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Financial Reporting and Accounting Blog

Yes, I Yelled at You—and I'm #sorrynotsorry

Adam Jacobson April 26,2016

I wrote a while ago about being less of a jerk. And I think I’ve been making progress (although you’d have to ask my team). But this week, I lost it. I raised my voice. I yelled at the project lead of a consulting team I was working with.

It was only for a moment. It felt good. And it got the results I wanted. But that's not how I like to operate.

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Tags: Business Intelligence

From Developer to Manager—Understanding the Motivation

Adam Jacobson April 19,2016

Lots of people get into software development because they like playing with computers. They find development interesting. And like most people, they do a good job when they're interested in what they're doing.

And because they're doing a good job, some of these people will eventually get tapped to move into management.

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Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

SQL Server on Linux—Why It Doesn’t Matter to My BI Clients

Adam Jacobson April 12,2016

Rarely does a technology I work with it make it to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, but Microsoft’s recent announcement that SQL Server will be available for Linux is one of those times.

I’m sure I’ll get questions about this. So, I thought I’d prepare my answers here. (If you want analysis of this announcement from a technical guru, check out Brent Ozar's post.)

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Tags: Financial Reporting Software

My MS Surface Book Laptop Experience

Adam Jacobson April 5,2016

I’ve never been a technology fanboy. I don’t propose the latest and greatest to my customers, and I almost never buy the latest and greatest for myself. Until I did. And boy, did I regret it.

I’ve been buying laptops for my business for almost 15 years. So I've probably purchased about 30 laptops for my staff and myself. I always went with decent but not fancy stuff.

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Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

What Does “Mid-Market” Mean for Our BI Projects?

Adam Jacobson March 29,2016

The term "mid-market" is rather vague. We know GM isn't mid-market. And we know the local corner pizza store isn't either. But everything in between is a bit muddy.

At Red Three, we work primarily with mid-market companies. But what do we mean by that? While we often set a revenue range of between 50 and 500 million, other parameters provide a better indication of whether we're a good fit for your company.

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Tags: Business Intelligence

Understanding Row Level Security (Before SQL Server 2016)

Adam Jacobson March 16,2016

As I’ve posted before, writing this blog is much easier when I focus on things that interest me, which aren't purely technical generally. That said, some technical questions get asked so many times I feel moved to write the answer.

And that's the case with today's post.

Row Level Security and SSRS

Say you have a company with multiple territories – Northwest, Northeast, Central, Southwest, and Southeast. (For this example, I'm using MS AdventureWorks 2012 sample database.)

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Tags: SSRS

Making Headlines vs. Making Headway

Adam Jacobson March 15,2016

I spend my days working with data. And while I believe data can help companies run better, it's not the answer to everything. Yes, data can stop you from being stupid (as in, "These products are losing money"), but it can’t always make you smart (as in “This is the new product we should sell"). Because, as Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions about the future.”

Like most people, I’m pleased when the universe reinforces my view of things. So, the Michigan and Mississippi primaries were a fun day for me. And while I don’t follow the presidential campaign as closely as my 12-year old budding policy wonk son, it was interesting to see how the pundits talked about data and its limitations.

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Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

On Fixed Price and Not-to-Exceed Estimates for BI Projects

Adam Jacobson March 10,2016

Many of my client engagements start with a fixed price or not-to-exceed estimate. And often, as people come to trust us, we'll work within a specified monthly budget without estimating each individual project or request.

That said, I've learned from experience that a few rules must be in place for fixed pricing and not-to-exceed estimates to work. (And, in fact, most of these rules apply whether you're hiring an outside consultant or trying to get an in house project completed.)

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Tags: Business Intelligence

Unfair Questions and Dubious Answers

Adam Jacobson March 3,2016

I’m a regular reader of the Farnam Street blog. In it, a recent reference to this Isaac Asimov quote got me thinking about honesty and integrity in the world of software. Per Asimov, honesty and integrity aren't the same thing:

Integrity, is, to me, a somewhat stronger word than “honesty.” “Honesty” often implies truth-telling and little more, but “integrity” implies wholeness, soundness, a complex philosophy of life.

- Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov, How to Enjoy Writing: A Book of Aid and Comfort.

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Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

Why You Should Pay for Training and Conferences

Adam Jacobson February 23,2016

A couple of my clients use Dynamics GP. So, I monitor related forums for tips and tricks. Recently, a user (a GP All Star and legend in the making) asked how he could convince his CFO (who was all about hard dollars) to send their accounting folks to the GPUG Summit.

The issue is important enough to merit another blog post. (In December, I touched on the topic of user training in my post, What to Get Your Finance Team for the Holidays.)

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Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

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