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The faces behind our success – Meet Tiago Fonseca

 

Welcome to this insightful Q&A session where we dive into the world of Business Intelligence with Tiago Fonseca, senior BI expert and Manager of Pluto Analytics who has been at the forefront of this field since its early days. With a career spanning several decades, Tiago has witnessed the evolution of Decision Support Systems into today’s sophisticated Business Intelligence solutions. This journey is marked by a passion for BI/Analytics, diverse industry experiences, and a commitment to continuous learning.

In this session, we explore his background, the essential skills needed for success in BI consulting, common challenges organizations face, and strategies for overcoming them. We’ll also discuss the complexity of advising clients on technology selection, staying updated in a rapidly evolving field, promoting effective collaboration, and achieving successful project outcomes. Finally, we’ll look ahead to the future challenges and opportunities in Business Intelligence.

Let’s dive into the questions!

 

Can you share a bit about your background and journey to becoming a senior consultant in Business Intelligence?

I graduated in Computer Science in 1994, and since then I’ve been working in IT consultancy. In the late 90’s, I was part of the small group of people in Portugal that started discussing Decision Support Systems (today generally known as Business Intelligence) and since then I never changed field, BI/Analytics is my passion. I had the pleasure to work in many industries, different countries and cultures, different technologies and architectures, and still, I continue to learn every day.

 

In your opinion, what are the essential skills and qualities that a successful Business Intelligence consultant should possess?

Consultancy skills are transversal to every consultancy field, so to be a good listener; think outside of the box; communication; knowledge sharing, and teamwork are the base skills for being a good Business Intelligence Consultant. On top of this, we should add curiosity, willingness to learn and mostly the capability of connecting the world of business users with IT. It’s the ability to build this bridge that differentiates a good BI Consultant.

 

In your experience, what are some of the common challenges organizations face when implementing Business Intelligence solutions, and how do you recommend overcoming them?

I should charge for this answer :).
The risk of an unsuccessful BI implementation is always very high. Now we know why such a high number of implementations failed in the past and how to avoid these mistakes. Experience is key, many young teams only repeat the errors that other teams made in the past, this one should be easy to tackle by choosing the correct BI partner (Pluto).
Another common error is Change Management, business users should be involved from moment 0 so that they can trust the system and believe that it will help them solve their problems. You cannot only say ‘Here’s the system, use it!’
Strategy is another must. Organizations should start by defining a good data strategy, where the BI system will be included. The scope and objectives should be clear from the start and realigned throughout the project. A common mistake is starting by selecting technologies, it’s like choosing a vehicle before knowing what you want to do with it, and then you buy a Ferrari to deliver Fridges or a Bicycle to make a 1000 Km trip.

 

How do you approach the process of advising clients on selecting the right technologies and tools to suit their specific needs and objectives?

This is far more complex that it sounds. Today, in every major company, there are people that are fully in love with a certain technology, and other people with a fully different one, and usually for the wrong reasons. This subject has achieved a level so complex to manage that most of the time, we try to avoid it. But, if needed, we first specify the criteria to make the selection, and then a clear and independent evaluation of the technologies on these criteria.

 

As the field of Big Data and Business Intelligence continues to evolve rapidly, how do you stay updated with the latest technologies, methodologies, and best practices?

Impossible task! What is big today will be small tomorrow. We must focus on knowing how to do things well, technologies come and go and are just a way to handle data and deliver insights (some better, or faster, or cheaper than the others).

 

Collaboration is often crucial in consulting projects. How do you promote effective communication and teamwork among clients with diverse backgrounds and priorities?

For a successful BI implementation, every stakeholder must be involved from the beginning of the project, communication and workshops must be done regularly, and we must be sure that every expectation is met. Everything works around communication, and we must know how to communicate with the different parts.

 

Can you discuss a successful outcome or achievement from one of your recent consulting projects and the strategies you used to achieve it?

For me, a successful outcome is a successful partnership, where we really join forces with our customers to pursue a common objective or vision. To achieve this, we must build a trusting relationship, this takes time, is build step by step, and does not follow a straight path. We know that we reached this tipping point when the customer asks us what should be done next.

 

Looking to the future, what do you believe will be the most significant challenges and opportunities for BI consultants, and how do you plan to address them in your role?

Business Intelligence, under different names and buzz words is evolving faster and faster each time. Keeping up with this speed is hard, but organizations are finally understanding that it’s difficult to jump steps, and that good data strategies and solid bases are a must to survive the data challenges. This is where I believe that Pluto can make a difference, our solid backgrounds, methodologies, and long experience can assure success. Adding creativity, innovation and the ability to question our own results make us the best BI partner that companies may have!

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If you got at least one No to these questions or if you want to go to the next level, talk to us!

If you got at least one No to these questions or if you want to go to the next level, talk to us!