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ITGround >> Anybody do BI (Cognos/Crystal)


11/23/10 3:16 PM
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SeanMac
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At a bit of a career crossroads and wondering if anybody feels like BI is a good niche. I'm currently the Director of IT (BS title) for a company and my experience is very spread out... I'm realizing that not specializing in one thing is hurting me as I look for a job at a larger company.

I'm literally the only technical person here. I do everything from running cable to administrating our main UNIX server and a few Windows servers (exchange, blackberry).. but the thing that I kind of like doing the most is working with our Cognos reporting system.
11/27/10 8:19 AM
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aegix
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BI is a very good field as it's gaining a lot of respect as a financial necessity.

Cognos is good, but the Microsoft stack of tools (SQL Server & SQL Server Analysis Services, Reporting Service, Integration Service, Sharepoint) are literally changing the world in terms of ease of integration and defining the "self-service" model of BI that people are really liking.

This isn't to say you couldn't make a good living with anything else.

I would also encourage you to look at the PowerPivot features with Excel 2010. Very powerful and something that resonates pretty well with the financial side of the executive groups you would likely have to interface with.
11/29/10 9:08 PM
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theseanster
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 You can make some very good money doing BI. SQL BI and SSRS, data warehousing is where its at
11/29/10 10:30 PM
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LoveToChoke
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I've been in BI since the mid-90s. It's a great niche that pays well.
12/3/10 5:07 PM
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SeanMac
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Edited: 12/07/10 4:05 PM
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thanks for the responses guys... it looks like my company's going under in a few weeks so I've got a mad scramble going on trying to find something. Id like to still be employed while im interviewing.. think im ready to make the move from central jersey to the nyc area so hopefully there are more opportunities up there. I'm also seeing a lot of jobs for Sharepoint admins.. that's something else I think I'd like but I guess id probably have to take a class and get a cert or something to shore up my experience and have a shot at a job there
12/7/10 3:54 PM
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LoveToChoke
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Try to get into Sharepoint. The consulting company I work for can't get enough Sharepoint developers - there is so much work on.
2/9/11 5:34 PM
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DaCrusher
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Sean,

I own a consulting firm and have a lot of good contract jobs for Cognos Admins...they are all work from home positions for a major bank. btw, I am in central nj too.
2/15/11 3:31 PM
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buckshot44
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I've worked in BI for the past 5 years, and before that held a sys admin role for a few years.
2/17/11 9:17 AM
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DaCrusher
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If anyone knows anyone I need 2-3 Cognos Admins/Developers to backfill some resources on a project. It is a work from home gig paying about 55-60hr.
3/22/11 2:42 PM
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SeanMac
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crap, I'd love to get in there but I'm realizing all of the stuff we use at our company is older.. (because this place is so cheap it never upgrades)... so most of the stuff I know is 7.X ... impromptu, powerplay, upfront... I don't have much experience w Report Studio and the newer stuff
4/5/11 1:01 PM
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JerseyJoeJitsu
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 SeanMac, I may have a job listing for you in central jersey (Woodbridge).

Message me your background. Its a cognos position i think. 
5/1/11 3:18 PM
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SeanMac
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awww crap.. why didnt I come back on this thread sooner lol.. I'll send you something now Joe even though I'm sure im late
5/4/11 3:52 PM
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dabigchet
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in for OG BI networking. i have been in BI for about 13 years, Cognos for the last 6 or so. for IT competent people who are social and presentable, i highly recommend it both for career potential and (to be honest) ease of work.

i'll be presenting at IBM IOD probably this year, PM me if anyone is going to be there.
5/14/11 9:38 PM
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roundtwo
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I went last year, just switched companies but I don't know if new one will send me out this year...bad year for training.
5/17/11 2:35 AM
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s98ronin
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Any tips for learning Cognos on your own?
5/17/11 9:10 AM
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dabigchet
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you can install all software components on a decent desktop if you have access to the installs. there are a couple third party books available now (there didn't used to be). between those, the documentation and redbooks which are all available on line, the software, some time and some smarts, you have everything you need.
5/17/11 9:24 AM
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JerseyJoeJitsu
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 To be honest, for most situations I prefer MS's suite (SSRS, SSIS, Biz Talk, Sql Server) over Cognos.

Generally how it works at my company is, the Architechture team builds you the underlying model for your report, and then I build the report. It's such a fucking time waster to have to go to another person and rely on them to finish your project. 

I prefer SSRS because I can just bang out a stored procedure, use that as my data source, pop in some varialbes, and boom, report done. 

for big projects though, cognos does have some advantages however. 
5/17/11 9:59 PM
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LoveToChoke
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I'm a Microsoft v-tsp. Which means when a customer is interested in data warehousing or business intelligence then I go out and demonstrate the products capabilities. The stuff coming out in SQL 11 with project Crescent is awesome. So are the columnar indexes - the performance gains are amazing. So I recommend learning MS if you can. Phone Post
5/17/11 10:01 PM
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LoveToChoke
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Also look into PowerPivot - it's a free download for Excel 2010 which essentially creates an in memory cube using the SSAS engine and has incredible data compression. In memory products like PowerPivot and QlikView are the future. Phone Post
8/20/11 9:46 PM
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Sastan
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I'm surprised Business Objects hasn't been brought up. Crystal Reports is fine when you need pixel perfect reports, but for content I think BO trumps Crystal, as well as being easier to learn and use.
8/23/11 8:44 AM
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dabigchet
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i thought that BO and crystal where the same product now. aren't they owned by SAP?

the bottom line is that truly having expertise in any of the following:

- cognos
- MS BI stack
- BO
- microstrategy
- sas

is going to earn you stability and a good income in pretty much any market. once you get that expertise, though, its hard to break out and learn something else because your expertise in that one tool set is what makes you valuable.
8/23/11 6:05 PM
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LoveToChoke
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I agree that it can be hard to break out, but if you work for an organization that changes products, you shouldn't have much difficulty learning a new product. I have worked on Holos, Essbase and the MS SSAS OLAP and it is the same principles for each of them. Even with BO universes you just need a decent understanding of multi dimensional modeling. Phone Post
8/23/11 6:06 PM
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LoveToChoke
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I guess my point is that you don't need to worry that if you start with one of these products that you are stuck with that brand forever. Phone Post
8/23/11 9:20 PM
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theseanster
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I've been doing SSAS stuff lately. The biggest challenge was modeling hierarchies for organizational units. For example I hierarchy B reports to A, but in another B reports to X. Once that was done and the cube gets processed it was learning MDX...which I'm still piecing together on google heh Phone Post
8/24/11 6:41 AM
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Sastan
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dabigchet - i thought that BO and crystal where the same product now. aren't they owned by SAP?


They're slowly integrating the two, but still two distinct products.

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