Over the course of the last seven years, I created over 300 posts for my blog. These posts were written sporadically. Some years, I wrote over 100. This year, I’ve written maybe two.
But as I focus my business on “helping social service agencies maximize revenue and results with data,” I find myself answering the same set of questions. Some questions are strategic, (“How do we become more data driven?”). Some relate to data architecture, (“Do we need a datamart or a star schema?”). Others are specific to the tools we use, such as SQL Server Reporting Services, (“How do I stop cells from merging when I export to Excel?”).
I’ve written on these topics before. But it’s worth writing about them again in the context of social service agencies. That way, I can not only answer questions in person, but I can also point prospects and clients to my blog for more details and background.
Therefore, I’m going to be restarting the blog with some of this content.
Restarting the Newsletter
In addition to the blog, I’m also planning to restart the Red Three newsletter. In each issue, I’ll hit on the three areas outlined above: strategy, data architecture and tools.
Because my focus will be social service agencies, not every newsletter subscriber will be interested in every issue. Which is fine. My goal is to make sure that every article in the newsletter will be of interest to someone who’s working with data in a social service agency.
I’m also planning to include client success stories as well as stories of what I’ve learned from my clients. Many of my clients are already moving in the right direction, and we can all learn from their experience. I’m hoping that these stories can promote conversation and not become a monologue.
In my first issue, I’ll be writing about the importance of identifying the “right” problem to solve when you get started in business intelligence. After that, I’ll write about how to export SSRS reports to Excel as cleanly as possible.
Future Blog and Newsletter Topics
I have a rough list of other future topics. Let me know which ones you’d find most valuable. Topic areas I’m considering are:
- Key areas for social service business intelligence: Financial, revenue cycle and results
- Tools: What you need vs. what you want vs. what you may be sold
- Data safety
- Cloud application software: BI pitfalls
- IT basics for non-IT executives: Hardware, software and people
- Getting your data together: Datamarts and reporting servers
- Excel: Friend and foe
- SSIS: Problems it solves and problems it doesn’t
- Staff training: Where you should invest first
- Source control: How to make sure your single source of truth stays true
- SSRS vs. PowerBI: Understanding roles in the Microsoft stack
Tool Tricks and Tips
- How to make your SSRS reports run faster
- Formatting (Because pretty counts)
- Templates: How to avoid doing the same thing over and over again
Let me know which topics interest you. Or if you have other topics to suggest, let me know them too.