Josip Šaban, BI Architect and Developer in Zagreb, Croatia
Josip Šaban

BI Architect and Developer in Zagreb, Croatia

Member since November 9, 2016
Josip is an experienced database guy who's developed websites, created banking DWH systems, and led development teams to deliver great products which are still in production today. He has advanced knowledge of the entire SQL Server stack and working knowledge of .NET, Business Objects, R, BizTalk, Microsoft Project, and MS Project Server. Along with his primary expertise, he is also a proficient technical writer and team lead.
Josip is now available for hire


  • Erste Group IT
    SAP PowerDesigner, Oracle PL/SQL, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI
  • Hypo Alpe Adria
    Tableau, SAP BusinessObjects Data Service (BODS), Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oikon
    .NET, SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server



Zagreb, Croatia



Preferred Environment

Visual Studio, SQL Server Management Studio

The most amazing...

...thing I've done was to redesign an old database design—increasing the performance tenfold while adding many new features on top.


  • Lead BI Architect | Team Lead

    2015 - 2020
    Erste Group IT
    • Led a team responsible for creating a data framework, an abstraction layer for semantic interface, and reporting using business terminology.
    • Used PowerBI and Tableau to create reports and reported on architectures that allowed business users to effectively query DWH data, without knowing implementation details.
    • Established data visualization "best practices" for, depending on data type and business area. Also designed multiple template reports that show unified approach to group reporting.
    • Led proof-of-concept activities for testing new technologies and/or development methodologies.
    • Held multiple education/demonstration events for internal IT and business users to show what can be done using these tools.
    Technologies: SAP PowerDesigner, Oracle PL/SQL, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI
  • Senior Business Intelligence Analyst

    2013 - 2015
    Hypo Alpe Adria
    • Analyzed and documented business requests.
    • Developed the implementation strategy and BI architecture, based on SQL Server technology stack.
    • Managed and executed IT projects and successfully led a team of consultants.
    • Conducted hands-on development of important and/or more complex database modules.
    • Held education sessions for internal company employees.
    • Deployed new features to production and effectively fulfilling the role of a release manager.
    Technologies: Tableau, SAP BusinessObjects Data Service (BODS), Microsoft SQL Server
  • Software Engineer

    2011 - 2013
    • Built analytic modules in SQL Server (SSIS).
    • Developed web pages using ASP.NET MVC.
    • Implemented a SharePoint modification according to specific business user needs.
    • Managed EU projects specifically on parts of IT implementation.
    • Took part in internal company education events.
    Technologies: .NET, SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server
  • Business Intelligence Consultant

    2009 - 2011
    Alfatec Group
    • Worked as the team lead in the project of creating a new data warehouse for one of the largest banks in the country, based on Oracle and Data Integrator.
    • Implemented a business-objects reporting system in the third largest tobacco company in the world.
    • Developed a first production-level data warehouse in the cargo and shipping industry in the region, using SQL Server Analysis Services and PowerPivot.
    • Created teams and ensured that people worked effectively together.
    • Held internal and external educational sessions.
    Technologies: Data, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle
  • Business Intelligence Consultant

    2007 - 2009
    • Designed and developed a web solution for distribution of EU funds in Slovenia based on SQL Server and ASP.NET.
    • Designed and developed a high-availability DWH solution for parsing, testing, and reporting on call records for the largest Slovenian telecom.
    • Organized the company's presales technical conference, focusing on Business Objects and SQL Server.
    Technologies: Microsoft SQL Server, Informatica, ASP.NET
  • Software Engineer

    2004 - 2007
    • Developed an ASP.NET application for primary health care.
    • Implemented BizTalk, as a part of a key integration project in the country's largest telecom company.
    • Constructed a web application for the country's chamber of commerce.
    • Held technical education sessions for the company's junior staff.
    Technologies: BizTalk, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP.NET


  • Development and Analysis | Johnson & Johnson (via Toptal) (Development)

    This project required knowledge of a wide technology stack (Excel/VBA, Access, SQL database, Salesforce, and Qlik) and analysis of the existing business process.

    My role, as part of the reporting department, was to get myself up to date with the existing setup, propose improvements, and develop modules that would support new requirements of the marketing and sales departments. The work focused on updating the reporting/database solutions and to remove the use of Excel, as much as possible in daily business operations.

  • Schneider Electric (via Toptal) (Development)

    This project required the creation of migration scripts from an existing SQL Server database to a new installation of SQL Server database. As users on the other side were not very familiar with this technology, the project included very detailed documentation so that they can do some easier modifications on their own without any specialized support. Also created a proof-of-concept on how to use Azure PowerBI instead of Excel reporting.

  • Life Church (via Toptal) (Development)

    On this project, my role was as the data warehousing expert—working on the SQL Server and I was ultimately responsible for designing data warehouse tables. I also implemented the ETL processes using SSIS and SQL and optimized the existing data warehouse loading procedures.

  • Technical Writer for Project Management (via Toptal) (Development)

    I wrote a software development lifecycle guide (SDLC) for a software company that needed to map its development processes in a formal document.

  • American Taekwondo Association (via Toptal) (Development)

    For this project, I worked on the migration of an existing web application. My tasks were making sure that the Oracle database was properly migrated to a new SQL Server to support a newly purchased solution. I did everything from analysis, implementation, testing, and finally cutover procedures.

  • Briefing: The Data Warehouse (Development)

    While often overlooked, the data warehouse enables companies to reveal valuable insights concealed within their vast data troves. In this article, as a domain expert, I share foundational principles and applications that are essential knowledge for all modern managers.

  • Blog: SQL Server 2016 Always Encrypted (Other amazing things)

    Data is a key asset of any company, particularly transactional data which holds business secrets such as financial or health records. Data is most vulnerable in transit between the server that stores it and that client that requests it.

    The standard approach to ensuring security is to encrypt data on the server and use the SSL-enabled HTTPS protocol to secure data in transport. However, what if we could increase the level of security even further, by using HTTPS and sending data in an encrypted format over the communication line, only to decrypt data on clients who have valid certificates? That approach would make a traditional man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack much more difficult.

    Microsoft’s solution to this problem is Always Encrypted, a way to send encrypted data over the pipeline and decrypt it only by users with access to valid certificates. So, even if the attacker gets the data, without a proper certificate stored on the client machine, the data would be useless.
    This article describes how to set up and use Always Encrypted, and it’s recommended reading for anyone who is sending important data over the public communication lines, even if they are secured with SSL.

  • SQL Server 2016 Always Encrypted: Easy to Implement, Tough to Crack (Publication)
    Security has always been a primary concern for database experts, and with the advent of new, decentralized services, it’s become even more crucial. Microsoft addressed the need for an added level of security in SQL with the introduction of Always Encrypted functionality in SQL Server 2016. In this blog post, Toptal Freelance Software Engineer Josip Saban explains how Microsoft’s Always Encrypted concept works, how it’s implemented, and why developers can’t afford to ignore it.


  • Languages

    SQL, T-SQL, C#
  • Tools

    Microsoft Project, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI
  • Paradigms

    Agile, Waterfall Development, ETL
  • Storage

    Oracle PL/SQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Azure SQL
  • Other

    Project Management Professional (PMP), Business Analysis, Team Leadership, Data Visualization, Data Engineering, SAP BusinessObjects Data Service (BODS), SAP BusinessObjects (BO), Data Architecture, Data
  • Frameworks

  • Platforms

    Oracle, Azure
  • Industry Expertise

    Project Management


  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in General Management
    2011 - 2012
    COTRUGLI Business School - Zagreb, Croatia
  • Master of Science degree in Computing
    1998 - 2004
    University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing - Zagreb, Serbia


  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
    PMI Institute
  • ITIL Foundation V3
    JUNE 2014 - PRESENT

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