I’m the Gobán Saor (pronounced Gobawn Sayer) a master datasmith.

My speciality is data, more specifically, data at the edges. Data that has been extracted from, or needs to be generated outside of, formal systems. Such data tends to be the extremely valuable and useful, but only if shaped into a format that has meaning to those who can use and analyse it.

I’ve been extracting, marshalling and shaping such data for most of my 30 years in the IT business, I’m a datasmith.

I specialise in “modern” Excel based reporting solutions. Excel is now an integral part of Microsoft’s BI stack (aka Power BI), with the same columnar reporting engine embedded in Excel, SharePoint Excel Services, Office 365  and SQL Server.


Data is the DNA of any business, systems come and go, data lives on forever.

Gobán Saor?

The (or more correctly An) Gobán Saor was a stone mason (or sometimes a black smith) who according to Irish mythology by virtue of his craft (building castles, moving mountains, that sort of thing) was able to live a free life moving from commission to commission and from royal court to royal court. My father who came from a long line of stone masons and master builders, told me many of these stories and also used to take me to a magical island in our local bogland that he called the Gobán Saor’s island. (Now better known as the discovery place of the Derrynaflan Chalice ). Continuing in the tradition of freelance craftsman (data mason rather than stone mason) I’ve used gobansaor as my nom de plume in forums, online apps etc. over the years, partially to keep a tradition alive but to be honest usually because I’m sure nobody else will have taken the name already 🙂


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