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Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #1 
I didn't see a thread like this, but would be interested in hearing backgrounds of other forum members that are willing to share.

Hello, I'm Josh Wilson, 35 years old, Sarasota FL (currently on a contract in Indiana through Dec 31, 2011)

  • BS Business (Finance & Accounting double major) Indiana University Kelley School of Business 1999
  • Ran small technical writing business in college
  • 3 years of staff accountant/financial analyst right out of school
  • Some IT/technical writing after that
  • A few years of playing poker semi-professionally
  • ~1 year financial analyst at MGM Mirage
  • Operations mgr & controller BMI Gaming ~2 years
  • A year or so of business analyst & data/financial crunching
For whatever reason, I've always had a knack for looking at a data set, and understanding the finance/accounting and operational meaning of the data.

I know from my experience with other data people that this a skill that not a lot of people have, but I've largely been unable to monetize it.


Right now I'm in the midst of a consulting gig mapping out certain desired risk metrics for an insurance company, a plan to get those metrics, and the best way to present them.  Contract is through 12/31/11.

Show Me the Numbers and Information Dashboard Design revolutionized the way I think about displaying data.

I also run Flagfrenzy, a pet project; I hope to bootstrap it to profitability levels that will support me full time, and then I'll decide if I want to be a hardcore capitalist or not.

I would love to work 6 months out of the year on data & graphing and using best practices recommended by Tufte and Few.  I have always enjoyed jumping into a new strange data set and playing around with it and listening the story that it has to tell.  I also love identifying the best way to present data. 

I think I was above average in data presentation before I read Few's books, but now that I have, I really like this stuff a lot more, and want to do as much of it as I can, while continuing to work for myself.

I plan to start putting up a website advertising my data/graphing skills in the Tampa area sometime in Dec, but haven't planned the content yet.  I'm thinking a fairly simple site with about 10 pages or so SEO'd for (as of yet unresearched keywords) the Tampa area.

Right now, the flag business is barely profitable, but it's self-sustaining cash-flow wise.  Eventually, I plan on the flag business ramping up as I ramp down consulting gigs and using my own data/efficiency skills to give me an edge on my flag competitors.

I would certainly love any advice that any forum members would happen to want to offer in any of these areas.

Everyone has a different path, and I'd love to hear yours.

Posts: 39
Reply with quote  #2 
1991-2006, as a software engineer, created an excellent BI software Voyant (wrote manuals too  + a bit customer training + consultancy). During 2005-2006 focused on data visualization. Unfortunately the product was killed due to the new owner that bought the company but didn't care much of this specific gem.

2007 started a blog http://jpbi.blogspot.com to find out how my data visualization insight relate to the ideas of the best experts around the world (wrote a few posts in this forum too, of which this idea gained most acceptance). While the blog was a wonderful adventure in the beginning, later on I got bored on the fact that it did not raise any interest in Finland, Europe, where I live and work.

2007-current, as a BI consultant in Affecto Finland, created/planned from scratch the Helsinki Area Service Map [English version]. It’s a wonderful project for my versatile skills (database, ETL, human processes, user interface, specifications for programmers). Imagine you're moving to Helsinki and want to find a daycare place or school for your English/Spanish/any speaking children / want to find sport facilities, music or other cultural experiences, etc, you name it. Everything is clearly put on the map via useful search options.

2006-current, as an outdoor traveler, canoed and trekked in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ural mountains in Russia, New Zealand Southern Alps, Taiwanese mountains, Indonesian volcanoes, etc, to feel that I'm living once and want to do what I most want (going to Chile for January 2012). I sleep in tent/wilderness huts total 60 nights each year, so call me freak, if you like. A teaser here 

PS. Almost forgot. I'm also an eclipse chaser. This photo was selected as an APOD = Astronomy Picture of the Day in Nasa's website. Feel free to contact me, if you wish to see the next one in Australia 13-Nov-2012.

-- Mr. Janne Pyykkö, Espoo, Finland, Europe
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