Early days of BI

I worked a job in Tampa for a while.

I was on the reporting team doing Crystal Reports.

And my boss, one day in a meeting volunteered me to monitor the DTS packages that ran each day.

Only thing was, the jobs ran in a window from 1am to 4pm.

So each night, I received a phone call around 1am, saying the packages were not going to finish in time.

So I had to get up, drive 50 minutes to work, log on to my computer, fix the problem, then drive home, go back to bed, only to wake up and go to work for real.

This was not my favorite job in the world.

Then I managed to get remote access.

However, I still awoke at all hours of the night.

Then a new guy showed up.

He was about the smartest person I ever met.

And we chatted for a while.

Next thing you know, he spoke with the CEO and got me off the nightly monitor shift onto his team of 1.

And that was awesome.

Because I still got to write reports in Crystal Reports.

But we also worked with Crystal ScoreCard.

We even had a conference call with the Crystal developers in England.

And they sent us some contractors to write the KPI's.

This was way before BI got popular.

And we also had Microsoft Cubes.

I tried reading books on the subject but to be honest it was over my head back then.

So overall it became a good job.

I got to write DTS packages which read XML fields stored in the database, nice design eh!

So I had to write VBA code to extract from the XML nodes.

I also wrote MDX code back then which ran inside the Crystal Report - except the wizard wrote the code and I copied and pasted...

Eventually I wanted to work closer to home because the hour drive was too much.

So I accepted a $10k pay cut to work closer to home.

After a few months on the new job, the owners of the company bumped up my salary $15k after they saw my work.

And I lasted there close to 4 years and balanced the company books for two insurance companies doing the month end for 33 months plus a slew of reports for marketing, claims, accounting, hurricanes, etc.

So I got to work in BI before they called it BI.

I actually started doing Crystal Reports in 1995/1996, long ago.

When reporting was the red headed step child of the programming world.

My how things have changed.

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