At BlueGranite, we have a passion for data, strengthening our company culture, and showing appreciation for our team. This is the first post in our new Meet our Team series, giving you a chance to get to know the friendly faces behind our brand.
Meet TJ Polak – a Senior BI Consultant at BlueGranite. TJ has been with BlueGranite since 2011, coming from a BI developer role at a large retail company. TJ grew up in Rhode Island and currently lives in Massachusetts, just south of Boston. He received his undergrad from Bryant University, studying Information Technology. TJ also has his master’s degree in computer science from Boston University with a concentration in data management.
If you can’t tell from his education and work history, TJ has an appetite for data and analytics. Here’s what TJ had to say about why he enjoys his work:
“I have always had an analytical way of thinking, and it seemed like a great career choice for me. I like the challenges that come along with figuring out how to make data tell a story for our clients. I also enjoy helping our clients find insights in data that they might not have known existed because they were using it wrong or it was difficult to work with.”
TJ’s favorite kind of project work involves data acquisition and preparation. He (semi) jokingly refers to himself as an “old school data warehouse guy” because he likes data modeling and ETL work above anything else. Lately, TJ has been on client projects where he has helped to start up and manage entire data management programs from scratch. He has also helped client teams put together programs for data management and governance, in addition to training their staff in developing data cubes and reports.
In addition to doing what he loves, he also gets to do it for a company where he enjoys working. When asked about what he likes about working for BlueGranite, TJ raved about our team, culture, and the importance we put on work-life balance.
“I love getting to work with my team every day. Everyone is incredibly smart, and even though we are all remote and spread out across the country, the team makes themselves available to help whenever they’re needed. BlueGranite does a great job hiring top-notch talent and building our sense of community and connections with each other.”
On top of working with a great team, TJ also enjoys having flexible hours and being able to work from his home office. He feels that it helps him to manage his time more efficiently and live with much less stress compared to a typical office job.
In TJ’s free time, he enjoys volunteering at his local animal shelter and with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also likes spending time with his family and two dogs, Gunther and Klaus. Additionally, he is an avid sports fan and is looking forward to spring to work on his golf swing. Outside of work and family, TJ participates in some local user groups including a Microsoft BI User Group and a SQL Server User Group.
Predictions in the Industry
Overall, TJ predicts that the BI industry is moving towards self-service. Consultants must wear many hats to help unlock the potential in the ever-increasing amounts of data our clients rely on for insight and decision making. When TJ got into the industry, he said that it was all BI focused and usually only involved building solutions off of a data warehouse. Now, it tends to be much less about data modeling and more about getting data to work properly when it is lacking any kind of structure. As the industry continues to grow, TJ feels we will continue to move away from general standards and will need to get more creative with the way we solve problems for our clients – a challenge we are eagerly anticipating!
Want to know more about BlueGranite and the rest of our team? Contact us!