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Juan Manuel Perafan

Juan Manuel Perafan

Analytics Engineer, Xebia
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Organizations: Co-author: *Fundamentals of Analytics Engineering*


Born and raised in Colombia! Living in the Netherlands since 2011. I've been working in the realm of analytics since 2017, focusing on Analytics Engineering, dbt, SQL, data governance, and business intelligence (BI). Besides consultancy work, I am very active in the data community. I co-authored the book *Fundamentals of Analytics Engineering* and have spoken at various conferences and meetups worldwide, including Coalesce, Linux Foundation OS Summit, Big Data Summit Warsaw, Dutch Big Data Expo, and Developer Week Latin America. I also love meetups! I am the founder of the Analytics Engineering Meetup and co-founder of the Netherlands dbt Meetup.

When did you join the dbt community and in what way has it impacted your career?

I've been a dbt user since 2020, but it wasn't until I attended Coalesce 2021 in New Orleans that I truly felt part of the community. The experience inspired me to start a dbt Meetup in Amsterdam.

I thoroughly enjoy organizing Meetups! They provide a platform to network and learn from some of the most experienced data professionals in your area. Additionally, it's rewarding to see how attendees bond. Often, in our day-to-day jobs, we're surrounded by people who don't fully grasp our work, so having deeper conversations at Meetups is refreshing.

What dbt community leader do you identify with? How are you looking to grow your leadership in the dbt community?

I am not the most knowledgeable Analytics Engineer out there, but I'm good at building communities. Starting from scratch is daunting. So, for me, leading means doing the hard work to make it easier for others to join. When it comes to Meetups, it means being ready to handle every aspect of an event alone, but also letting team members pitch in where they're comfortable. It's okay if they only want a small part at first, but maybe eventually, they'll feel comfortable running anything (not just meetups) on their own.

What have you learned from community members? What do you hope others can learn from you?

Along the way, I've gained insights into technical areas like data ops, data modeling, and lots of SQL best practices, as well as broader fields such as stakeholder management and data strategy.

It is easy to focus on the things you don't know. But each of us brings unique expertise and skills to the table. Analytics engineering is a diverse field, and mastering every aspect is not expected.

Anything else interesting you want to tell us?

I am always up for a chat. If you see me in a conference or want to DM me, please don't hesitate. It is always a pleasure to network with other fellow data professionals.