BI Community Meet and Greet at ASUG Annual Conference – Sapphire 2018

Are you heading to Orlando for ASUG Annual Conference 2018/SAPPHIRE NOW and have an interested in Analytics and Business Intelligence? Then the ASUG BI Community has the perfect session for you on Thursday at 12:30pm: ASUG BI Community Networking

Join ASUG BI Community Volunteers, any SAP Analytics experts we can find and bribe to attend and anyone else with a pulse that can spell ‘B.I.’ (like maybe this guy) as we network and discuss whatever analytics news happened during the event. With the ‘Statement of Direction’ from this winter still dominating discussions in some circles, there should be lots of analytics to talk about. You also get the chance to talk to ASUG BI Volunteers and voice your opinion on what the ASUG BI Community should try to cover for the rest of the year.

As an additional bonus, we are going to have some special giveaways to folks who make the trek to the ASUG Hub. Check out these sweet pins:

Yep…it’s Crystal Reports 25th birthday and we’re going to help SAP celebrate! Our intrepid BI Community Facilitator, Tammy Powlas, has secured a good number of these cool items and we’re going to hand them out at the session. I know that the volunteers are looking forward to event and hope you can make it!

Details:

Session Title: ASUG BI Community Networking
Session ID: ASUG12137
Session Type: Networking/Meetup
Day/Time: Thursday, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Location: ASUG Hub: Meet-Up 2 Theater (Show Floor)

Agenda Builder URL: https://sessioncatalog.sapevents.com/go/agendabuilder.sessions/?l=169&sid=62056_480302&locale=en_US

Planning on taking in some analytics in Orlando? The 2018 ASUG BI Community Brochure is your guide!

The ASUG BI Community has a great slate of BI and Analytics sessions ready for you to add to your ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire now agenda! Our intrepid Community Facilitator, Tammy Powlas, has put together a great addition to your information arsenal. Remember, these sessions have been picked by the ASUG BI Volunteer team to try and cover the questions that attendees have been asking about.

This great document has some awesome content, including:

A List of all the sessions selected by the ASUG BI Community, sorted by session number so you can easily search and add to your online agenda:

And a “who’s who” of the Volunteers…please feel free to stop any of us and ask questions. We are your voice to SAP and are always looking for feedback and discussion!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t plug for my personal session, too!! Fellow ASUG Volunteer and SAP Mentor Jamie Oswald and I will be hosting a panel discussion on a very serious topic. Come to hopefully be entertained AND educated!

If you like the above content and want to chat with other like minded BI folks, make sure to add the ASUG BI Community Roundtable to your agenda:

BI Community Meet and Greet: Thursday, June 7 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at the ASUG Hub/Roundtable Section.

Session Abstract:

As attendees of the 2018 ASUG Annual Conference, you are invited to network with the ASUG business intelligence (BI) volunteers and other SAP BI community members. Spend an hour networking and forging new relationships within your community. Take advantage of this timely opportunity to learn more about ASUG and to find out how to leverage the user group along your journey utilizing SAP solutions and services.

As always, feel free to drop me a note on Twitter or a comment here. I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando!

BI+A 2018 Wrap-up: Smaller is better

With a new location (Huntington Beach, CA) and calendar shift for the event (February), Eventful Conferences only had six months to plan the 2018 BI+A Conference. In its second year, has the event transformed from the conference formerly known as the SAP BusinessObjects User Conference? If it continues with the vibe from this year, then it may just have succeeded.

I could imagine that the six month turnaround between conference occurrences had an attendance effect. With employees working harder and harder to justify travel funding to conferences, going to the ‘same conference’ only six months later may have stifled repeat attendance. But I think that the smaller attendance completely changed the feel and vibe of the event in a good way.  I never felt hurried, while the venue was compact enough to allow folks quick transit between sessions. Those hallway conversations that happened between sessions and want to continue later? You were able to pick that person out of the ‘crowd’ at the next break and pick up where you left off. Session rooms were comfortably full and folks tended to stick around and chat amongst themselves and the presenter.

While there were a lot of jokes about liking the location (especially those from Northern climates), winter decided to show up in time for BI+A. The temperature in Philadelphia was warmer than Huntington Beach that week! The venue was great: enough space for sessions, not terribly spread out but with a big hall for keynotes (and a Healthcare panel). I appreciated coffee being available all the time and the menu made me eat healthy. The wifi was pretty steady. The ‘show floor’ was small, but inviting and I thought that the ‘expert help’ offering seemed to go underutilized. Which is a shame, because the SAP experts there to offer assistance were some of SAP’s best technical resources. Take note for next time: sign up and bring your questions!

The sessions that I attended were current, well-prepared and engaging. I didn’t feel like I was being lectured or the speaker was droning on. Questions asked were usually relevant and audience members adding their experiences seem to be encouraged by the speakers. I think that this became the event’s vibe: Share and Learn. For me, when I talked about my BI roadmap and rollout experiences, I quickly discovered that I was not alone and some folks even had some ‘creative’ solutions to my same questions.

Of course, things weren’t all candy and roses. The discussions around the updated SAP Analytics roadmap and the sunsetting of SAP Lumira Discovery were prominent. Some folks were definitely taking the news a bit harder than others.  Perhaps they had sweat equity in their company’s rollout or maybe they were just trying to impress others with their sweet, sweet Lumira knowledge. Either way, attendees were discussing the future of their analytics roadmap and where SAP Analytics Cloud would (or would not) fit.

I think that this conference might have hit it’s mark in 2018, even if it meant to do so unintentionally. With another SAP BI conference scheduled for the following week, I feel BI+A took a different tack in the wind and rewarded it’s attendees with a fresh breath of air. I think the 2019 SAP conference ecosystem would be well-served keeping this conference at the size, location and schedule build of 2018. We have enough big BI conferences that a smaller one like BI+A is a welcome respite.

On the way to…BI+A 2018

This episode of ‘On the way to…’ is brought to you by…my house! I thought I would get this blog out before I actually travelled this time around.

So, I’m off to the 2018 installment of ASUG/Eventful’s BI+A Conference. I have really come around to this conference because it *feels* different. And different is a good thing, to be honest. There are plenty of conference that have tons of detailed sessions, others that have a few high-level overview sessions and yet others that can be analytics industry focused. I would like to describe BI+A as ‘all of the above’. I like that I have a few good sessions in each of those categories: when I want to go high-level overview, I can. Deep dive into a product? Analytics industry discussions? Check.

And then there’s location. Nashville in 2017 was pretty cool. But as Philly is forecasting for snow on Saturday night, I will gladly wake up in California. (Huntington Beach seems to be a very nice place for a February conference.) I know it’s a bit of a ‘humble brag’, but I am definitely ready for a winter break!! And BI+A has a keynote from Pixar…if you know me, you know I’m a Disney nerd and am excited for this keynote. °O°

By now, most folks who have an ear to the SAP BI ground have heard about the updates SAP has made to their data discovery tool roadmap, specifically around SAP Lumira Discovery. (If you haven’t, please check out the ‘SAP 2018 Strategy and Roadmap for Business Intelligence’ on www.sap.com/asksap) I suspect that the sessions around the Roadmap, the Ask the Expert booth and the overall conference will be buzzing with this news. If you are interested in following the conversation, I would keep an eye out for news articles, blog posts and tweets during and post-conference. There should be some good content coming out.

For those on-premise (ha,ha), my ‘3 Sessions on Derek’s Agenda (+1)’ are below. If you’re looking for a list of recommended sessions delivered in GIF form via a Twitter thread (and if you’re not, you are missing out) then Jamie Oswald has you covered:

3 Sessions on Derek’s Agenda (+1)

One- Monday, 11am
SAP Analytics Cloud Hybrid Use Cases (Adrian Westmoreland – Product Manager, SAP)

Hybrid is the way of the future according to the latest SAP BI Roadmap analysis. Adrian is a longtime SAP Product Manager and hails from the old BusinessObjects side of the house. And i trust him, so if you want real information and opinions- then I would definitely put this session on your agenda.

Two- Monday, 2:55pm
Leaner Staff, Deeper Analytics: Driving Greater Accountability with Fewer Resources Using BusinessObjects (Chris Josefy – Manager, Business Solutions, EP Energy)

Another reason I like ASUG/Eventful conferences are the customer stories. As a BI professional with limited resources in my team, this seems to call to me!

Three- Tuesday, 2:15pm

Interactive Session: Come with Your Analysis for Office Migration Concerns and Leave with an Action Plan (Mustafa Mustafa – Senior Director – IT, Ferrara Candy Company)

Folks always look for a reason to attend conferences, right? If you are thinking about migrating Analysis for Office, then you may just come home with some information to justify sending you to a conference!

+1- Monday, 2:00pm

Panel Discussion: BI + Analytics in Healthcare (Derek Loranca – SAP Mentor & Lead, BI COE, Aetna | Jamie Oswald – SAP Mentor & Manager, Data Analytics & Engineering, Mercy | Jennifer Cofer – ASUG Volunteer)

As always, my +1 is my session. Jamie, Jennifer and I will be hosting a panel discussion to talk about how some folks in healthcare utilize BI and analytics. A few things you can expect: jokes, knowledge and a special guest moderator!

There are a few conferences covering SAP Analytics in the next few weeks, so I expect that there’s going to be a lot of news and analysis coming out. And then there’s ASUG Annual Conference/SAPPHIRE in June, where I’m sure there will be more information to cover. Should be interesting, so buckle in!

BI+A 2018 Session Announcement

So…2018 has arrived and you’re thinking about what conferences you may want to attend. You’ve got the ASUG/Eventful BI+A 2018 Conference on your radar and are interested in how different folks are using BI in the Healthcare system, right? Then I commend your choice in attending the conference and heading to this session:

BI + Analytics in Healthcare: Panel Discussion (Monday, 2/19 at 2:00pm)

Join a panel of BI practitioners as they discuss how Business Intelligence is used throughout the healthcare system. Ranging from payors to providers, the panel is using technology in exciting ways. With both moderated and questions from the audience, this panel promises to both entertain and educate.

A panel of SAP BI professionals, who happen to be long-time ASUG Volunteers (and a couple of SAP Mentors) chatting? What could possibly go wrong with this formula? Join me and my good friends, Jamie Oswald (Mercy) and Jennifer Cofer (Providence Health) as we try and educate in a light-hearted manner around a big subject.

Do you have questions you’d like the panel to answer? Leave a comment and we’ll see what happens! Look for my ‘On the way to…’ blog entry right before the event in February. The agenda looks great and it may be trouble only limiting myself to three recommendations!!

Happy New Year!!

BI + Analytics Conference 2017: Picks from my agenda

Thanks for listening to the July 13th webcast ‘Meet Customer Speakers for BI + A Conference’ with myself and Jennifer Cofer! To get the session picks started, I’m going to start with some blatant self promotion with Jennifer and my sessions.

I will be adding picks from the webcast to this post several times before the conference starts and will announce the updates on Twitter. Feel free to subscribe to be automatically updated, too. See you at BI + Analytics 2017 in Nashville!

Day 1: Monday, August 7

  • 2:45pm: Pushing Web Intelligence to the Limit: Real World Implementation (Jeff Young, University of Utah Healthcare)
  • 3:40pm: Creating a COE the Efficient and Effective Way (Me)

Day 2: Tuesday, August 8

AM

  • 11:20am: Usable Tips for Making Your Web Intelligence Reports Sing (Bret Holmes, University of Washington)
  • 12:15pm: Beautiful & Usable Analytics for Better User Experiences (Eric Vallo, EV Technologies)

OR

  • 11:20am: SAP Predictive Analytics for the Analytics Power User (Debraj Roy, SAP; Dallas Marks & Greg Myers, EV Technologies) [2 Session Hands-on]

PM:

  • 2:10pm: Providing IoT Analytics with SAP BusinessObjects (Charles Reeves, Graphic Packaging International)
  • 3:30pm: DIY-BI: Data Analytics & Dashboarding with SAP Lumira at Mead Johnson Nutrition (Jai Prakash, Mead Johnson Nutrition)

Day 3: Wednesday, August 9

AM:

  • 10:45am: What’s Happening at the City of Mesa? Creating Interactive Dashboards in Web Intelligence (Jared Hansen & Melissa Jones, City of Mesa, AZ)
  • 11:40am: How to Become a Visualization Guru: Tips & Tricks on SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Charts (Jennifer Cofer, Providence Health & Pascal Gualin, SAP)
  • BONUS 11:40am SESSION: Increasing Adoption & Engagement with Lumira & Design Studio SDK (Mike Howles, International Paper)

PM

  • 1:30pm: Driving User Adoption of Self-Serve BI+Analytics (Jim Cull, Zurich Insurance)
  • 2:25pm: Healthcare BI Management & Related EHR Upgrades: How Beaumont Health Prevails through the Highs and Lows (Jeffrey Morrison, Beaumont Health)

On the way to…ASUG Annual Conference/Sapphire 2017

This installment of ‘On the way to…’ is brought to you by- my house! I’ve decided to get this entry out to my blog earlier than the usual ‘day of traveling’ edition. (But I will post the usual SCN version from the airport.)

Let’s get right to it…I think there’s a lot at stake for SAP Analytics with the ‘world premiere’ of Lumira 2.0 and I suspect that customer feedback will be immediate. They’ve had a lot of time and several attempts to get within striking distance of Tableau, Power BI and others in the marketplace. I don’t think customers are looking for a direct point by point competitor any more, but something that is going to make their lives easier working with their SAP data. If it doesn’t make things easier, I’m going to start pressing for SAP to make up with Microsoft and put back the UNX connector into Power BI Desktop. (I’m thinking that this topic may be a separate blog after the dust settles.)

That being said- here’s a few selections that are on my conference agenda. Some I’m presenting at and others I’m really just interested in listening to the material. If you do decide to attend any of these, try and save me a seat if the room gets crowded, OK? Just send a tweet to @golasalle or look for SAP Mentor jersey #212 and point me to where I’m sitting!!

Tuesday:

HS6529- Heal Thyself: Self-Service Analytics at Mercy (12:30-1:30pm, S310A)
I’m always down for a good healthcare analytics story and if it’s presented by my good friend and fellow Diversified Semantic Layer podcast teammate, then even better. I would highly recommend seeing Jamie when he presents, so feel free to join me.

Wednesday:

BIA9214: BI Community Networking (11:00am-12:00pm, ASUG Hub on the show floor)
Come and meet other ASUG BI volunteers and community members while networking with other analytics professionals. If an ASUG Volunteer doesn’t know the answer to your question, they should be able to point you in the direction of where to turn! Bring some business cards and get your networking game going!

BIA6466: World Premiere of SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0 Including SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio (12:30-1:30pm, S310A)
Like I mentioned above, I think a lot rides on the successful rollout of Lumira 2.0. I’m guessing that I’m not the only one that thinks that, so this session may be one of those “can’t miss” sessions in Orlando.

Thursday:

BIA7625: Interactive Influence: SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence (3:30-4:30pm, Third Floor Influence 3)
Want to influence where WebI is headed? Want to hang out with me ONE more time (other than at the Hilton Lobby Bar)? Join SAP’s Gregory Botticchio as we lead a Design Thinking session around topics attendees would like to see covered by the ASUG Web Intelligence Influence Council.

(On a personal note- It’s been a while since I blogged and I apologize for that. But I’m going to try and be more productive in 2017, so hopefully this will be part of a good start.)