Oct 212008

My name is Tomislav Piasevoli. I’m a Business Intelligence Specialist located in Croatia (Europe) working for SoftPro Tetral company.

I’ve been involved in SSAS for more than 5 years, doing mostly nothing but pure BI projects while providing occasional help to developers of our company’s OLAP clients (SoftPro Manager and later CubePlayer).

I managed to gather a solid practical knowledge about SSAS while working on approximately 30 still-in-use local BI projects. I never got certified because: a) I wasn’t very interested in that; and b) I witnessed you can achieve that with zero-or-so finished real-life projects which created an aversion towards that in me. Presenting solutions, designing BI systems, deployment and later support of BI project, in order for them to live and grow, was always my primary concern. The practice as we could say, not theory.

During a 5-months maternity leave (yes, you can do that in Croatia), I changed my mind. I guess when you have the time, you can look things from different perspective. I decided to go for it, so I ordered 70-445 Training Kit as soon as I returned to work. While reading it, I started to explore Internet for other resources that might be useful.

One of the things I encountered was MSDN SSAS Forum which seemed to me like a good playground to practice my knowledge and learn new things. I registered on 9th of June and soon began to post answers to various questions. In the very beginning it was more like a challenge, but later I began to like spending time there because it was the only place so far where I could discuss about SSAS with people that deal with it daily. Many people. And that’s not something you find around the corner. Moreover, that’s something I missed previous years. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know about forums and similar places – I was too busy working on projects (we had an exhausting delivery rate per year), no time was left even for thoughts about other activities.

Pretty soon I got hooked up to that forum. When I saw I can enter the Top 10 list, I set myself my first goal – to reach No1 in less than a month. Few days before the deadline I reached it. Then I formed another one – to stay in Top 10 (preferably Top 5) until the end of the year. That one is still not reached, but – so far so good. And, as time passed, I set another one in between – 3 stars in less than 3 month. Achieved in first days of September. As I said, I became addicted to it and all those goals were and still are just an excuse to spend more time on it.

Good thing is that in its core it’s actually a 2-way process: you give yet also you gain. While providing answers I learned a lot. The beauty of it is that you can directly apply it in your daily work. And you make many people happy.

Obviously, I neglected the Training Kit. I mean, interaction with people is much better than reading a book, don’t you agree?

And then there comes this blog.

If you’d asked me few months ago why don’t I have a blog, I’d say to you I didn’t see a point in one. Yet, after few weeks of activity in forum I realized that all those good and interesting things I provided should be gathered in one place. A different kind of place. What I had in mind was some kind of knowledge base, which a blog is not. But, that’s too complicated, so I’ll settle with a blog for now. Seems like almost everyone is having one these days.

I see it’s good features also. It’s another win-win. Readers will benefit from it but so shall I, eventually.

After deciding to open a blog, I postponed my first post for the same reason – you spend even more time online once you start blogging. It’s a commitment you take on yourself. Yet, the amount of good material and various documents that might contribute to other individuals working with SSAS is growing each day and that has pushed me forward. I’ve decided – tonight’s the night. I’ll start blogging.

Being so, there’s something I’ve always wanted to scream: “Hello World!“. There you go.

Enough said. Let the adventure begin!