of consulting the Rolodex of Awesome.

So when the time comes to help spread our most benevolent of viruses to the other side of the world, I’m ridiculously happy to be able to call up people like Matt Allington.

(If you haven’t heard Matt’s story, you should quickly click on his name above, right now, because it will blow your mind – I am still putting mine back together actually.)

 

 

Certified in My Methods

PowerPivot Pro Training Australia

As of Today, Matt Allington is the ONLY Person
I’ve EVER Certified in My Teaching Methods

In July, Matt made the voyage from Down Under to the shores of Lake Erie for an intensive week at PowerPivotPro HQ.  I deprived him of sleep.  I fed him nothing but Ohio food, like 3-pound grilled cheese sandwiches.  I subjected him to relentless DAX torture.  He bent spoons with his mind.

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In-Person Class in Philly, Oct 21-22!

September 2, 2014

Post by Rob Collie

How recent students have described the class

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Our July Class in Cleveland – 90% of these Fine Folks Came from Out of State!
(And One From Australia!)

Taking it to the East Coast – and Beyond

After running three consecutive classes in Cleveland (April, July, and August), and seeing a packed classroom for the last two, we’ve decided that I should start occasionally venturing out of the Heartland and teaching the class elsewhere too.

This time we’re going to be partnering with Microsoft itself, and teaching in their MTC (Microsoft Technology Center) just outside of Philadelphia.  An exciting step for sure, uniting me (former ‘Softie and Power Pivot’s most passionate advocate), with, you know, the company that makes the product.  Probably should have figured out some way to cooperate sooner, but such is the independent nature of current and former ‘Softies.

Click Here to View Class Details & Registration

Optional Gathering/Dinner on “Middle” Night

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Some Folks from the August Class Throws the “Excel Gang Sign” at Dinner
(Can You Spot MrExcel Himself, Bill Jelen?)

On the night of the first classroom day, we’ve been running an informal gathering at a local restaurant, and many people reported that it was one of their favorite social outings ever.  Just being surrounded by people with similar backgrounds, mindsets, and problems is a unique experience, especially for the Excel crowd.

So of course we will organize such an outing in Philly as well.  Venue TBD (if you have suggestions, send them our way).

Included:  Thumb Drive and 50% Off Online University

All Students Receive a PowerPivotPro thumbdrive containing the materials from the course:

thumbdrive

And also a 50% off discount code to the online video course.  Past students have found it to be a helpful “reinforcement” to the live class (as well as covering topics that we don’t have time for in two days), so we have decided to offer it as a bundle.

More Info and Registration…

Click Here to View Class Details & Registration


Has Power Pivot Changed Your Life? I Want to Know!

August 19, 2014

This face obviously represents happy.

We Want to Hear Your Cool Stories!

Unprompted Confirmation

In last week’s post I explained why I now “kick off” my training sessions with the bold promise of “Power Pivot will change not only your career, but also your LIFE.”  (Please go back and read that, briefly, if you have not – because this post won’t make as much sense otherwise).

Well, a funny thing has been happening lately – I’ve been getting emails from people saying that it HAS changed their life.  Literally in those words.

Are these people just being nice to me, confirming my bold statement?

Nope, because none of them has heard me say it before – these are people I have never met in person!

In fact, this pattern of emails was the reason why I got started writing last week’s post.  I actually intended to JUST write THIS post, the “has it changed your life” post, but along the way I realized I needed to add the background, so this got split into part two.

Please Share Your Stories!

If you are feeling like this, please leave a commentIf you’ve experienced life change as a result of Power Pivot, please leave a comment at the end of this post!

Or if you’re a bit shy about that, drop me an email.  My address isn’t hard to find or guess.

Take it Away, Rob’s Inbox!

imageThese are real emails from real readers, slightly edited to maintain their privacy.  In all cases, I am bolding the “life changing” portion of the quote:

Read the rest of this entry »


Vending Machine or Kitchen: Two Kinds of Self-Service

August 12, 2014

Preface:  Breaking the Consulting “Rulebook”

Power Pivot Allows Us to Set a Much Higher Bar - and Then Clear It

This may seem bold:  Starting about six months ago, whenever I find myself in a room with spreadsheet/business/database people, one of the first things I tell them is that Power Pivot won’t just change their work, it will change their LIVES.  That’s right – I tell them, with a straight face, that this business technology will actually make them happier.

That violates one of the unwritten rules of consulting, which is to underpromise and overdeliver – set expectations low enough that no one ever has reason to complain or be disappointed.

I understand why it’s traditionally a good practice to “set the bar low.”  I get it.  I truly do.

“Consumer with Choices” vs. “Empowered Producer” is a BIG Difference

But Power Pivot is different.  Yes, in the truly breakthrough, transformational sense – you knew I was going to say that.  But different in another critical sense as well – it requires (and incents!) the analyst types on the Business side to participate to a degree unlike with any other BI tool.

No matter how they are marketed, every other BI tool I have ever seen treats the business user as a glorified Consumer.  Yes, Business Objects and Cognos for sure, but I’m also looking at you, Tableau and Qlikview and Spotfire.

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Next Week’s Sold Out Class: One Spot Re-Opens

July 25, 2014

 
Hi folks.  Next week’s 2-day class (Wed-Thu, 7/30-7/31) taught by me (Rob) has been sold out for awhile now, but we had a last minute cancelation.

So if you live in the Cleveland area, or feel like some last-minute travel, drop us a note at empower@powerpivotpro.com

If you ARE considering the trip, you won’t be the only one traveling in, btw.  Of next week’s class, 16 of 17 students are coming from out of town.  Maybe you want to be lucky number 17 of 18.

We’re also doing a social outing/dinner for the class on Wednesday night.  The famous Matt Allington will be joining us from Down Under.

Note that we’re doing another class in August as well, so if you’re not inclined to join us on short notice, there’s another option as well.


July 30-31 Cleveland Class: Now With Special Guest!

June 3, 2014

 
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Yeah, the Crazy Aussie Himself Will Be Attending:
Former Coca-Cola BI Director, Matt Allington!

July 30-31 – Cleveland, Ohio. 

Conquer Data AND Meet Living Proof of Legitimacy.

Last time I taught one of these, I was flattered that half the class came in from out of state – Indiana and Pennsylvania, I believe.

Well, the famous Matt Allington, who left his BI Director Job at Coca-Cola to join the Power Pivot Revolution, is taking that to the next level, and flying in from Australia.

Class Info

Two full days, $1249 per student. 

  1. Download the PDF agenda HERE.
  2. Reserve your spot HERE.

Convince Your Boss?

We hear this a lot:  “I’d love to attend, just not sure how to sell it to the boss man/lady.”

You could always say, “well, a BI Director at Coke has bet his career on it, for $1249 we can have that power too.”

Failing that, drop us a note and we’ll help you with a tailored value proposition: 

empower@powerpivotpro.com