Career path – Aleksi Rytkönen
Scroll down and discover what a Business Intelligence Architect does at Pinja!
Pinja in touch with many industries
I’m Aleksi, a Business Intelligence Architect at Pinja’s Business Intelligence team. I spend half my time developing our data warehouse and the rest of the time mentoring other team members, providing sales support and other design work.
As my work is mostly problem solving, I like to keep my hands dirty when it comes to solving technical problems. I also enjoy designing environments, for example, when a client needs a gadget and I get to think about how to make it happen.
One of the most interesting projects I’ve been involved in is a data warehouse for HUS, the Helsinki University Hospital. It’s been a challenge to move from the old system to the new, but it’s been an opportunity to do meaningful work. What I like about the project is that it has allowed me to try out completely new features in Microsoft Azure that you might not have elsewhere.
I’ve been familiar with Microsoft’s reporting tools since the beginning of my career, but I got to explore them even further at the SQLBits event in Manchester, UK. Our team attended a data conference sponsored by Microsoft in 2018, when there were far fewer of us. For example, there were many short training sessions on Microsoft data tools. It was a good trip.
Our BI team is a true multi-disciplinary team, with pure data visualization masters and data warehouse coders. It has grown rapidly in recent years, but the people have remained really nice – help is given and received. In general, when working at Pinja, one can only be amazed at how quickly you can get help from people who are working on other tasks.
The best thing about my workplace is: A sense of belonging. Even though there are a lot of things to do and a lot of different people, it’s easy to get along with people you don’t know so well.
My career path
From software developer studies to data warehouses through summer work
I started my studies in information technology engineering at the Savonia University of Applied Sciences. The most memorable course was the one where the task was to code a program with a user interface, not just command line stuff.
It made me want to be a coder, when I coded a program with my own hands in C#, where you could press buttons. I took every possible coding course at Savonia.
I got my first internship at Call Waves in my first semester, which also became my first real job. At the time I thought I was a full-fledged software developer and coder, but I was put in charge of data warehousing and reporting, which is what I still do today.
It turned me into a completely different direction, but I don’t regret it at all.
A passion for coding
In Savonia, I managed to complete the actual courses quite quickly, but the thesis took a little longer. The topic was to make a small Windows program in C# for Call Waves, my workplace at the time. I finished the task and graduated as a computer engineer.
Around the same time, I was working for a software company called Saima Soft. I did data warehouse development and BI reporting, just like at Call Waves, but with the difference that it was embedded in their product. At Saima Soft I also got to code small things, but I had to work with Java instead of C#.
First experiences with the social and health sector at Istek
When I started at Istek, I was no longer officially a software developer. There I also worked with data warehouse and BI reporting development, but I also did some architectural design and project manager work. Customers included the primary health care of the city of Kuopio and the Kuopio University Hospital, for whom the data warehouse was developed, for example, to track patient visits, which has helped me understand the needs of reporting in health care.
Business Intelligence Expert at Pinja
When I started working at Pinja, my title was Business Intelligence Expert. I did a lot of the same stuff I do now, but more BI reporting. However, I thought that there are much better people with a better visual eye for great charts. When thinking about the distribution of tasks, I was asked very carefully what I wanted to do and what interested me, so I focused more on what happened in the background.
Pretty soon I was involved in the reporting of the Muster by Pinja client project. Carspect is one of Sweden’s largest inspection chains, so they have a lot of locations from which data is collected. What made it even more interesting was that I was not familiar with the inspection sector before, so I was able to learn something new. We also visited Sweden for a few days to do some specifications, which was fun.
Best projects and new perspectives
One of my favorite projects alongside HUS has been the big data warehouse for Diak. For example, there were Power BI reports on how many students had graduated, or how many credits had been completed.
The data warehouse was built entirely on top of the Azure cloud platform using the Timextender data warehouse automation tool.
Around the same time I was also doing a lot of sales support, drawing nice figures on how the technical implementation would be performed and what tools would be used. Even though I wasn’t really a salesman, it was nice to see up close and personal how our professional salespeople got the deals done.
It gave me the feeling that I had somehow contributed to it.
Remote work is fun at Pinja
The surprising thing about my current job is that I mostly work remotely. At my previous job, I didn’t like working remotely and after that I vowed never to work remotely again. However, I did shift to working remotely due to the Coronavirus. After the initial shock, I had the feeling that this isn’t so bad after all. The tools are functional and natural to use.
When I was sitting in the office, I was mostly in Google Meet meetings, because some of the team is in Jyväskylä, some in Oulu or Tampere, and I’m in Kuopio, so working from home didn’t change much. From previous experience, I am able to pay attention to the fact that the working days end as if I were in the office. I put my work machine in my bag and put it aside, so that the workday has clearly ended, even if I don’t leave the office. Working remotely has been a breeze and I’m happy to continue doing it.