Saturday, May 29, 2010

Is experience years the silver bullet metric in Business Intelligence?

Dear readers,
In this holiday weekend, in the middle of trying to catch-up with some backlog work, I stumbled into a random LinkedIn page. What really caught my eye was the summary, where it was stated that the person had over 20 years of experience. Something immediately tingled in my mind telling me that there was something odd about this statement. Immediately my conscious mind tried to calculate how old was this person based on the profile’s picture. My estimate was no more than 30, which would put the start of the professional experience even before the teenager years. Sure enough, when I read the profile in more detail, it was clearly disclosed that this person started a professional career helping on the family business from childhood.
My current job requires me to interview at least a dozen people every week; many of them, like this profile in LinkedIn, write in their resumes that they have long years of experience in a particular domain or using particular tools, but they cannot provide a solution to basic problems that Business Intelligence professionals face when implementing projects. So, I pose the question: what makes experience years a valuable metric in Business Intelligence? Does it even make sense? Well, according to Wall Street it does, you cannot imagine how many annual reports quantify the experience of management in experience years. In fact, many organizations use experience years as the core way of defining the pay grades across all levels – the silver bullet metric that can be applied equally across all departments.
However, before you start getting the dust of your boy/girl scouts patches to add them to your LinkedIn profile, ask yourself if this “personal” experience is indeed relevant experience that will help you increase your productivity in your current role, or better yet, enable you to move to a higher role. After all, isn’t this the expected outcome of being "Intelligent in Business"?
Have a great memorial holiday weekend,

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