Gary Benjamin
Business Analyst
  • Thornhill West,
  • Ontario,
  • Canada
Member Since: 2003/01/22
Industry: Computer & IT
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CERTIFIED EXPERT
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A business manager with experience in IT system specification, selection and implementation.

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Full Biography

I am a generalist, and my expertise is more in how to use systems to get the job done than in the technical details. In my last position as a System Integrator I managed small projects to implement fact sheets for mutual funds. This work entailed gathering and documenting requirements, prototyping interfaces and reports, estimating project costs and negotiating pricing with the client, determining data sources and specifying adjustments to the database and business rules as required, being the subject expert for the development team, performing quality assurance on the data using custom Excel spreadsheets, performing quality assurance on the developed product myself or by supervising Q/A resources, getting project acceptance from the client, following up billing, managing the project backlog and preparing project status reports for management.

In my job before that I helped author RFQ documents for health care systems and did other consulting contracts. Three jobs ago I supported a 100-user Windows network for a public accounting company. Prior to that I held jobs in IT Management and General Management.

I have programmed in VBA for MS Office, and have dabbled in .NET, Java, Javascript and web development, including the implementation and maintenance of a MIVA Merchant e-commerce website.

I run a tech support business in Thornhill, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto, Ontario). My web page is at www.thetechexperts.ca.

You can e-mail me at Support at TheTechExperts dot ca. However, keep in mind that EE rules specify that any question-related samples be posted to a public area so all experts can see them, and that all comments regarding EE questions should be posted to the question so all experts can participate.

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Professional Background
Systems Integrator
Lipper, A Thomson Reuters Company
June 2012 – December 2014
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Lipper solutions are designed for financial professionals engaged in fund selection, performance analysis, product management and marketing. On June 1, 2012 Lipper purchased The Globe and Mail's Mutual Fund reporting business which hosts financial websites for Canadian banks, insurance companies, and mutual fund managers.

The Systems Integrator is the key technical contact spanning a range of roles including Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, Project Manager, Web Developer, Documentation Author, Quality Control Analyst, and Customer Support.

My objectives as Systems Integrator were to transfer the infrastructure and client solutions from the Globe and Mail to Lipper while maintaining about ten client solutions on both platforms. I analyzed business and technical requirements for dozens of projects to maintain and transfer solutions. Depending on the project I authored several documents such as Scope of Work, Quotation, Functional Analysis, Project Management Plan and Test Plan. Then I participated in testing and managed the clients' transition from the old to new solutions.

After each transition I provided training to my team mates so they could maintain the data for the new solutions, and did troubleshooting to fix issues.
Systems Integrator
The GLobe and Mail
October 2006 – May 2012
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Globe and Mail hosts financial web sites for banks, insurance companies, and mutual fund managers. The Systems Integrator is the key technical contact spanning a range of roles including Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, Project Manager, Web Developer, Documentation Author, Quality Control Analyst, and Customer Support.

Analyzed business and technical requirements for dozens of projects for more than ten clients. Authored several documents for each project, including Scope of Work, Quotation, Functional Analysis, Project Management Plan and Test Plan.

Three project examples:
1. Implemented new fund fact sheet in HTML and PDF format for a major insurance company.
2. Improved the accuracy of data presented on a financial website hosted for a major mutual fund company by recommending 48 changes, such as monthly database queries designed to ferret out errors and new procedures to audit data.
3. Implemented a custom desktop portfolio application, and designed a web service to supply data updates.
President
Benjamin Consulting Group Ltd.
May 1999 – September 2006
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Completed tens of consulting engagements lasting from less than a day to over six months. Sample engagements:
1. Co-authored Systems Management Guidelines for use by clinics in Alberta to help them assess and mitigate IT-related risks.
2. Co-authored a business requirements specification used to procure bids to design a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) System in the four western Canadian provinces; including sections summarizing the current state of CDM in each province, CDM best practices, the contextual and conceptual models (using Zachman Framework), a data entity model, and work flows modeled using Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).
3. Authored a business plan to implement distance learning for continuing education for the fifty thousand health care providers in Alberta, including sections enumerating educational services requirements, potential providers, personnel job descriptions, matrix outlining the stakeholders’ responsibilities, and cost benefit analysis.
4. Authored a business plan to implement a data warehouse for clinical test results, including sections for technology, data, performance and operational requirements, system architecture, and cost benefit analysis.
5. Designed formal quality control requirements and tests to certify pharmacy systems interfacing with a province-wide prescription database using HL7.
6. Assisted in the preparation of a dozen health-care-related RFI and RFP documents.
7. Helped start up a company to manufacture bath and body products. Set up an e commerce web site using MIVA Merchant, including aesthetic design, photography, copywriting and marketing. Wrote operational procedures.
8. Developed a corporate presence website for a property development company incorporating Google maps.
9. Interfaced a data collection system to an accounting system and programmed dozens of reports in MS Access.
10. Provided hardware and software tech support and training to a variety of small businesses.
Network Administrator / Consultant
Collins Barrow, Chartered Accountants (Calgary)
October 1992 – April 1999
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Managed a 110 node multi-server mixed network. Purchased and installed all computer and network hardware. In 1993 upgraded to Windows 3.1 and NetWare 3.12, and in 1998 upgraded to Windows NT Workstation and Windows NT Server. Set up MAN using ISDN and pcANYWHERE.

Implemented dozens of applications in networked environments (Windows NT, NetWare and Lantastic), including MS Office 97, WordPerfect, Lotus 1 2 3, E mail (Pegasus, Outlook), AccPac and other accounting, tax and legal research applications.

Programmed and maintained applications in various languages including DOS batch files, WordPerfect macros, Visual Basic (Word, Outlook, Excel), Intranet (HTML, JavaScript, ASP), and Paradox.

Administered server-based systems like Exchange 5.0, IIS 3.0, SMS, MS Proxy Server, ARCserve, and Backup Exec.

Supported employees and clients, including hardware installation, upgrade and repair, software installation, forensic audit, data recovery, and user training sessions.
President
Benjamin Consulting Group Ltd.
July 1988 – September 1992
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Implemented computer systems for various clients, such as:
1. Analyzed requirements for operational and management information, including a six month engagement for the Phone Directory division of the Alberta Telephone Utility.
2. Selected and installed computer hardware and software.
3. Designed Chart of Accounts and Statement Formats.
4. Customized reports and designed spreadsheets to handle additional reporting requirements.
5. Implemented procedures to integrate new computer systems.
6. Trained users to enter transactions, correct errors, run reports, perform month end, back up system, and recover from system failures. Supervised loading and reconciliation of initial data.
7. Documented systems and procedures.

Assisted family members to start up companies in public relations and real estate management.
Vice President and General Manager
Roll-it Inc., Store Fixture Manufacturer
April 1983 – April 1988
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Improved the overall profitability of the company. Some of my accomplishments:
1. Recruited new management and implemented a formal system for performance and salary reviews.
2. Increased sales despite trimming the product line by 50% and reducing the sales force and office staff by 40%.
3. Invested in automation equipment to reduce labour costs, lead times, and material waste.
4. Introduced a formal budgeting and control system.

Negotiated the sale of Roll-it to a major competitor, and the sale and leaseback of the premises.
Director of Information Systems
Roll-it Inc., Store Fixture Manufacturer
September 1979 – March 1983
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Conducted four feasibility studies to implement computer software and hardware (over a period of thirteen years), and migrated from a Data General Nova 3 to an IBM System/34, and subsequently to a System/36.

Implemented thirteen MAPICS modules spanning accounting, inventory management, production control, and material requirements planning. Loaded and debugged software, customized programs and reports, designed forms, and introduced new operating procedures. Also implemented Displaywrite/36 and Lotus 1 2 3.

Designed, supervised programming, and programmed systems in RPG II for estimating, costing, forecasting, sales analysis, labour productivity standards, and numerous enhancements to MAPICS.

Trained users in the classroom and on the job. Documented procedures to enter transactions, correct errors, and recover from system failures.

Supervised a data entry staff of two, and provided technical support for twenty users.
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Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Master of Science in Management (MBA)
Information Systems
1977 – 1979
Princeton University
Master of Science in Engineering
Electrical Engineering / Computers
1973 – 1977
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Languages
French
Elementary Proficiency
English
Native or Bilingual Proficiency

Level Progress

Current: Level 9
Gary needs 9,484 points to level up.
LVL 10
  • Overall
    9
  • Microsoft Office
    6
  • Microsoft Excel
    5
  • Software
    2
  • Windows OS
    2
  • Outlook
    2
  • VBA
    2
  • Microsoft 365
    2
  • Windows 10
    2
  • Microsoft Word
    2
  • Microsoft Access
    1
  • Hardware
    1
  • Web Development Software
    1
  • Miscellaneous
    1
  • Components
    1
  • Exchange
    1
  • Peripherals
    1
  • Server Hardware
    1
  • Windows XP
    1
  • Printers and Scanners
    1
  • Adobe Acrobat
    1
  • PDF
    1
  • WordPress
    1
  • PC
    1
  • IT Administration
    1
  • Installation
    1
  • Mac OS X
    1
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    1
  • XML
    1
  • Microsoft Applications
    1
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    1
  • C++
    1
  • Java
    1
  • Linux
    1
  • Linux Distributions
    1
  • Linux OS Dev
    1
  • Operating Systems
    1
  • Programming
    1
  • Programming Languages-Other
    1
  • Ubuntu
    1