L L B E A U C
H E M I N
industry experience is in financial services, manufacturing, food,
entertainment, B2B services, and B2G services. Here is a
synopsis of my career and interests.
My first career: Intelligence Analyst
My mother and sister
pinning on my
lieutenant's bars at my commissioning, 1987.
|I started my
working life with the intention of making a career as a Military
Intelligence officer in the Army. However, when the Cold War
ended, I decided to leave active duty to pursue a career as an
intelligence analyst in government.
Through the Army
Reserve I got temporarily assigned to the intelligence unit of the Drug
Enforcement Administration field office in Philadelphia. From
there I became a contracted intelligence analyst at a joint
federal-state task force in New Jersey. Despite earning
awards for my work,
I could not find a
full-time employee position in intelligence. No federal, state, or local organization was hiring.
This situation continued for years.
|I was to
discover that federal job postings for intelligence analysts, which were
very rare, were being reserved for displaced federal civil service employees.
There were a lot of them in the
1990s as government agencies down-sized after
the Cold War. This situation, as it turned out, was to continue until
the 9/11 attacks. I therefore
decided to move into the business world and be a competitive
In the mid
1990s, competitive intelligence was still not being practiced as a discipline
in most Fortune 500 companies. I therefore decided to get my foot in the
door at a Fortune 500 company and simply create the opportunity.
Through a contracting opportunity, I was hired by Nabisco Refrigerated Foods
Company as an administrative assistant, of all things. In less than a year I had
so impressed senior management with my organizational skills that I was
promoted and asked to fix the process of change management in the Quality
Department. I tell this story on my "Process Improvement"
page. Having reduced the time needed to manage the process by 66%, I had
a lot of time on my hands. This coincided with a corporate-level push to
create competitive intelligence units in each division. For that I
had both the qualifications and the time --- so I got my opportunity. On
my "Research & Analysis" page you can see some of my
no-longer-sensitive work from this and other competitive intelligence
I need to
make clear: competitive intelligence is not espionage, which is illegal and unethical. It is simply
the collection of publicly-available information to create a picture of
current and future marketplace activity and opportunity. The goal
is to produce actionable intelligence for decision-makers and
people in the field to give my client the advantage. "Competitive
Intelligence" is an
umbrella term that covers many disciplines, such as competitor
monitoring, SWOT analysis, and geographic marketing, to name just a
have read about competitive intelligence, you know there is always a
debate over what constitutes "competitive intelligence" versus
intelligence. To me, actionable intelligence for a competitive
advantage is the definition of "competitive intelligence" and
must therefore cut across disciplines. I describe some examples of this
on my "Research &
MS Office/VBA Developer
I loved being a
competitive intelligence analyst --- but after nine years
and three different positions I learned that the first people laid-off in any economic downturn are
competitive intelligence analysts. I needed to make a career adjustment.
decided to transition to being more of a computer programmer and database
administrator. This was not hard because MS Access and Visual Basic for
Applications (VBA) programming were a large part of my tool kit for
competitive intelligence. Although most of my work over the past 10+
years has been mostly database and VBA development, there have been frequent
opportunities for me to combine that with competitive intelligence
projects. As you might imagine, my combination of skills are rare if not
|While MS SQL
Server and Oracle are far better back-end repositories of data than MS
Access, Access provides a versatile and quick-to-deploy front-end.
When combined with other MS Office applications, a powerful and still
user-friendly application can be created with all the benefits of a
robust SQL Server or Oracle back-end. Building such
applications is what I excel at.
As a competitive
intelligence analyst, I also gained a lot of experience automating the
extraction, formatting, de-duping, and combining of large amounts of complex
data. The nature of that led me to call myself a "data
To work with large amounts of data safely and
accurately, programming skills are needed. I use my VBA and SQL skills to do
that --- and always back-up, back-up, back-up. See my "Data
Wrangling" page for examples of my more complex projects.
challenging data wrangling is when I web scrape information for competitive
intelligence purposes: the data was never intended to be extracted for
use in a database, so I must come up with a programmatic way of determining
where one piece of data (datum) ends and another begins.
I might be rare,
but I enjoy data wrangling, probably because I enjoy puzzles.
Mainly to explain why I
chose the Sun as my logo, I'll tell you my primary hobby is astronomy
with a particular interest in our own star. I own a Coronado PST
solar telescope and am a daily visitor to NASA's Solar
web site for its near-real-time images of the Sun, like the one shown
Following news from
NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), especially about the
International Space Station (ISS), is another past time of mine,
as is studying the history of the US and Russian space programs.
You can also count on me being at any space-related exhibit or Omni Theater movie at
the Minnesota Science Museum.
observation, I have an Oberwerk 45-degree 100mm binocular
telescope. In addition to the power of a small telescope, it gives a 3-D actual (non-reversed) view that a
cannot. In 3-D, star clusters like the Pleiades, bottom left, are
stunning, as are mountain ranges on the Moon.
My best nighttime
viewing is from the dark skies of many of Minnesota's state parks.
However, I'm far more often viewing the quarter of the night sky I can
see from my patio. Even with light pollution, I can view star
clusters 10,000 light years away.
TOP: Photo of the Sun,
2/7/2015 20:24 UT, hydrogen-alpha filter. Courtesy of NASA/SDO and the AIA,
EVE, and HMI science teams. CENTER: Nighttime view of the
Strait of Gibraltar from International Space Station, 9/20/2016.
Courtesy of NASA. BOTTOM: Hubble photo of the Pleiades (undated) courtesy
of NASA, ESA, AURA/Caltech, and Palomar Observatory.
designed and created by Will Beauchemin. Graphics © 2013
Iconshock by Unusual Minds and © 2002 Riverdeep Interactive Learning Ltd and its
licensors. Map graphics ©1988-2012 Microsoft Corporation and/or its suppliers. Except as noted, website © 2015