1 Dec 2021Blog

People of Solita: Data Architect and People Lead Pekka Tamminen

data-arkkitehti blogi

Get to know the people of Solita! We have more than 1,000 employees across Finland and Europe with different skill sets and backgrounds. Each of them has their own story to tell – what they do for a living and what inspires them.

In the following, we will introduce you to Pekka Tamminen, our Data Architect and People Lead who loves golfing and gets kicks about renovating a century-old house. 

Diverse tasks keep the mind alert

I’ve been with Solita for five years and have had the chance to work on a really wide variety of tasks. I do pretty much everything related to master data management, from reviews and specification projects to building the systems themselves. The guidance provided to customers makes up a large part of my work. We go through the customer’s business processes and think about the best ways to manage the data and what this would mean from the perspective of responsibilities and systems.

My current customer is located in Gothenburg. Our work for this customer is carried out according to the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) model. We plan higher-level activities for the next ten weeks and then advance them during two-week sprints. Our team of ten people works from various locations in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Estonia. Our daily team meetings consist of a briefing of the project status and what each of us is working on. This method allows for an agile reaction to the different variables that are bound to be confronted within projects.

What’s refreshing about the People Lead role, on the other hand, is the opportunity to do other things, in which you focus on people. Being able to help a team member always makes you feel good, regardless of what’s on their mind. It feels good to really be here for them. I’ve also been involved in recruitment a lot, and now we have a great need for new talent in the master data team. It’s been interesting to be involved in the growth and development of the team and business. It brings a whole new dimension to the work.

I’ve found myself in places where I never thought I’d end up

What has made my job particularly enjoyable is the fact that I can focus on the aspect of data management closest to my heart: master data management and data governance. I’ve ended up doing many things which I previously thought would not be my cup of tea. Back when I was studying I wouldn’t have wanted to be a consultant, but I’ve been exceptionally happy about my choice to jump on the other side of that table. My earlier experience of business operations and of being a customer has proved to be very useful and here at Solita I’ve also had the chance to roll up my sleeves in the implementation of plans, a job which was previously taken care of by others.

I also used to say that I’d never be a sales rep, but that has also turned out not to be the case. We brought Semarchy’s xDM master data management tool to Finland four years ago, and it’s been really interesting to be involved from the get-go in introducing this new technology to the market and grow a new profitable business around it. It’s in this context that I’ve ended up in a variety of sales processes in which I’ve built demos and proof-of-concept implementations for customers. That’s been a really cool job as well.

Of course, you run into challenges, too, and less inspiring moments – in that sense this job is no different from others. There are different ways of working with different customers and they are something you need to adjust to. There’s more politicking and bureaucracy in some organizations than in others. If that’s the case, you just need to be patient and aim to do your best in terms of things you can influence. The coronavirus has also had an effect on the course of our daily work, of course. Personally, I’m happy working from home and don’t really miss the train commute to the office. The team spirit at Solita has also remained very good, but I have noticed that you don’t take breaks during the day in the same way as before. Even in this situation, we nevertheless try to make sure that people’s workloads remain on a reasonable level.

Being surrounded by wise and skilled people also improves your own know-how

When I finally decided to become a consultant, after all, my goal was to get to work and do everything from specifications to implementation. This is also what happened. I’ve had the chance to work on very diverse commissions and develop in my role. While doing so, I’ve also come to master a variety of technologies. In addition to Semarchy, I’ve improved my skills in SQL and become more familiar with integrations, especially in terms of API technologies. Cloud technologies are involved in practically everything we do. When you work with modern MDM tools, the UX and UI perspectives are also strongly present in the implementation of the data management processes. The organization around me also contributes to personal development. When you’re surrounded by smart and wise people and when the culture encourages the sharing of know-how, something of that always rubs off on you as well. We also hold a lot of training and info sessions on a whole range of topics.

Solita’s culture, which stresses cooperation, also promotes personal development. The people here are really helpful. You can find help for any problem at all as long as you have the courage to speak up and ask for help. An open and inquisitive attitude also carries you forward; we have a great spirit of getting things done and people are really open-minded about new ideas and get enthusiastic about even bold ones. An atmosphere like that keeps you energetic!

Pekka Tamminen is a data architect working in Solita’s data community. We’re always looking for talented new colleagues. Join us!