Spotlight on - Interview with Jim Mackenzie, Business Intelligence Developer


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As part of IQ Tech's spotlight on & Jet2holidays, we caught up with Business Intelligence Developer, Jim Mackenzie, at their central office in Leeds for a Q and A session...

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Spotlight on - Interview with Jim Mackenzie, Business Intelligence Developer

  1. 1. INTERVIEW WITH: JIM MACKENZIE B.I. DEVEOPER JET2.COM ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ What are your key responsibilities in your role as a BI Developer? Basically, we develop new solutions and are in charge of updating and adding to existing data solutions. So that could be creating new reports or bringing data right the way through from the databases that are connected with our eCommerce websites like and Jet2holidays and presenting that data to people through things like Analysis services. We also create visualisations on that data and create reports that Finance and Revenue and all areas of the business use. In addition, we go out into the business and have to talk to the users and make sure that we've got our heads around their requirements and make sure that we understand exactly what they want. What would be an example of a requirement or request that you might get from another area of the business? Very often it is some data that is very granular. It might be the individual transaction level. For example, if someone goes onto the website and books a holiday – Finance are not particularly interested in one individual holiday, they really want to know things like how many holidays we sold over the last week, or month or year. So we're in charge of grabbing that data and summarizing that in a way that is fast and easy to assimilate. How would a request like that be divided across your team? It depends on how big the task is, so when a piece of work comes to us as a development request, we all then have a meeting to discuss how long each development request is likely to take and if it is large enough we may split them up between two or three members of the team, basically depending on how easy the job is to split. There's no real technical expertise that one member of the team has that others don’t have we're all pretty much similar. Some are slightly stronger than others in certain areas, but basically we are all capable of doing the same work. What are the key technologies that you are using in your team? The main tool that we use is SQL Server Integration services. It connects to a huge array of data sources and it transforms the data that it sees into however we want to display it. That is our bread and butter basically - pulling data from multiple sources and putting it somewhere so that it can be used. We also use Analysis services to aggregate that data and make it quick to access and move around and reshape as we need to. We use Reporting Services, which pretty much does what it says on the tin, and lets you view the data in structured ways. You may have a report that needs to go out every month, so we can put that together in reporting services. We're also using Tableau, both desktop and server, which can really help to dig into your data and find trends or important artefacts about your data that could be useful to you. What are the most exciting parts of the work you are doing at One of the most exciting parts of my job is working with members of other teams and other parts of the business to come up with solutions for different problems. We are able to work with some of the guys in the DBA team or the Development teams for and Jet2holidays. There are a lot of technical experts there that really do know what they're talking about, so it’s great getting the opportunity to go and interact with those guys and prove to myself that 'I can work here', because it is quite a big place to work. I think interacting with technical experts on a level that works for everybody is something I find very exciting. I like that we get through a lot of the challenges, particularly the data challenges. We have one particularly complex language that we write called MDX which is Multi-Dimensional Expression language and that is used to aggregate and summarize data, so it can be used easily. MS Excel inherently does that when you play around with pivot tables, it will build that on the fly, but we can kind of develop our own queries to run against our databases and get data out, summarized and ready to go in a very quick manner. Why do you enjoy working for Well I have a little cliché here that I call the three T's. Team is definitely one big factor. Technology is two, and Training is the third. Since I have been here, I have had the opportunity to go to a number of different training events. I was at a training event in London a couple of weeks ago and I've recently been put through a Microsoft certification. I think that aspect for me has really advanced my career. The team is really fantastic, there are a lot of technical experts here – people who really know what they are talking about. And the technology is some of the best around - it really is cutting edge as far as Microsoft is concerned, so if you want to come and use the best Microsoft technology then this is the place to do that! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ IQ Tech are an exclusive recruitment partner of - one of the UK's largest eCommerce platforms. are currently recruiting for roles in their Leeds office including: .Net Developers, Support Analysts, BI Applications Developers and .Net Applications Developers...