Business intelligence: diverse pros are in demand
"BI is a rapidly evolving area where the companies that figure out how to best use their information will emerge as the most successful in their sectors." – Jaynene Hapanowicz, Wyndham Worldwide/Cendant Corp
"Having people who think differently from one another helps the team develop novel solutions to business problems." – Terry B. Young, ADP
By Angela M. Hutchinson
There's an expansion in today's data warehousing and business intelligence (BI) market. High-performance IT pros and engineers with technical and soft skills are in demand.
BI has become increasingly important, helping companies, particularly those in the area of financial services, do more and more sophisticated analysis of their collected data with the ultimate goal of enhancing profits. BI apps and technology tools are used to collect, store and analyze data to guide the companies in making savvy business decisions.
Diversity helps the company serve its clients
Another priority for many companies is a commitment to hiring diverse BI pros to reflect their varied customer bases and stay abreast of trends.
Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and CEO at Wyndham Worldwide, declares that "We strive to cultivate a global workforce where diverse individuals from a wide array of backgrounds, with different experiences and viewpoints, are valued. The result is a culture rich in personal accountability, professional growth opportunities and recognition for a job well done."
Tara Amaral, ADP's chief diversity officer, agrees that, "By embracing diversity as a company, we are much better at anticipating and adapting to changing business needs, market trends and emerging growth areas to help serve our clients.
"With our clients' needs constantly evolving, a diverse workforce that reflects that base makes good business sense. Diversity is truly a part of doing business at ADP and a key component of our service value chain."
Nancy T. Diaz directs info security management at Wyndham Worldwide
Nancy T. Diaz is director of information security management at Wyndham Worldwide (Parsippany, NJ), one of the world's largest hospitality companies. Diaz has worked in the IT industry for twenty years, the last three with Wyndham Worldwide. "My role is to direct the safeguarding of confidential information, assets and intellectual property across the Wyndham Worldwide enterprise," she says.
The work involves IT security, coordinating information protection initiatives in systems and application development, network infrastructure, HR, IT, legal and other groups to identify key enterprise security initiatives and standards, Diaz explains.
She's focused on developing effective methodologies and frameworks to help implement the company's program to ensure an acceptable and consistent level of information security. A basic recurring responsibility is directing business-unit-level implementation of info security policies, standards, guidelines and procedures across the company, and for third-party outsourcers and IT contractors.
Diaz is also an internal information security consultant, guiding functional services like privacy and confidentiality, enterprise info security, awareness programs and training and vendor relationship management. And she supervises and trains staff members who directly support info security initiatives.
Diaz' grandparents emigrated to Cuba from Spain and Germany and Diaz, who was born and raised in Havana, moved to the U.S. as a young woman. At home she speaks Spanish with her mother and English with her son and her boyfriend.
At the University of Havana she studied to be a teacher and specialized in math. Arriving in the U.S. she decided to learn about computers, and graduated from Bergen Community College in New Jersey in 1991 with an associate degree in CS. She also has certifications as a CISSP and CISM.
Right now, one of Diaz's main projects is development and rollout of the Wyndham information security awareness program. She's responsible for leading the development of a global company-wide awareness campaign and online training program to align with the company's information security policy and standards and compliance program.
The project, she notes, targets audiences in many languages with the goal of creating a security-conscious attitude in every associate. "We want to make the protection of confidential information and company assets part of the associates' daily job duties, and ingrain that attitude into the company culture," says Diaz.
When it comes to BI and data warehousing, Diaz thinks "The trend to make more use of the data warehouse for advanced analytics may increase as companies continue to move from running BI point solutions to a more comprehensive approach."
Diaz believes the need for BI will continue to grow. "There have been predictions that companies will begin to switch to real-time shifts in strategy to respond to changes in the marketplace," she notes. And she thinks the growth of business intelligence "will drastically change the way we think about business and the way business decisions are made."
Jaynene Hapanowicz is VP of corporate services IT at Wyndham Worldwide
Jaynene Hapanowicz has been with Wyndham Worldwide/Cendant Corp (Parsippany, NJ/New York, NY) for eight years, and today she's VP of corporate services IT. She oversees delivery of telecom services, including voice, data and contact center technology.
"On a day-to-day basis we are focused on developing and implementing telecom solutions that support our business requirements for voice, data and contact center services," she says.
"My teams are responsible for translating customer requirements into designs, and engineering solutions to meet the customers' needs. We also provide operational support and vendor, contract, inventory and financial management related to telecom services."
The team is currently working on an outsourced solution for call recording services for a contact center. The project, Hapanowicz says, crosses multiple functional teams both within IT and on the business side. "Coordination and good communication are critical," she declares. "This project shows what people can do when they band together and work toward a common goal."
Hapanowicz grew up in Buffalo, NY. Her father worked with mainframes and PCs as they evolved for home use. "I remember having punch cards as a kid and how excited my dad was to take us to see his new data centers," she says. "We had computers in the house since the early 1980s and I was constantly working on them."
In 1989 she got a BA from Canisius College (Buffalo, NY). Her MBA is from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Today, Hapanowicz likes the way the technology is going. "We are seeing products emerge that do a much better job with analytics than in the past, allowing companies to gain more knowledge and make better strategic decisions. BI is a rapidly evolving area where the companies that figure out how to best use their information will emerge as the most successful in their sectors," she says.
"In the future I would look for much more evolution around the functionality of business analytics. This will let information be correlated in a much more meaningful way to help companies make better long-term strategic decisions. When you know your customers better, you can service them better.
"Diversity in technology is critical for a number of reasons," Hapanowicz concludes. "Services are delivered from around the globe, through staff based off shore or through outsourcing arrangements. Having a diverse workforce that understands cultural values from around the globe enhances our effectiveness and ability to get our jobs done and deliver services to our customers."
Terry B. Young Jr is chief architect of enterprise apps at ADP
Terry B. Young, Jr joined ADP, Inc (Roseland, NJ), the global business outsourcing solutions company, late in 2009, as chief architect of enterprise applications. He provides strategic leadership to define and implement global standards, governance and application capabilities for the enterprise.
He's responsible for direction of all technology functions associated with enterprise apps. This includes data management, integration services, portals, collaboration, global ERP, business intelligence, sales, marketing, CRM, HR and financial systems. "As the chief architect," he explains, "I provide the vision of how technology can be applied to enhance client interactions with the company through communications, sales, solution implementation, better transaction processing and service management."
He also leads the design and implementation of technology, including hardware, software, OS software and productivity tools. And he supports business unit leaders and external groups in the use of enterprise apps. "I lead the design and development of enterprise information management data, processes and solutions which enable optimal use of information within the organization to support decision-making processes and day-to-day operations that require the availability of knowledge," he says.
As chief architect, Young must plan technology migrations to support future directions and business plans. "I develop long-range technology architecture and strategy for all phases of the enterprise's operations and interactions with clients and suppliers," he says. "And I provide enterprise-wide direction on the use of emerging technologies for our satellite operations, including international business units and subsidiaries."
Born to a Native American/African American father and Filipino mother, Young lived in Europe and Asia as a kid. In 1990 he got his BSCS from Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and in 2003 he completed an executive masters certification in international business ops.
Young thinks his nontraditional background improves his ability to view problems from different angles, create solutions and relate to all types of people. "When you move around as a child, you learn about relationships and how to make friends quickly," he's found. "As you grow you find that keeping in touch with people and helping those in need are important aspects of life."
Young's team recently launched several enterprise BI initiatives, including upgrading data management infrastructure, introducing BI shared services and strengthening ADP's data quality and data governance processes.
"I face several key challenges working on these projects with my team," he notes. "We've found that point-in-time and historical information is no longer sufficient to run the business. The business demands more realtime analytics and new delivery methods. Decision-making activities are no longer just about reporting what happened; we're now using the information to help predict what's going to happen. Combinations of relevant data will be needed, along with more advanced visualization and dashboards."
Young and his team believe that upgrading ADP's data management infrastructure and setting up a shared BI competency center will speed imple- mentation and adoption of new BI capabilities and management practices. "We are working collaboratively with all areas of the business, including sales, marketing, service, HR and finance, to capture the data, define governance processes and identify the needed skills."
The ADP management team understands that the future of business is evolving and wants to position the company to evolve with it. That was a prime factor in Young's decision to join the company. "I felt this opportunity was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference within an organization," he explains. "I was looking forward to the challenges and wanted to contribute in a significant way to ADP's success: the elemental transformation of the global IT organization."
"The knowledge worker"
ADP's Young specifies three key trends in business intelligence that directly affect his team: the rapidly growing consumption of data, the evolution of the data infrastructure and the new innovative ways data is used.
"Companies like ADP are granting access to business intelligence tools to their employees and their clients, giving rise to the 'knowledge worker.' As people become savvier with business intelligence capabilities, we will see more information innovations: the rise of smart mobile devices and data sensing applications which will drive an exponential increase in data volume and throughput," Young says.
"Clients, colleagues and suppliers will begin to exchange information informally, fundamentally changing how businesses operate. Some companies are already using social networking sites like LinkedIn with CRM systems to uncover sales opportunities."
Diversity at ADP
"In the technology industry, capabilities continue to evolve at ever-increasing speeds," Young says. "Stakeholders are demanding value and quicker results. Having people on your team that think differently from one another helps the team innovate and develop novel solutions to business problems, and being able to look at multiple aspects of a situation speeds your ability to get to the answer."
ADP understands these drivers and promotes diversity as a differentiator for the business, Young says. "Diversity unlocks an organization's ability to be creative, communicates a broad acceptance of people that may be potential clients, and allows for rapid change in the face of unforeseen market events."
Young stresses that BI projects are not so much about technology as about business change. The hardest part may be the cultural changes that need to accompany these projects in data governance and stewardship. Here again, diversity may be helpful.
Elsa Nunez supervises network wireline and wireless at BCBSTX
For the past sixteen years Elsa Nunez has worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX, a division of Health Care Service Corp). As network supervisor she heads up a group of eight working on design, ops, support, maintenance and admin of voicemail, PBX, VoIP and call management systems. She has a lot to do: hiring and training people, running staff and project meetings, overseeing installation of network hardware and software, and of course keeping up with latest network technology and making recommendations when updates are needed.
Nunez was born in Chicago, IL; her grandparents and father are from Mexico and her mother from Texas. She has a 1976 associate's degree from Laredo Junior College (Laredo, TX) and a 1978 BS in math from Texas Woman's University, and in 1989 she completed a digital electronics technician program from DeVry Institute of Technology (Dallas, TX).
A recent accomplishment at BCBSTX was a project in which 2,500 people were moved to a new building with a new telephone system over an eight-week period earlier this year.
"The challenge was the small amount of time we had to negotiate vendor contracts, order the equipment, install it twice, configure it, test it, train users and agents, then cut over a few hundred people a week," Nunez explains. "We are an Avaya PBX user in more than fifty locations, but we had to come up to speed on a brand-new phone system while maintaining day to day operations in the rest of the enterprise!"
Nunez says that one of the interesting trends in BI is data-mining social media, particularly interactions between people on the Web. "Harnessing this information will let businesses customize the products or services they offer to better suit public needs and desires." In fact, she thinks that data mining will play a significant role in the future of BI.
Dan Carwheel manages software engineering at Thomson Reuters
Dan Carwheel, manager for software engineering at Thomson Reuters (TR, New York, NY), has been with the company since 1997. He manages a team of seven software engineers who are directly responsible for building information solutions and customer-facing apps accessible via the Web.
His duties range from admin to team building, coaching and career development. He's also technical project manager for various software projects, doing strategic planning, organizing, managing resources and working with key stakeholders.
Right now Carwheel is working on a major software upgrade to one of TR's flagship Web products. He meets and coordinates with marketing, product development, user experience, project management and QA folks, plus several groups in the middle and data tiers of IT. This project also involves direct responsibility for new features to support TR customers.
Working with colleagues to implement a plan is the fun part. Less fun but vital is planning for speed bumps that may slow down the project. "Frequent communication is an essential element for mitigating those risks as early as possible," he says.
His decision to transition from software engineer to manager dramatically impacted Carwheel's career. "Several years ago I realized that I was more passionate about managing software projects than about doing the actual implementation as an engineer," he explains. He loves the "people-centered" approach to management: team building, talent development and leading people.
Carwheel has lived in Philadelphia his entire life. He's the third of four children, and "At an early age my siblings and I were able to appreciate the value of diversity, because my parents worked for a global nonprofit organization building strong, meaningful relationships with people across the world," says Carwheel.
In 1998 Carwheel got his BSCS magna cum laude from Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA). He completed an MSIS there in 2007.
He started working with TR while still earning his MS. Now he's leading a diverse IT team representing many nationalities, ethnicities, cultures, ages and genders. "Diversity promotes a variety of ideas and viewpoints which can lead to productivity, new solutions and greater job satisfaction," Carwheel says with pleasure.
Corporations speak out on diversity
Bank of America: Geri Thomas, global diversity and inclusion executive, says, "I can't emphasize enough just how important and real diversity is here. Everything we do supports our core value of inclusive meritocracy.
"For us, diversity is all about inclusion. By working with our differences we can develop innovative products for our customers and a unique environment for our associates."
Accenture: LaMae Allen de Jongh, managing director, U.S. human capital and diversity: "Bringing core values to life is critical to our people as well as to maximizing our ability to deliver high performance to clients. We must promote a diverse and inclusive culture that celebrates and leverages the differences we see as well as those we don't see, like different management styles, ways of thinking and experiences."
ADP: Chief diversity officer Tara Amaral says, "Diversity has increased our understanding and appreciation of our current and future workforce. As a company we value and respect all types of experience and backgrounds, which we believe help us grow as a company and add value to our clients."
COMPANIES SEEKING DIVERSE PROS FOR SECURITY & BUSINESS INTELL
See websites for current openings
|Company and location
|Accenture (global locations)
||Global management, consulting, technology
services and outsourcing
|ADP (Roseland, NJ)
||HR, payroll and benefits admin services
|Bank of America (Charlotte, NC)
||Banking and non-banking financial services and products
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, a division of
Health Care Service Corporation (Richardson, TX)
|KPMG LLP (New York, NY)
||Audit, tax and advisory services
|Thomson Reuters (New York, NY)
||Intelligence information and financial services
|Walgreen Co (Deerfield, IL)
||Pharmacy, health and wellness services and
|Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (Parsippany, NJ)
||Hospitality products and services
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