Allegient Blog

Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 3

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 24, 2014

I mentioned in my first blog post that I am a recent graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Mathematics, and my master’s degree in Statistics. When I saw “Descriptive Analytics” in the title for the first slide deck this week and “Statistics” on the next slide, the statistician in me starting jumping for joy. However, I was a bit disappointed at first when the professors breezed through the first slide deck and immediately switched over to a demo on pivot table functionality with Power Pivot models.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 2

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 13, 2014

I ended my last blog post with a brief description of Power Query. I described Power Query as a mini-tool for ETL (Extract Transform Load), which happens toward the beginning of the overall BI life cycle. Not only does this online course give an overview of the Power BI Tools, but it is structured in a way that mirrors the BI lifecycle—introducing each tool in the order in which you would use them. Naturally, building a data model in Power Pivot is the next step in our condensed journey through the BI life cycle. Power Pivot is an add-in for Excel that allows the user to import data from multiple sources (including Power Query) and build data models that can include calculated columns and measures that the user defines.

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Allegient IU BI Online Course: Week 1

Posted by Sara Wagner | November 6, 2014

I am a recent college graduate on Allegient’s Business Intelligence team, so I was excited to have the opportunity to sit in on Allegient’s online BI course that partners with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. One thing I noticed about the online course was its title: “Business Analytics with the Microsoft Cloud BI Stack.” My first thought was, “So wait—what’s the difference between Business Intelligence and Business Analytics?” I guess I had never really thought about it before. The first session started out by explaining this difference: BI is described as “backward thinking” and descriptive, whereas BA is more “forward thinking” and predictive. The link between the two is that they both use historical data to accomplish their individual purposes. Over the next few weeks, this course will address both cases and introduce the Microsoft tools that work with each of them.

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Front-End Tips for Saving Your Work In The Cloud

Posted by Sarah Boswell | November 4, 2014

You’re smart. You know it’s important to save your work, or even save it periodically while you’re still working. But even with the best intentions, things can get lost, deleted, overridden, and ultimately not recovered.

In software development, we try to account for user error, and there are some pretty great tricks for setting up auto-save and backup features on different Microsoft tools. Here are a couple examples from things learned on the job.

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Creative Punting: A Junior Project Manager's Two-Week Perspective

Posted by Bennie Waters | October 29, 2014

When I sat down for my interview with Ryan Brubaker, the head of Platform Solutions at Allegient, I mentioned being interested in project management. Like any interviewer would, Ryan mentioned that it was a possibility, and that we would keep an eye out for possibilities in that area. Initially, that seemed like the empty promise of a job interview, but Allegient quickly proved me wrong.

It was clear that Ryan took my wishes seriously when, two days after I finished my new hire orientation, he approached me about taking a week-long course on Microsoft Project Server, one of the premiere tools for project managers. Even then though, I never expected that just four months into the job, I’d be starting an assignment as a junior project manager at one of the company’s biggest clients.

This is about what happened since then.

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Collaboration in the Cloud with Office 365

Posted by Albert Chan | October 21, 2014

How many of you have heard these types of things while working in collaboration with a group of people on a presentation, document, etc.:

  • "Who has the "real" copy?"
  • "Can you send it to me?"
  • "I did send it, did you not get it?"
  • "I don't like how this was written, I'm going to change it. Let me send you back my edits."
  • "I haven't received the updated version yet."
  • "Is this the "latest and greatest" version?"
  • "Oh wait, I haven't made my changes yet! Can someone send the latest version to me?"
  • "It's on my computer somewhere... Let me find it and I'll send it to you."

... Yeah... not very fun, is it?

Working at Allegient has given me my first real chance of using Microsoft Office 365 in a collaborative environment working primarily in the cloud. In the past, if I was working collaboratively with a group of people on a document I would usually save a copy to my computer, make my edits, and then send out a new version to the group. This has a some obvious pitfalls:

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What is ServiceNow?

Posted by Axel Ortiz | October 16, 2014

A short while ago I was tasked with working on a pilot that required me to learn a new software product (well, at least it was new to me) and provide evaluations of this product.

The product I am referring to is the cloud-based, Software as a Service (SaaS) solution called ServiceNow that manages and automates IT enterprise services. Sounds boring? It really isn't…that is, once you get past that familiar Salesforce.com-like look and feel and learn your way around the product. 

I would like to share some details of what ServiceNow can do for any business looking to automate their IT services, whether it is through change management, incident management, project portfolio management, configuration management, or resource management among other practices.

ServiceNow is offered solely as an online solution that does not require the customer to incur in hardware expenses. In contrast, RemedyForce (Salesforce.com's nemesis to ServiceNow) does offer on premise solutions as well as Computer Associates (CA).

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Four Steps to a Successful Change

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | October 13, 2014

In order for a company to gain competitive advantage in today’s world; through business optimization, increased productivity, more efficiency and better business intelligence; Allegient as a consulting company identified four key areas:

  •          Cloud Platform
  •          Mobility
  •          Data & Insights
  •          Social & Productivity

However gaining this advantage is not like installing a new system or a simple upgrade. It requires a transformation in how a particular organization views and reacts to change, and how this change is managed.

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Bridging the Analytics Divide One Student at a Time

Posted by Andy Brockett | October 1, 2014

From September 9th through the 11th, the Allegient team hosted the second session of the Business Intelligence Analytics with the Microsoft Stack course. The Allegient team always enjoys hosting clients in our Immersion Center, but this session was especially exciting as we hosted a sold-out session of 14 attendees representing 5 companies. The students were led through three days of cutting-edge material by leading professors from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. They were introduced to a business analytics framework that served as the foundation for the design and creation of self-service business intelligence reports and dashboards. As a result, attendees left the course with a firm understanding of data-driven business decisioning and the impact this process has on how the data is prepared, visualized, and distributed to business stakeholders.

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It's a Small SharePoint World

Posted by Kelli Ellis | September 22, 2014

I remember the first time I attended a chess tournament. My son was interested in the chess club at school, and since he was only in fourth grade at the time my husband and I joined him. I was fascinated to find that it was somewhat a world of its own – like a world within our own world. Everyone had the same collapsible chess board in a blue carrying bag with a chess clock. They seemed to have a language of their own, see this very long glossary of chess terms. One sign said, “Skittles here” but I didn’t see any candy (see definition below). I felt like an interloper. My son enjoyed the day, but determined chess was just not the thing for him.

Skittles - A casual or "pick-up" game, usually played without a chess clock. At chess tournaments, a skittles room is where one goes to play for fun while waiting for the next formal game.

 

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