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IBM Champion Spotlight: Paul Mendelson

By Namitha K posted Wed February 21, 2024 06:50 AM

  

Meet Paul Mendelson, a Senior Solutions Architect or Product Manager at PMsquare. He has been an IBM Champion for last 6 years!. With more than 15 years in the industry, Paul is well versed with all phases of the data lifecycle. From planning a warehouse, implementing the ETL, to building reports. Under the alias "CognosPaul", he contributes a great deal to the Cognos community in the form of journal articles, blog posts, discussion room contributions, and design sessions with IBM. Recently Paul has created a series of add-on tools (collectively known as CogBox) for Cognos Analytics, both free and paid, that improves the usability for both developers and end users.

Paul is also a founding member of AIDAUG (The AI and Data Analytics User Group). In addition to his professional interests, Paul is a blackbelt (cho-dan) in Taekwondo, and is currently learning Shorin-Ryu karate and ballroom dance. He is married to another TKD blackbelt and has three children, all of whom take great joy in beating him up under the guise of sparring! You may often find Paul by his computer, building more tools for Cognos!. When asked about his favourite IBM products, he says: “It has to be the old Model M keyboard. The "clickity-clack" is so incredibly satisfying! My favorite modern product would have to be Cognos”.

His favorite type of advocacy is solving difficult requirements for the Community, and he is excited about the TechXchange events which would enable people to attend sessions in person after the COVID. Paul has been a very vocal advocate for Cognos almost his entire career. From writing blogs, answering questions on various forums, to building a third party add-on, his valuable contributions go on!

Paul would like to share some of the proud moments in his professional journey;

  • “I was part of a road safety BI team that helped reduce yearly fatal accidents by over 20% nationwide (in Israel)”
  • “Learning that various techniques I've developed and tools I've written are used by Cognos customers world-wide”
  • “My techniques have directly affected the development of Cognos. I'm totally taking credit for encouraging IBM to enable the query pane in datasets”

When asked about his dream job outside technology, he says; “This is basically my dream job. I fly to clients for consulting gigs, get to give lectures, and my job basically consists of solving puzzles every day. If I wasn't... Maybe a cook? I love cooking... I think we have to ask my inner child: Astronaut! No, cowboy! No, fighter jet pilot!”

Lightning round:

  • What would be your superpower and why? My superpower would have to be the ability to quickly and easily learn new languages. People who can do that are mutants and I'm incredibly envious of them.
  • Ice cream or cake? Cake! Always cake! My wife made three birthday cakes for my last birthday. A sushi cake, a meatloaf cake with mashed potato frosting, and a chocolate cherry cake. You just don't have that flexibility with ice cream. 
  • Cats or dogs? I love both, I had a dog as a child - the most loving derp ever. And cats feign aloofness, but when you scratch them in just the right place they turn into putty. That being said, I always wanted a terrarium with a tarantula. Poecilotheria metallica would be my pet of choice. Can't convince the wife though.
  • Summer or winter? Winter! I'm allergic to spring and summer, so winter when everything is dead is the best.
  • Morning or evening? Evening. Morning people scare me.
  • eBook or paper book? Difficult. My mother was a school librarian, and I had right of first refusal when it came to buying books when they got rid of any. I have over a thousand at this point. Multiple bookcases full, and a huge box of paperbacks in my storage waiting for me to magically make more bookshelf room appear in my apartment. The first step is admitting you have a problem, but the only problem I'll admit to is a lack of room for more books! But I fly for work, and I can get through a book or two each way... Ebooks for travel, paper for comfort.
  • TV shows or movies? I think I'd have to go TV shows. There's something intensely satisfying about binging a TV show, and imagining what the second season of your favorite show would be like if Fox didn't cancel it.
  • A night out or a night in? I've got three kids, one of them is 18 months old. So night in obviously!
  • Cannonball into the pool or dip a toe in first? Cannonball into the pool! Especially if it means soaking the aforementioned children.
  • Go-to karaoke song? For the sake of everyone's ears and sanity, my go to karaoke song would have to be Tequila by The Champs.
  • Drive or fly? Fly. Always flying. I love the feeling of being in the air, from wheels up to down. It's almost my last bastion of "me time". I can close my eyes, sleep, and relax. Whenever I try to do the same driving I get told I'm "driving recklessly" and "a menace".

Connect with Paul in LinkedIn and Community Page.

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Wed March 06, 2024 08:17 AM

There's a reason they call him CognosPaul!  You can see Paul in action in Barcelona at "The Best AI Game Show Ever!"  

Link to view the 30-minute show: https://youtu.be/uL1avFM3F3w?si=rU01tPHUDP6MmGgf