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Business Intelligence Careers

Ahmad Chamy's Business Intelligence Career Path

6 min read
By John Pauler
Feb 2, 2021

Ahmad Chamy was inducted into the Maven Analytics Hall of Fame last week.

This is someone we are proud to call a major part of the Maven Community, and he has an inspiring story that we can all learn a few lessons from.

Ahmad took control of his career by putting in the extra effort to learn new skills that would make him more valuable in the job market. He made a plan to build a personal brand to display the skills he was developing. Then, he followed through.

Today, he's reaping the rewards of his hard work, planning, and persistence. Ahmad has a job he loves, extra side hustle income, and is even giving back by training others.

His story contains some great lessons about how to build a personal brand, and about the impact that can have for those willing to put in the effort.

Personally, I feel fortunate to know Ahmad, and grateful that he was willing to answer some questions about his journey...

Q: Jumping right into the topic that originally piqued my interest, I think of you as someone who is very active in the data community on LinkedIn. It's my understanding that this resulted in a major career opportunity. Can you tell us more about that?

For the last couple of years I have dedicated myself to perfecting my Power BI Skills and pivoting my career towards a more data focused area of healthcare. As I learned and got better at my craft I started tinkering around with open data sets and creating Power BI reports. I saw LinkedIn as the perfect place to share my Power BI reports and build a network.

As a result, some amazing things happened:

  • I doubled my LinkedIn followers & connections
  • I acquired two paying clients for my consulting side hustle (D Cubed Analytics)
  • I was sought out and invited to interview for a number of data related positions
  • Most recently I was headhunted and landed my dream job as a Business Intelligence Analyst developing Power BI Reports and Dashboards for Senior Executives at our Provincial Ministry of Health.

In a little over 2 years, I transitioned from an entry level generalist role to a specialist who was sought after by some really important people in my industry. This to me shows that you will go further and do so faster by showing rather than telling about your skills.

Q: Let's jump back in time. I want you to think about yourself on the day you started your first Maven course. How long ago was that? What was your job at the time? How would you rank your data skills on a scale of 1-10 back then?

Back in the Summer of 2018, I completed my Masters in Health Administration at the University of British Columbia. I started applying for jobs and landed my first entry level position at one of our Province's health authorities. I was hired for a term role (3 month temp contract) and knew I had to quickly prove myself, I was eager to make an impact and ultimately land a more secure position. One of my key responsibilities was reporting on our project's outputs to various internal stakeholder groups and reporting to management when things weren't going as planned. At the time, our team was using Excel to run our reports and conduct ad hoc analyses. I didn't have much experience in Excel at all. This is when I was first introduced to Maven Analytics. I enrolled myself in all the Excel related courses and made sure I carved out an hour or so every day before work to study and get better. Shortly after, our management decided we were going to start using Power BI to create more professional reports. This again brought me back to Maven Analytics, I completed Chris's course and quickly I was able to whip up dashboards.

My reports started getting the attention of some of the higher ups in our department and after completing my term role, I was offered an extension with a promotion!

Q: Professionally speaking, what do you do today? Feel free to include your full-time role as well as any side hustles you're comfortable talking about. How important is data mastery to your current professional activities?

Today I work as Business Intelligence Analyst developing reports and helping automate reporting for the Ministry of Health. My role sits in the eHealth branch, currently our Province is making some big changes to the way we deliver healthcare - a more digitally enabled way of care. We have some ambitious targets and a lot of Government money going into this work. In my role, I develop dashboards that Senior Executives use to help them ensure we are staying on track and achieving our goals.

That's what I do from 9-5. I also have my own consulting firm (D Cubed Analytics) on the side. I saw a need for a healthcare industry specific analytics firm and so I started one. A number of my LinkedIn followers wanted to have dashboards created for them. I figured I should seize the opportunity and make a business out of it. It's worked, in my first year of operating I have acquired 4 clients and formed some strategic partnerships to help achieve future goals of expansion.

Recently I have had the opportunity to provide Power BI training applying it and solving healthcare problems. This year I led 2 bootcamps, and trained professionals from over 10 countries. I am now looking to expand this branch of my business and ramp up my training in Power BI, training analysts across the healthcare industry.

Q: So I know you've been through multiple Maven courses. Which ones have you taken? Do you have any particular favorites that you think have helped you the most?

I took all the Excel courses through Maven, and completed some of John's SQL courses in addition to the two Power BI courses (Power BI Up & Running and the Power BI Service Course). My favorite so far has been Chris's Power BI Desktop course, but I am really looking forward to Aaron's Advanced DAX course which I'm planning to start soon.

Q: You told me a funny story about your company paying a lot of money for another Power BI training provider. Would you mind sharing that with our audience?

At work I shared with my boss that I was taking some online courses through Maven, and she offered to help support my learning and pay for a course with an affiliate training company. I took her up on the offer, I registered for a 3 day intensive Power BI course which cost well over $3,000. I had high hopes and saw it as the next step in my Power BI learning. Unfortunately, the course was a complete dud. I was so disappointed in fact that I wrote a long letter to the VP of Training at the academy and complained about the experience. I actually mentioned that they should have a look at the Maven courses, because they were far superior and cost a fraction of what they were charging.

Q: You talked about hosting your own live training sessions and doing Analytics consulting work. If our readers are interested in getting in touch with you, what is the best way for them to get in touch or find more information?

If you are curious about how Power BI can be leveraged to solve real world healthcare problems you can get in touch by:

I am really looking forward to growing my business in 2021, I am bringing on some talent to my team as I acquire new consulting clients and need more hands on board to help support the increased demand. I am building my company's brand as a leading Power BI firm operating in a healthcare niche, and just launched my website.

As it relates to the training I provide, I will be leading monthly Power BI Bootcamps in collaboration with Reach Academy based in Toronto, Canada. I will also be teaching a 6 week Power BI course at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the Computing Science department in the Spring of 2021 too. In addition to this, I am looking to offer on-site or virtual corporate training too. Stay tuned and follow my story!

Author

John Pauler

John brings over a decade of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

John brings over a decade of business intelligence experience to the Maven team, having worked with companies ranging from Fortune 500 to early stage startups. As a MySQL expert, he has played leadership roles across analytics, marketing, SaaS and product teams.

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