Data Management Consultant .Co .UK

Consultancy Website of John Platten


John Platten is a highly capable Project Manager, Lead Data Management, ERP Migration Consultant and Data Warehouse Architect. He can analyse requirements, lead teams, deal with people and manage budgets and on time delivery, yet retains an uncommon level of technical ability at this level of management expertise.

His value to a client lies in his ability to understand complex multi-vendor, stakeholder and requirements questions yet still zoom in to the detail of how a project is being executed at a technical level. 

The management of data is a recurring theme throughout John’s career and emerges in diverse forms as data sourcing, cleansing, migration, and transformation, OLAP data warehouses and bespoke business information systems.  John is a valued panel expert on the Data Migration Pro and Data Quality Pro websites.


Career History

2010/11 BAT Knowledge transition lead
2010 BrightHouse Data Management Strategy
2009 BAT SAP Material Master consultant
2008 NHS Bid Partner (Data Warehousing)
2007 Carphone Warehouse, AHP, BP Lead BA, Principal Consultant, Account Manager, OLAP Architect
2006 AWE Oracle 11i Legacy Migration Lead
2005 ECB Solutions Architecture Consultant
2005 Tokio Marine Insurance, Toyota Insurance DW Architect, Data Cleanse Consultant
2004 Toyota Insurance, Markel Insurance BO Consultant, SOX, DW Architect
2003 T-Mobile Data Cleanse, PM, Principal
2000-2002 T-Mobile SAP Data Migration Lead FI, CO, MM, HR, PS
SAP Data Cleanse Lead FI, CO, MM, HR, PS
1999-2000 GlaxoWellcome SAP Data Migration Lead, MM, Safety Critical, GMP
1998 Shell Project Manager, DW Consultant
1995-1998 City Consultancy Senior Consultant, Account Manager, Project Manager
1984-2009 EFIT Facial Composite System IT Development & Marketing, IT Director


Industry Summary

Telecommunications T-Mobile, Carphone Warehouse
Government Atomic Weapons (AWE), Home Office, Police, Charity Commission
Insurance Markel, Tokio Marine, AMAGIC (Toyota)
Pharmaceuticals GlaxoWellcome
Oil and Gas Shell Oil Products, BP
Petrochemicals Shell Chemicals
Tax Ernst & Young, PCG
Sport English Cricket Board (ECB)
Manufacturing, Tobacco British American Tobacco
Retail BrightHouse (formerly Radio Rentals)



Lead Data Management Consultant
Stakeholder Management
Project Management
Business Analysis, Solutions Architecture
Data Management: Including Master Data Management, Data Cleansing, Data Migration and Reference Data Management
Data Warehousing
Implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) particularly DQ
Business focussed application software development
Packaged Software development and marketing
Account Management


Skills Summary

Project Management
(20+ years)
Project Management, PM, Microsoft Project, Planning, Leadership, Inspiration, Steady Pair of Hands, Risk Management, Risk Reduction, ERP, MRP, Supply Chain, KPI, Balanced Score Card, Powerpoint, Slides, Presentations, Bespoke Software Development Teams
Business Analysis
(15 Years)
IBM RequisitePro, Doors, Requirements gathering, Requirements modelling Requirements Analysis, Change Management (especially data migration)
Data Management
(15 years)
Data Management, Data Migration, Data Conversion, Data Analysis, Data Cleanse, MDM, Master / Reference Data Management, Data Profiling, Business Data Quality, BDQ, Dataflux, SAP FI CO MM HR PS (as a migration target), Oracle E-Business 11i (as a migration target)
Data Warehousing
(14 years)
MIS, Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Microstrategy 8, Star Schema Modelling, OLAP, ROLAP, MOLAP, Database Design, Data Warehouse Architect, Data Modeller, Data Modelling, ETL Design, ETL Specification, MDM Metric Warehouses
Development (20+ years) Batch scripts, MS Excel, MS Office, MSWord, Macros, VBA
MS Sharepoint Data Presentation to a Wide Community
C#.Net / VB.Net Bespoke Development, Packaged Software
Business Objects Management Information Systems
Data Warehouse Front Ends
Microstrategy Star Schema Data Warehouse Front Ends
Deep Drilling / Drill Anywhere Schemas
VB Bespoke Development, Packaged Software
C++ Bespoke Development, Packaged Software
C Bespoke Development, Packaged Software
Netobjects Fusion, WordPress Website Development
(20+ years)
Management of DBA resource working in SQL Server, Oracle, PL/SQL etc.
MS Access (20+ Years) RAD sketches of database architectures, proof of concept models, hand coding of awkward ERP migrations and Data Creation / Enrichment systems, Development of data cleanse tracking tools, back end of packaged software
Clearance SC Cleared in 2006 by Atomic Weapons Establishment
Affiliations Professional Contractors Group (Consultative Committee 2008-10)
Data Migration Pro, Expert Panel Member
University College London Alumni, BSc (Hons) Applied Physics, 1984


 Detailed History


2010/11 Knowledge Transfer
DQ metrics systems / BI
BAT changed suppliers in order to bring a DQ metrics solution in house (inside the firewall) and globalise it cost effectively.   Due to John's combination of domain knowledge in Data Management, SAP Material Master and BAT Operations from his previous stint there he was selected as facilitator for the knowledge transfer from one consultancy to the other.

He has also been active in analysing a further legacy DQ measurement system and producing requirements for the reporting front end in SAP BW for the new system post the knowledge transfer.


2010 Data Management Strategy BrightHouse (formerly Radio Rentals)
BrightHouse have some good people working on their databases.   The problem is they are also very busy meeting user requirements.  This has in the past led to problems being repaired as spot fixes, as they are encountered, rather than a holistic "step back and take stock" strategy.   Another well known UK data management consultant had already produced a data audit and invited John to add a comprehensive Data Management Strategy, which he duly did, based on the Data Management Association (DAMA) methodology.  The highpoint of the strategy is how John "right-sized" it for the company.  


2009 Data Management Change Management British American Tobacco
BAT manufacture cigarettes and other tobacco products.  They do this globally and are organised into regions.  Most regions have own SAP systems but East and West share.  The project was to rationalise the smaller teams managing data in Western Europe and to harmonise practices between East and West.   This was as much a change management and process harmonisation project as it was data management.   John's role was to untangle these tangled webs of responsibility and provide the key sponsor with slides, explanations and presentations sufficient to have the actual changes executed.

2008 Bid Partner NHS
John, his consultancy associates and the tool vendor Microstrategy collectively bid for a £2M 4 year data warehousing project. John built a working demonstrator in just 10 days on which Microstrategy added the front end. All parties then presented and participated in the bid. We came a creditable 3rd of 50 beating out companies of the calibre of IBM.  Good... but not good enough.


2007 Lead Business Analyst Carphone Warehouse
CPW acquired the UK broadband delivery interests of AOL inc.  Working as a Business Analyst John played a key role in initiating the data migration project to consolidate the AOL customers onto the CPW platform.  The project had false-started before John became involved and he was highly instrumental in returning business confidence and a sense of calm determination to the data migration itself which subsequently delivered to the client's full satisfaction.


2007 Account Manager, Data Warehousing Active Health Partners
John won a contract to develop an absence time series data warehouse for AHP, an innovative outsourced absence management company.  He selected and provided a subcontract SQL Server developer to carry out the work and dealt with the initial vision, timeline and account management himself.  As the selected developer was “spot on” for the role there is not much to report beyond successful delivery and a happy customer.


2007 Systems Architect, Data Warehousing BP
The Phusis Consultancy’s Principal Steve Pearson identified an opportunity to make significant savings in BP’s IT provision by means of improved business information. Working as a “one man team” John was able to convert Steve’s vision into reality by developing every end to end aspect of a small pilot data warehouse from analysis to design, to DBA and front end report development in Microstrategy 8. Following the successful pilot a larger team was put in place to exploit the opportunity operationally.


2006 Oracle 11i Data Migration Lead AWE (Atomic Weapons)
Government Data Migration Project - John acted as a data management consultant in a migration to an Oracle 11i E-Business suite ERP system coupled with Primavera project management. His role was to identify and profile source data using the BDQ suite of tools, recommend software tools and contribute strongly to strategy. The migration was successful.


2005 Applications Architecture Consultant ECB
Advised the English Cricket Board (ECB) on their architecture for interacting with cricket clubs and committees nationwide. Participated in the resulting SharePoint developments including specifically, a demonstration of a searchable members list via SharePoint, that then became a fully developed concept.


2005 Data Quality Consultant Tokio Marine Insurance
John introduced the BDQ data cleanse tool, managed the initial implementation and resolution of issues.   John generated the profile metadata and then successfully trained a Tokio Marine business analyst in trawling through it for value directly plus provided an issue prioritisation mechanism. The client was sufficiently impressed to invest heavily in the toolset for their future data cleanse needs.


2004 Data Warehouse Architect (international) AMAGIC (Toyota Insurance)
John implemented a claim and policies data warehouse   This involved analysis on site in France and Germany leading towards a common data model.  A Phusis colleague added Norway and UK.  Despite the diverse commercial and legal frameworks in these different countries (not to mention the confusion of overlapping automobile brands) the model was successful in delivering pan European figures on a common, level playing field basis that achieved the buy in of all the local operating companies individually.


2004 Data Warehouse Consultant Markel (Insurance)
John assisted Markel with their Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance project.  This involved constructing a set of Business Objects reports that verified the figures in their local UK staging area, and consolidated US staging area were equivalent and reported divergences as alerts to be dealt with.   The project was significantly shortened when John personally discovered and implemented a Business Objects technique that leveraged the user’s login details as a parameter, reducing 860 possible reports to just 86 that needed to be written.


2003 Data Cleanse Project Management T-Mobile
John improved T-Mobile’s telephone mast location data beyond recognition. Errors were causing engineers and materials to go astray.  Yet a valid mast address can include terms such as “50 yards from road junction” which are not easily cleansed or recognised as valid by conventional address tools.  John identified that a mixture of software and human intelligence would be the most cost effective solution and created an MS Access based data entry workbench that highlighted potential issues. Temps were then hired to operate the system and resolve the issues it highlighted.   The result was a clean database at reasonable expense.


2003 SAP Data Migration T-Mobile
In a follow on phase to initial migration (below), John delivered a legacy to SAP PS migration himself.  It had initially been intended that he would perform the analysis and roll off for an MS Access programmer to implement the migration.   However the client had chosen to remodel their project plans during migration.  (Reconnect the tasks of existing running plans within a different execution order and project plan template)    This generated such complex data relationships that John advised that he should carry through the programming himself to ensure the right result for the client.   This was duly executed with excellent results for the extreme logical complexity of the data modelling problem.


2000-2003 SAP Migration Lead / SAP Cleanse Lead (FI, SD, MM, HR, PS) T-Mobile
John was initially data conversion team leader responsible for arranging the migration from System 21 to SAP.   The T-Mobile data migration was broad and deep – comprising many SAP modules, each used extensively.   John hired the migration team, generated the resource and timing estimates and oversaw the first parcel of work. He then advised senior Finance Department executives on formulation of a Data Cleanse policy and helped them drive it through the business.   John developed an issue classification and monitoring system that provides weekly statistics.  This separated the mandatory cleanse issues from the nice to haves and identified weak spots and “slow runners” to drive the process effectively.


2003 Data Cleanse Consultant GlaxoWellcome
Following the SAP project he organised clean data for a rewrite of a pharmaceuticals barcode system, which safeguards consumer health by ensuring pills, packets and leaflets are brought together in only the permissible combinations.


1999 – 2000 Data Warehouse Architect / Project Manager GlaxoWellcome
The Inventory Data Warehouse was created as part of an ambitious plan to improve global vision and strategic decision making at board, regional and product responsibility levels.   A global inventory statement provides useful insights of its own such as to which products at which locations are regularly over and under stocked.   Allied with other information, such as product demand and plant capacities, it then becomes a powerful building block for fact based strategic decision making including which manufacturing sites should be optimally sited in which countries - decisions that can shape the client company for years to come. John designed the data structures within the warehouse, taking the best of the existing models of location, time and product and extending and improving on them – generating the first fully integrated model of stock items that GW has possessed.   He then switched roles, estimating the work required, drawing up plans and then managing a team through to on time, on budget delivery of the complete technical solution.   Techniques included the use of a data warehouse front end OLAP tool (Microstrategy) that exposes its data across an intranet.


1998 Data Migration Manager, MDM Product Master Data Shell Chemicals
John migrated Shell Chemical’s global product index from it’s old home on a local system to an intranet-ready SAP R/3 based platform.   The migration was a simple 1:1 task, the complication that the client used this reference data to manage its globally integrated financials data warehouse (~ the global books) and complete accuracy was required.   John also advised the reference data manager on data distribution strategies regarding several interfaces to key dependent systems.


1998 Data Warehousing Consultant Shell Chemicals
John ran a project to add textual commentary on root causes of financial results to the financials data warehouse.    Input of the commentary was intranet based, using ASP web pages.   Output was via the web, using Business Objects.


1998 Data Warehousing Consultant Shell Chemicals
John and a colleague created six data warehouses to add manufacturing information to the financials data warehouse.    Data had to be sourced on a global basis.   Major feeds were from the client’s three continental SAP R/3 systems (America’s, Europe/Middle East, Far East).   John studied the business measures required and then requested, checked and integrated data into a single picture that fairly portrayed results on an equal footing regardless of source.   All systems were on budget and on time.   Delivery was via the corporate intranet using an early implementation of  Business Objects Web Intelligence.


1995-1998 Reference Data, MDM, DW Consultant, Account Manager, PM Gresham Bell (consultancy)
John was a senior manager in a small consultancy (~75 people) responsible for managing GreshamBell's relationship with the Shell Group.   This involved sales, negotiation of contracts, profitability, and line management of staff at Shell. At Shell John authored a revised business communications standard to connect systems within Shell Oil Products via a new EU wide messaging infrastructure.   This involved negotiating common support and buy in from a pan-European panel of "wise men", each representing a major refining country.   The project was a resounding success, particularly for one of such political complexity.   The resulting EU wide product data model was also adopted by the EU wide SAP implementation that ran in parallel to the communications project. Before Shell, John was involved the construction of a range of mini data warehouses and operational data stores, known as the "Information Library" at GlaxoWellcome.   Of particular note was the reconciliation and consolidation of information from Glaxo and Wellcome legacy systems to provide a single coherent management picture of sales performance post merger.  Front end tools he used were Business Objects and Microstrategy. Other client work has included Ex-Patriate tax software for Ernst and Young and advice to development teams at The Charity Commission.


Bespoke Development Career

For most practical purposes the following is an unconnected parallel stream of activity to John’s data work.

2001-2007 C#.Net Development, Packaged Software Aspley Limited / Police Forces
John Platten was the original developer of the computerised Photo-fit system “E-FIT”, as often seen on BBC Crimewatch and used by 95% of UK police forces and others throughout the world in a variety of national languages.   Working with a colleague John returned to the product and rewrote the entire code base from VB and C++ to C#.Net, updating the interface, introducing colour and breathing new life into the product. Most recently it has been made MS Vista compatible.  It remains widely accepted as the premiere brand in this vertical market and holds a price point significantly above its competitors. Reference:
E-FIT UK Distributor and license holder
US Distributor (nice, visual site)


1984-1995 C, C++,  VB 3 Police, Home Office
Most of John's preceding career was spent developing and marketing "E-FIT" the computerised Photo-FIT system.   The program was initially written in VB and C++.   It is used by NYPD, Scotland Yard, the FBI and most of the police forces in the UK.   John progressed from lead developer at the Home Office through project manager to joint founder and technical director of Aspley Limited, the company that sold E-FIT world wide. The 1995 version of the software remained marketable right through to 2001 as above, when he rebuilt it completely as a freelance contractor.   This is an exceptionally long time for any software to survive unmodified yet  remain as market leader, and is a testament to the quality of the original vision and implementation.

"That's the main thing about experience  reduces risk"

Contact Me

Mobile: 0794 1095082
Office:  0208 868 8979

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