Magdalena Miąc, Internal IT Technical Writer interviewed Jacek Biały, Business Intelligence Architect and Product Owner.
Magda Miąc: What is Business Intelligence and how to use it in Sii? How BI is to the functioning of the entire company?
Jacek Biały: BI is the transformation of data into information useful for business users, allowing for interpretation of this data, supporting strategic or operational decision-making. That’s exactly what BI is in the company – it allows the management to make accurate and quick decisions.
At Sii, we have a number of systems, such as AX, SiiRM, Service Desk, Jira, Active Directory, in which data is stored in different ways and in different places. Then there are Excel files, which are also used to process and store data. BI allows you to extract relevant information from these systems and present them to the end user in a simple and transparent way.
Magda Miąc: What changes have been made recently in the BI reports?
Jacek Biały: We have expanded access to our reports. Until now, it was limited to top management. Now, all managers have been granted access to the reports. Financial reports with project or departmental P&L statements at the level of Business Units or Practices have also been made available to managers. Reports are now located on a new platform – SharePoint within SiiPortal. They now feature a more modern and user-friendly interface. They are also available on mobile devices.
Magda Miąc: Congratulations are due in connection with the next question. What led you to being awarded the title of Engineer of the Year?
Jacek Biały: Thank You. I received this award in January 2015 for my involvement in the development of Sii systems and business support to enable quick and accurate decision-making.
Magda Miąc: You have also been nominated to the Most Valuable Person 2015 award.
Jacek Biały: Quoting Sii CFO, Tomasz Książek: “Without a reporting system, we would be blind and unaware of what is happening in the company.” This value has also been recognized by the president of Sii, hence my nomination for the award. As the main BI architect at Sii, I’m very much in demand.
Even comparing the current situation with last year, the current, complex reporting system is much more advanced and allows full control over what is happening in the company. I think that this development has been recognized, hence my nomination.
Magda Miąc: What gives you the greatest satisfaction from working at Sii? What do you appreciate the most?
Jacek Biały: Opportunities for personal development, learning about new technologies, participation in very interesting projects, as well as the opportunity to work with people I met here. This also gives me great satisfaction. We employ people with extensive business and technical knowledge. Working with them is a big advantage for me. I like what I’m doing. Building reporting systems and then giving others the opportunity to analyze the data – it’s my passion.
Magda Miąc: What has your professional path been like?
Jacek Biały: Already in elementary school I wanted to become a computer scientist. Later, I chose a high school program with emphasis on mathematics and physics, because I wanted to be involved with numbers. Then, I majored in computer science at the University of Technology. The companies for which I worked were also related to information technology. Yes, there were difficulties, but that’s what makes computer science so interesting to me. Initially, I worked on a support system for sales representatives working in a pharmaceutical company. Once it was finished and the employees were able to enter data into it, it became necessary to process and obtain information from the data. Thus, I became involved in reports. This experience made me realize that this is what I would ultimately like to do.
Magda Miąc: There is an anecdote in Sii that BI abbreviation comes from BIały – your surname. Many people in the company refer to you as the jack of all trades. Why?
Jacek Biały: This is due to the fact that the data are everywhere, in every system within the company. We must be able to move among them. My versatility stems precisely from this – knowing how to navigate it all. I cannot imagine a person who is engaged in BI systems without being versatile. Our AX is a great example of a complex system. Without the ability to extract data, such person would quickly fail. They would not be able to meet the expectations.
Magda Miąc: What does the Engineer of the Year do after hours? What are your hobbies and interests?
Jacek Biały: I have several passions. I love spending time with my family. I also love gardening. I have my own garden I take care of. I love exploring different gardens in Poland and abroad. I am also a sports fan. I try to regularly practice different martial arts. At the moment, it is wushu. When I was younger, I trained kyokushin karate and traditional karate later on.
Magda Miąc: Thank you for the conversation.