Philip Seamark a senior BI architect, author and Microsoft data platform MVP with more than 25 years of commercial experience delivering business applications across multiple technologies. He is an experienced database and BI professional with a deep understanding of the Microsoft stack and extensive knowledge of data warehouse (DW) methodologies and enterprise data modelling. Philip writes for the Power BI community site and is a speaker at many industry events, Microsoft Ignite, Data Insights, Power BI User Groups, SQL Saturdays, and more
How did you get to become an expert in business intelligence?
I have been working with data in some shape or form since my first role over 25 years ago. I have always been fascinated by methods to efficiently transmit, process and store data of all shapes and sizes and importantly, provide simple and easy ways to provide access to data. Overtime I have found myself in a variety of roles that while they have had different job descriptions, have always been roles would be described as a business intelligence role today. I have accumulated a vast array of tips, tricks and general knowledge of both technical aspects as well as the broader industry as a whole. I enjoy working with simple transforms over small datasets, right up to managing multibillion row datasets.
What areas of business intelligence are you most passionate about?
I have a genuine passion for what we know today as business intelligence. Outside of work I will often be helping out on BI based online forums or building, testing and playing with data in some way. It’s what I do to relax. I am very fortunate and grateful that I can find paid employment doing something I’m quite happy to do in my spare time.
I am most passionate about developing systems that help bring information and insights to everyone. I particularly enjoy enabling people of all backgrounds and technical ability to have easy access to rich and useful information and subsequently hearing about insights they discover and then the positive impact those insights have on the wider organisation.
Which business intelligence influencers influence you?
Outside of business intelligence who else influences you?
My hobbies outside of BI include flying; I have my private pilot’s licence, learning Chinese and running a small farm in the New Zealand countryside.
How would you describe your offline influence?
I spend lots of my personal time helping on online forums. I know I have benefitted plenty of times in the past from reading questions and answers in forums and discussion groups so it’s my way of paying that forward. I do wonder sometimes how much of my code has been cut/pasted into production systems around the world.
I also enjoy participating in Business Intelligence events around the world both as a speaker and attendee. These are always a great opportunity to spend time with like-minded people and provide a wonderful way to learn. One thing I have found to be consistent over my long career is that you can ALWAYS learn more.
What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?
More adoption of cloud based infrastructure as organisations come to realise how much more can be achieved using cloud based BI Data platforms compared to traditional on premise deployments. I also see more recognition that BI is a skillset in its own right, with smart firms hiring people with genuine understanding of BI methodologies. Forget data science, a good ETL developer is the true unicorn when it comes to recruitment in 2018 and 2019.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
Speaking opportunities, writing