A Day in the Life: Senior BI Engineer

By Chris Knight – Senior BI Engineer

A bit about us…

Crimson Macaw are a cloud data analytics consultancy based in Manchester. We specialise in working with clients to deliver enterprise-level cloud data capabilities. We enable them to achieve smarter, data-driven decision making. Operating within an agile scrum framework with fortnightly sprints, our development tends to follow established patterns as much as possible. This leads to rapid development based on familiar techniques as well as ease of support across our team.

 

Senior BI Engineer

A Typical Day

In my role as Senior BI Engineer, a typical day will usually start with client stand-ups. These daily meetings are used to discuss progress on ongoing projects and address any blockers or other challenges. Following the client stand-ups, we have a daily stand-up for the squad, where every member of the team explains what they worked on the previous day, what they plan to work on that day and any blockers they may have that are preventing them from completing certain pieces of work. This meeting is typical of projects that use Scrum Agile. My day may also involve attending the regular agile ceremonies, as well as providing cover for the delivery lead when required.

The bulk of a typical day involves development work on client projects, with a range of tasks that support the development of enterprise data warehouses. Technologies include Snowflake database, Matillion or dbt for ETL and development of reports and dashboards using Amazon QuickSight.

I may arrange to have further client meetings throughout the day including requirements gathering workshops or sun modelling sessions. Sun modelling is a data modelling technique that we use at Crimson Macaw, to capture and visualise user requirements without having to discuss the intricacies of data modelling and other complex data terminology. They can be understood by both experienced technical professionals and business users alike. These activities are done at the start of the project and inform the design of the data models that will be built to provide the underlying data sources for reports and dashboards. For more details on sun models, see our excellent blog.

One of my job responsibilities is being a squad lead, which involves providing pastoral support to colleagues within my squad, conducting one to ones as well as providing technical support.

Encouraging our employees to get certified in the technologies we use is important at Crimson Macaw. It can be helpful in maintaining our partner status with AWS, Matillion and Snowflake, but also provides confidence to our clients and can help with career progression for our employees. As a result, many staff will often be working towards a particular certification, so any spare time during my day will often involve some study.

At Crimson Macaw we have adopted a system of hybrid working, which includes having dedicated office space at WeWork in Manchester, along with some remote working. We have the necessary tools to enable this including Slack and MS Teams for communication and meetings as well as Lucid Charts and Lucid Spark to enable interactive whiteboarding sessions, both internally and with clients. These tools enable us to work effectively as a dispersed team, with the flexibility of dedicated office space to allow face to face contact with clients and the team, as required.

Conclusion

The role of Senior BI Engineer at Crimson Macaw is very varied and offers the opportunity to work with new technologies, self-improvement, and a variety of clients across a range of industries.

Want to find out more? Need support on your own data journey? Get in touch here.