Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A New Beginning

Welcome to the first days of Analytics InDepth!  (Full disclosure: actually, this is the first blog posting, but the company is now almost two months old.  Someday, we’ll look back and it’ll all seem the same.)

The back story in brief

So, after 10 years of DW/BI/EPM consulting and climbing the consulting firm ladders, I finally decided to cut out on my own.  I’ve toyed with the idea for a few years and even consulted with a lawyer and an accountant last year.  But I always held myself back, unwilling to take the risk.  However, 2013 was a very mixed bag, as I started the year having a blast - focused on technical architecture and technology strategy that I’ve most enjoyed.  But changes in my firm required movement more into project management.  And put many of my long-term initiatives on the back burner.  After discussion with my firm’s senior management, I decided to move on.  So, I did what I’ve done before - reached into my network and started interviewing.  Two revelations emerged from my conversations.  First, I have developed an unusual and valuable combination of skills in with BI and EPM.  Second, at my level (Director), the boutique Hyperion consultancies had basically similar needs requiring more and more PM/AM/EM work and less overall interesting (to me) technical architecture and strategy.  It came to one day standing outside Bertucci’s ready to go in for lunch, I had a real conversation with our VP of “people”.  After about a half hour, I had a sudden epiphany -- I was wasting everyone’s time trying to hedge all risk by not making a firm commitment.  So, right there I shifted and set my end date for three weeks out.  I knew the outcome of this was going to force to me out on my own.

A business established

And on my own I went.  First stop were my archived files from past exploration into starting a business.  Second, back to my lawyer and accountant to understand more details.  And, of course, into my network to find and develop opportunities (more later).  There were quite a lot of details to get the business established correctly -- especially from a liability standpoint.  Incorporating is important, but going out alone means that the protection afforded in the past by my employers moves to my shoulders.  Here’s the place where trusted advisors are critical.

By the way, if you are in Massachusetts and need excellent, trustworthy advice:

Surinder Ahluwalia, Esq.
Robert S. Fineman CPA

And the race was on:
  • Incorporated (Massachusetts S-Corp)
  • Filed with the IRS
  • Business name
  • Bank account (Randolph Savings Bank - nice service and free business checking)
  • Mailbox (UPS Store)
  • Web site (registrar and host:
  • E-mail/Calendar/Docs (Google apps)
  • Business logo (got a freebie from VistaPrint - nothing fancy - price is right)
  • Business cards (VistaPrint)
  • Checks (VistPrint)
  • Corp Credit Card (AMEX)
  • Linkedin Corporate Page
  • Business insurance (Rodman Insurance)
  • Payroll processing (Advantage Payroll)
  • Accounting software (Quickbooks online)
  • Computer (Dell outlet)
  • MS Office - necessary for Smart View (Amazon)
  • Hard drive for external backups
  • Receipt scanner (Doxy)
  • Cloud-based backup (Crashplan)
  • A blog (duh - here you are)
  • Twitter (@AnalyticsDepth)
  • Fax number (Yes-it’s still needed:

There are still many details like setting up Quickbooks and generating invoices.  Plus, as business starts to flow, I’ll want to get a retirement plan up and going.

Speaking of business, all this activity is wasteful, unless I actually get some work and make some money.


The Oracle EPM/BI space is pretty hot right now and projects to continue to build on the economic recovery.  Companies are flush with cash and looking for productivity enhancements.  Riding Oracle’s coattails is also a good play now, as they make the strong case for Hyperion-powered productivity gains.  Over the last decade, I’ve build up a good network and understanding of the players in Hyperion integration.  Experienced Hyperion headhunters (especially Jim Burke, Dan Counts, and Anthony LaScola) have proven to be active in placement and, as importantly, have been willing to help me get established. 

With hands-on architecture and design experience plus years as a BA and PM, I am able to fill many different roles for clients.  One reason to go independent is to remain technical.  Fortunately, there are quite a few such opportunities.  I’ve reached out to former managers and colleagues; networked with headhunters; and used some job boards (especially Dice).  Given the time of year (October), my primary short-term objective was to land a position that would carry me into the new year, preferably through January.  Through one of the high-end headhunters, I landed a subcontract with one of the big integrations firms.  They had recently gone to production with a large Hyperion Planning system and needed some help with post-production support and enhancements.  Right in my wheelhouse.  It’s been a great four weeks getting my hands dirty and helping the more junior team members support the system.  The people have been great at both the client and the partner.  I’ve been extended two week into January.  And perhaps it’ll go further?

In the meantime, I continue to network for new people, companies, and opportunities.  It’s been fun and keeps me on my toes.

What this blog will be about

20+ years of technology experience -- including 10 years of focus on Oracle technologies, Analytics InDepth helps companies maximize the value of their Oracle EPM (Hyperion) and Oracle BI platforms. With strategic architectural focus, we build, maintain, and optimize your critical Business Analytics systems.

That’s the statement of focus.  And this blog will support that.  But its purpose is even larger.  I intend to use this platform, plus the web site, twitter feed (@AnalyticsDepth), and whatever else to exchange ideas and solutions in the technologies.  I have also learned through the years that having information is meaningless useless it is shared.  So this blog will also offer interesting ideas, technical solutions, and links to useful information.  Sometimes the blog may seem to wander a bit, but it will always be about my business.

I look forward to future adventures with whoever wants to go on the ride.  Your comments are welcomed.

And any business leads or ideas are always appreciated.

Thank you,
Jonathan A Cohen
Managing Principal
Analytics InDepth, Inc.

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