Vivien working as BI-Developer (EN)

The case

Imagine building one of the most complicated machines of our time. Where do you start? Who is responsible for which part? How do you keep track of everything? These are daily challenges faced by the company that Vivien joined for her first Vlammrs project. This Dutch high-tech company develops machines that work with extremely powerful lasers to produce microchips of the newest technology, found in your smartphone as well as self-driving cars. With an increasing amount of employees around the globe and the drive for constant innovation, there was no shortage of data. In fact, the sheer number of tools, people, development steps and their interaction with each other can be quite overwhelming. Therefore, Vivien was responsible for bringing structure and clarity to the information overload. During her 11 months assignment, she became an integral part of the Business Information team in her role as BI-Developer. Together with her team members, Vivien collected, transformed and visualised data from a variety of tools to support managers as well as engineers in their daily tasks.

Vivien’s journey

A step-by-step guide about Vivien  her assignment

Start

Each new development started with finding and extracting the right data via Python scripts. All existing reports were also updated through scheduled script runs. Therefore, it was important for Vivien to check the runs daily and
perform potential bug fixes.

Raw data tables

Once the data was correctly loaded into the SQL database, Vivien wrote reusable queries to clean, combine and transform the raw data tables. This process took place in a separate environment to not affect reports that were already live.

Visualisation

Using Spotfire, Vivien displayed the integrated data sources in clean and accessible reports. Especially important: filters! This allowed the reports to cater to many stakeholders by being able to customise the output.

Feedback

At the end of every sprint, Vivien and the other developers demonstrated their work to key stakeholders to get their input. Once the stakeholder accepted the increment, it was time to move the new developments to the production environment.

The end?

With the release of new developments, many ideas were sparked for more
features. Back to the start! It is important to communicate what is realistic with the available data and tooling and to keep the added business value in mind.

Result

With many reports in use and a high demand for more, Vivien was constantly involved in all phases of development. However, she really had to step up when the most experienced person left the team. It was right then when a report for a completely new system was requested. Even for the company this was new territory, which meant that business
requirements were constantly changing. Together with another Vlammr on the team, Vivien took charge of this report, which integrated crucial planning information with the design status of the machine’s build-up sequences. A challenging task for a system that consists of thousands of individual parts and is worked on by various departments! Outside of working on BI solutions, much room was given to pick up other tasks. During her assignment, the team decided to start working agile. Vivien actively accelerated this transition by introducing the team to retrospectives, leading stand-ups and promoting the required mindset shift.

Vivien can be proud of her contributions to the BI team. By developing her stakeholder communication skills and harnessing her problem solving and creative abilities, she has been able to bounce back time and time again from any technical or business setback. During her assignment, she has not only developed many new technical skills, but has also grown as a person and left a lasting impression.