There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. A dimension which is derived from the fact table and doesn’t have its own dimension table. It is an area which we call The Degenerate Dimension.
Welcome to my business intelligence blog. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mike Milligan. I have been in love with computers since I was very young. My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000 which I programmed to run my paper route. I have always enjoyed discovering new ways that these wonderful machines can improve our lives. I derive an immense amount of satisfaction from developing solutions that allow businesses to make intelligent informed decisions efficiently.
Graduating with honors from the University of Florida with a Master of Science degree in the field of Decision and Information Sciences and a minor in economics gave me the opportunity to fine-tune my computer, decision-making, and mathematical skills for the business environment.
My first real business intelligence analyst position was as a consultant for Satori Group based near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That position allowed me to travel to many interesting destinations and meet directly with key decision makers within various companies. I was responsible for developing data warehouses and OLAP data cubes to support business intelligence functions. I was exposed to many different database formats and utilized a variety of methods to extract data from disparate systems into a central repository where it could be accessed quickly, uniformly, and easily.
Next, I was employed by Jordache Enterprises as a Business Intelligence Analyst in Colfax, Louisiana. I was responsible for the design, creation, and implementation of a variety of systems to support decision making. Projects included a financial dashboard system that allows the CFO to produce a wide variety of reports and analyze data, a divisional profitability analysis application, an inventory application to provide available to sell information for planning and forecasting, and many others.
I worked directly with the CFO, the vice president of planning, and the division heads during the design phase to discuss requirements and discover business intelligence objectives. I initiated and completed many successful implementations of software solutions that allow the decision makers of the organization to enjoy the benefits of using technology to aid in their decision making process. I was also responsible for recommending and reviewing third party software applications to meet specific objectives.
I was then employed at Tech Results in Bossier City, Louisiana as a Business Intelligence Solutions Developer. I was responsible for creating new modules for their casino marketing software suite. I had the opportunity to use the full Microsoft BI stack including SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Performance Point, Sharepoint and Proclarity.
I led a small team in the development of a module that allows casinos to gauge the impact at the player level that their food and beverage outlets have on overall casino revenue. The application consists of a Performance Point dashboard, Proclarity briefing books, SSAS OLAP data cubes, SSRS reports, and a data warehouse populated using SSIS packages from a Micros or Infogenesis food and beverage source system. The project was extremely challenging and rewarding for me and resulted in a highly successful competitive product for the company.
I also developed the Group Impact module very early in my tenure at Tech Results and yet it remains one of my favorite accomplishments. This module consists of a VB.Net application that allows users to create customized parent/child groups of players based on predefined criteria types. The group creation wizard allows the user to create complex business rules that define membership of each group based upon dimensional or fact based criteria. The wizard itself can initiate an update to the OLAP cube and within a short period of time, an analyst can see their groups in the SSAS database, dashboard, briefing books, and reports. The module has the ability to import groups from the underlying casino management system and from two other Tech Results products for cross analysis. Groups can also be exported to other Tech Results products for mailing lists and other purposes.
I was employed at Lender Processing Services in Jacksonville, Florida as a data warehouse analyst. I was the lead ETL developer for the data mart solution we provide to the United States Veterans Administration that services all of the loans guaranteed by the VA. We successfully deployed several releases to production during my tenure. I also worked with the LPS Desktop Business Intelligence VP on a proof of concept analysis services OLAP cube to analyze foreclosure referrals. I extended that effort to include data mining models that forecast future referrals by combining our data with data from the Federal Reserve Economic Data website. Previously, I was responsible for the ETL and business rules integration for a new development effort to support monthly performance reporting. I integrated FICO’s Blaze Advisor software with Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services to completely segregate the business logic from the ETL process.
Next I was employed as a senior consultant for Pragmatic Works in Jacksonville, Florida. I travelled the nation providing training, project management, technical assessments, dashboard and business intelligence development for a wide variety of companies. My tenure at Pragmatic Works provided me the opportunity to work with many other senior business intelligence professionals which allowed me to achieve a tremendous amount of technical and professional growth. Pragmatic Works is an amazing company and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with them.
I am currently employed at Interline Brands and was recently promoted from the Senior Business Intelligence Developer role to that of a Senior Software Engineer. I provide leadership and mentoring to a team of business intelligence developers and work directly with key stakeholders in the business to identify requirements and provide analytical tools that drive decision making. I am the data architect of the second generation of the enterprise data warehouse and I am spearheading the use of data mining within the organization. I have also set up two different three-tier SharePoint farms (one for SharePoint 2010 and another for SharePoint 2013) and led the team in the creation of PerformancePoint dashboards for the sales management team.