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Tammy Powlas

My "I" in "BI" Story

Posted by Tammy Powlas in BI Platform on Apr 28, 2012 2:44:35 AM

In a galaxy far far away...well, maybe not too far away for some

 

My journey began as a Budget Analyst in Kansas City for a quasi-federal government agency.  I learned how to do SAS programming on the mainframe.  I was able to quickly combine 5 field offices' data into regional data for the Washington DC headquarters office.  That made me such a valuable commodity that I received an offer to relocate to Washington, DC.  Because I was interested in obtaining my master's degree outside of the Kansas City area, I made the move.

 

I still remember the SAS commands PROC MEANS NOPRINT; Once in DC, I was able to create detailed asset balance reports, key performance indicators, etc. all in SAS, and yes, all on the mainframe.  At the time, attending class was a luxury so I only attended one SAS class.  Because of my experience in SAS, and my government term was ending, I moved on to work for a telecom company.  There, I did SAS financial reporting on depreciation, and reconciled subsidiary systems, yes, all via SAS.

 

My SAS skills were so valuable I was asked to join the SAP team.  I lead our projects & assets team.  I learned the SAP Query tool, Report Painter, Report Writer.  For years I was a functional finance consultant.  Then I left for another company, where I learned SAP Funds Management module.  We decided to upgrade to SAP 4.6c, however, SAP told us they would no longer support hierarchical reporting - a big must for Funds Management.  They recommended we use BW.  Hence, I wrote functional specifications for BW.  Soon, the BW team left, I applied for the position with no experience in BW!  What an adventure...

 

I learned BW 3.5, 7.0, but with my functional skills I was in a position to reconcile extracts and loads.  I optimized BW process chains; learned BI Content; learned the BEx Web Application Designer and the BEx tools.  Along the way, I earned my SAP BW certification.  Not for job prospects, but I learned way more about BW that way.  Suddenly, I could answer our Security team's questions about Analysis authorizations.

 

I made another job change, this time for an easier commute, learning BusinessObjects with SAP along the way.  I've had great SAP help, through ASUG, to always learn more about BI, with great thanks to SAP's Ingo Hilgefort, Alexander Peter, and Katie Beavers, formerly of SAP.  I've also learned so much more by giving back to the community, via ASUG and the SAP Community Network, and I encourage others to do the same.

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