Philippa Winram, Business Intelligence Manager at Pronto Software, has been with the company for 18 years and loves working at Pronto. In celebration of International Women’s Day this week, Philippa shares her top tips for women working in IT.

You can have it all
When I started working at Pronto Software 18 years ago, I had a young family and the company was very supportive of me as a working mother. I found that you can have a family and a successful career but you need to get organised and have a very disciplined life and a disciplined house. My husband and I were very focused on our careers and having a disciplined house did not hurt our three children.

I was a better mother because I was working as it forced me to make decisions faster. As I was so busy I didn’t have time to ‘sweat the small stuff’ and I believe that attitude helped my children to succeed in life. My children look back now and say to me, how did you do it mum? At the time it seems like everything is happening all at once, and you need to accept that and deal with it as it comes.

Traditionally data warehouses do not contain today's data.

They are usually loaded with data via an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process from operational systems on a periodic basis, often nightly, but sometimes even weekly. In any case, they are a window on the past.

With the ever-growing pace of business today, are these history-based analytical data sources providing the right insights when they are most needed?

I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit last month in Sydney. The two day event offered a great insight into the challenges that many Australian businesses face on their path to BI fulfilment. There were lots of roundtables, 1:1 meetings, presentations and networking opportunities to talk with others about things we can all do to get better adoption, utilisation and benefits from the tools that many of us have invested a lot of money in. It was a great event – and one that I’d recommend you check out next year.

I’ve found that organisations often overestimate the ease of rolling out a successful Business Intelligence program. Recognising the breadth of impact it will have on their organisation can sometimes be overlooked. There is often a lot of time spent determining the right BI technology, but once deployed, many believe the rest will take care of itself. In truth, the technology itself is often the easiest decision. Without due consideration for your people, processes and organisational culture, you might not achieve the outcomes you hoped for – or pitched to your company directors to get the budget approved!

Are you having trouble understanding how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software can be utilised in your business?

In recent years the transformation of ERP has been dynamic, and now with it heavily linked to Business Intelligence (BI), it is being applied to business operations in more ways than ever before. No longer just an enabler of back-end functionality, today ERP solutions are delivering productivity gains through automation, real-time visibility into the business, assisting third party integration, increasing transparency into operations, and mobile access anywhere.

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