Data Visualization 201: How to make your visuals more ‘Intelligent’ & ‘Useful’ (Half-Day Session)

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Presenter: Mico Yuk, BI Dashboard Formula

Intended Audience:

This non-technical, three hour hands-on workshop will provide attendees with the foundation needed to make their analytics more impactful! Whether you are a beginner or a dashboard veteran, this fun filled workshop will take you through the fundamentals of dashboard design and then all the way into real world applications.


Attendees should have been exposed to, hosted, or participated in at least one full BI project before attending course. Newbies are welcome, but are warned to keep their seat belts on.


Taught by Mico Yuk, Author of Data Visualization for Dummies and Founder of the, the course has been described as ‘eye opening!’ You should expect to leave with a razor sharp vision for proper BI dashboard design and a clear understanding of how to create or modify data visualizations to make them more ‘intelligent.’ By working in teams with your peers in hands-on exercises, you will then be asked to identify those principles in various dashboards.

Module Synopses and Major Topics include:

  • Fundamentals of Dashboard Design – Review of basic and advanced design principles
  • Data Viz Do’s and Don’ts – A clear look at the do’s and don’ts of dashboard design
  • Real World Applications – How to apply the principles of design to real world dashboards
  • Add Intelligence to your Dashboards – Tips and tricks to make your data visualizations more intelligence and impactful
  • Team Exercise: Do you see it? – Each team will be assigned a set of dashboards and asked to identify areas where improvements can be made to make it more intelligent and impactful.
  • Team Exercise: Can you apply it? – Each team is asked to then take their recommendations and apply it to one of the dashboards presented.
  • Open Q&A

InfoBurst Enterprise for Beginners

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Presenter: Jeremy Champe, InfoSol Inc.

Intended Audience:

This hands-on workshop is intended for individuals who are new to InfoBurst and would like to learn the basics of the tool.  We will cover some of the easy to intermediate workflows used in BI report bursting, publishing, and delivery.


None.  However, being familiar with BI reporting software (SAP Business Objects, in particular) and basic SQL is helpful.


This course is intended to provide attendees with hands-on, guided learning focused on report bursting, publishing and delivery.  We will demonstrate various workflows in the tool then encourage attendees to go into InfoBurst and do them as well.

Module Synopses and Major Topics Include:

  • Introduction to InfoBurst
  • Cataloging Documents
  • Basic Publishing and Delivery – available formats and destinations
  • Multi-Pass Bursting
  • Single Pass Bursting
  • Intelligent Email Delivery
  • Parameter Aliases and Delivery Templates
  • Using the InfoBurst Scheduler


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Data Services Iron Chef

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Any successful BI solution/story stands on the strong foundation of reliable data. The backbone of BI visualization and reporting is sourcing the right data, transforming it appropriately and load into the reporting environment as needed by the tools for optimization and efficiency. This makes doing the ETL (Extraction, Transform, Load) part of the whole process right extremely key to success of BI project.

Presenters: Simon Boxall and Doug Evans, InfoSol Inc.

Intended Audience:

This boot camp is intended for ETL designers who wish to learn the SAP BusinessObjects Data Services toolset


Attendees should have basic concepts of ETL and good understanding of database design and SQL.


This immersion hands-on workshop will provide a guided approach to understanding and building ETL projects using SAP BusinessObjects Data Services.

While the concepts and process of ETL will be the focal point of the course, this Iron Chef boot camp will also include Data Quality and Text Analysis transforms, data profiling and the newest feature from SAP Data Services – Information Steward to equip you with the latest and greatest tools available with the product. This will cover all the core functionalities of traditional Data Integrator and Data Services including using all types of objects, transforms, functions and more.

Module Synopses and Major Topics include:

1.   Introduction, concept of data warehouse, role of ETL

2.   Core Functionality – Architecture, Objects, hierarchy

3.   Building Projects, ETL jobs, Datastore, Workflow, Dataflow

4.   Using Functions, Scripts, Variables

5.   Concepts of Change Data Capture and implementing with Data Services transform

6.   Error handling, Auditing, Debugging, Recovery

7.   Administrator Role

8.   Data Quality

9.   Data Profiling

10. Text Data Processing – Process unstructured survey data using Unstructured File Format and Entity Extraction transform.

11. Information Steward – Scorecards, Metadata Management


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What’s New in BI 4.1 Developer Boot Camp (Webi 4.1, Dashboards 4.1, Explorer 4.1, Crystal 4.1, Mobile BI)

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Presenter: Steve Thatcher

Intended Audience

BusinessObjects, Web Intelligence or Xcelsius developers who are familiar with developing reports, queries or dashboards using universes and are looking to learn the new BI 4 development environment and enhancements to the tools.


Some experience in BusinessObjects client software including Web Intelligence, Xcelsius and Universe Designer.


In this hands-on immersion boot camp, you will learn how the new Information Designer Tool (IDT) 4.1 is used to create universes and how this integrates into the new features of Web Intelligence 4.1, Exploration Views, Dashboard Designer 4.1, and Lumira.  You will also explore SAP’s strategy for distributing BI content on the mobile platform

Introduction to BI 4.1

  • Review of client tools in XI3.x highlighting limitations
  • Development environment and infrastructure of BI 4.1

Introduction to Information Designer Tool (IDT) 4.1

  • Overview of IDT

Introduction to Crystal Reports Enterprise 4.1

  • Overview of Crystal Reports Enterprise 4.1

Introduction to Web Intelligence 4.1

  • Overview of Web Intelligence 4.1
  • Using the Launch Pad
  • New features in Web Intelligence 4.1

Introduction to Exploration Views 4.1

  • Newest version of Explorer known as Exploration Views
  • Information spaces
  • Developing and customizing views
  • New features in Exploration Views

Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.1 (formally Xcelsius)

  • Overview of the newest version of Xcelsius
  • Interface with the IDT
  • New features

Introduction to Lumira

  • Overview of the newest version of Lumira

Introduction to SAP Mobile BI

  • Overview of the SAP Business Objects Mobile app for iPad/iOS
  • Explore mobile content design considerations


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InfoSol Dashboard Awards 2014 – Get Visualizing!

Bankdata-Best-Business-Dashboard-Award PAMF-Most-Valuable-Dashboard-Award USPI-Limitless-Business-Intelligence-Dashboard-Award

Congratulations to Bankdata, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and USPI for being the recipients of our 2014 Dashboard Awards! You can read more about the winning dashboards via our 2014 Dashboard Awards blog post.

BI Best Practices and Future Directions Sessions

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BI as a Service

Ethan Durda

Software as a service (SaaS) is hardly a new concept but with the advent of new technologies and more general user acceptance of not having control of their data the possibility of BI as a service is gaining traction. This session will talk about the technological and architectural considerations and issues surrounding this landscape and the potential for companies to lower their initial costs dramatically and their total cost of ownership generally to support the BI function within their organizations.

BI Shift from Reporting to Analytics – Coming of Age of the Business User

Heather Sinkwitz, Trax Technologies

The world of business intelligence is evolving from an IT focused data solution for static reporting to a business focused intelligent solution for value driven analytics.  The emergence of new tools and technology enables business users to quickly answer critical questions in real-time across multiple platforms.  New talent is emerging in the market to meet the growing BI boom.  The future of business intelligence is a world of actionable analytics ingrained in our everyday lives.  Let’s chat about today, tomorrow and beyond and how to align your BI strategy to meet the growing, evolving demand.

Big Data, Bad Data

Paul Grill, InfoSol Inc.

Rarely in the field of human experience has so much been spoken about so little. While there are true values to be had from what we call big data today it is hard to imagine it will reach the level of the hype we see across the world from pundits to technologists to every imaginable subject matter expert. While big data won’t make “Free Will Irrelevant” as a recent article breathlessly declared, it can be used…and has been successfully used, to make your business operate better. This session will talk about what big data really is and what it really can be used to do.

Business Intelligence and Privacy

Adam Lange, Lake Tahoe Community College

The NSA’s bulk data collection programs have met increased public scrutiny as a result of the leaks of whistleblower Edward Snowden. These recent revelations have sparked a global debate on surveillance and privacy.

Businesses and other nongovernmental organizations should not be exempt from this general debate on privacy policy. As business intelligence professionals, we must work to maintain the trust of our stakeholders by thinking critically about all information we store and analyze.

This session is a call for renewed focus on the ethical framework of business intelligence. Concerns will be raised about a current lack of transparency, and what businesses should do to build more openness with respect to what information is collected, how it is used, and whom it is shared with. No easy answers will be provided in this session, but hopefully it helps inspire a larger and lasting discussion.

Developing a Cadence – Managing Requirements and Deliverables in a BI Team Using Agile Techniques

Ethan Durda

This session will describe the various methods of using Agile for daily management of a BI team. Care will be given to walk through and deal with the daily disturbances that BI teams are faced with. Some best and worst case examples will be shared from the presenter’s experience and practice.

Getting Information to the Front-Line of Your Organization

Donald MacCormick Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Antivia

Do you need to deliver information to decision-makers on the front-line of your organization?

If so, what’s stopping you?  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

Is it because your existing BI tools are too hard for front-line workers to use? Or, too slow? Or, too hardware intensive? Or, too expensive?

Join Donald MacCormick, Chief Product & Strategy Officer of Antivia, the creators of DecisionPoint™, for this fast-paced session to see how you can sweep aside all of these barriers aside, enabling you to:

  • Give front-line decision-makers zero-training BI that also answers their follow-on questions, without them having to go back to IT
  • Create BI content with the “application-like” interfaces that front-line decision makers need, 10x faster and without coding
  • Deploy BI content, that scales cost-effectively to large numbers of mobile and desktop users and fits in to your existing IT infrastructure[/expand]

How Cute are the New SAP BI Babies?

Chris Kruger, InfoSol Inc.

Aren’t all babies supposed to be cute? You decide. In this BI baby boot camp, I will play with the new SAP BI babies, Lumira, Predictive Analysis, and Design Studio. You will see me get dirty as a live demonstration will be given, showcasing the workflows, tips, and introductory parenting tips to these new and powerful creations. The good, the bad, and the ugly will be discussed without all of the marketing hype. Find out what they do and why, then tell us how the babies look. When your bosses inevitably ask you about the joys and struggles of adopting one of these tykes, you will be able to inform and warn before commitment. You will understand what these babies were created for, how much they cost to raise, and the joys and benefits of raising/owning them.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

Chris Kruger is an Account Manager for InfoSol, providing Business Intelligence solutions for a wide range of clients. His passion for business and relationship building supports his motivation to learn everything he can about his clients and their business. Chris has in-depth knowledge and experience with multiple BI solutions and specializes in Mobile Business Intelligence. Chris has presented at many events, most recently including SAP User Groups and the ASUG Business Objects User Conference in Orlando, FL. Chris is a contributing member to many Business Intelligence Groups including America’s SAP User Group (ASUG).[/expand]

KPI’s Getting Beyond the Noise

Ethan Durda

Technologists can be accurately accused of being too focused on the technological delivery and data sourcing issues associated with producing Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for the business. We forget sometimes that these calculations and numbers affect decisions made in the business and often compensation. This session will help put a framework and methodology for developing KPI’s to drive business value and change across the organization with a set of tools to avoid some of the unintended consequences that KPI’s cause.

Managing BI Volume & Complexity Challenges

Allan Pym and Ofir Gil, APOS Systems Inc.

Successful traction of SAP BusinessObjects content within an organization typically brings significant growth in the deployment.  It also brings growth in the platform management challenges resulting from volume and complexity.  In order to keep your deployment on track without limiting its reach, these volume and complexity challenges need to be managed efficiently. This session will identify key challenges areas impacting system awareness, content management and system management, and will look at methods and technologies for addressing these challenges.

Managing the Report Request Workflow

Adam Lange, Lake Tahoe Community College

Another day, another report request. Soon enough, your email inbox is bursting with requests for new reports and changes to existing reports. It is a familiar sight for all business intelligence practitioners. So how can we transition away from email-based communication and create an efficient request system that tracks reports and dashboards throughout the development lifecycle? Furthermore, how can we create a process that satisfies the needs of everyone across the spectrum, including managers, developers, and end-users?

This session will show how Lake Tahoe Community College successfully implemented a SharePoint based system for tracking report requests. The presenter will also share general recommendations for any organization seeking to adopt a similar process.

Next Generation of Mobile BI Dashboards

Paul Grill, Jake Tully, Bree-Anna Mustad – InfoSol Inc.

The predictions by industry experts in 2010 that mobile Business Intelligence was the next big thing and the majority of BI usage would be mobile within three years did not exactly pan out. Part of the reason was the lack of return on investment, but part was that the BI dashboard tools were just not ready and viable for fast mobile development and deployment.

This enlightening session will both explain and demonstrate the current and future mobile BI dashboard solutions for BusinessObjects deployments and introduce the next exciting generation of tools that allow you to design, develop and deploy BI dashboards on the mobile device itself!

Practical BI Project Management Techniques

Ethan Durda

This session will be a quick walk through of some of the specific techniques that do and don’t work in BI. Specific topics will cover the major phases of a project including Initiation, Definition, Execution, Control and Close and how these can be best managed for BI projects. A general Agile methodology and techniques used at multiple clients will be explained.

Revitalize Your Old Web Intelligence Reports

Chris Kalaras, Antivia

Do you have a mountain of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports in your BI portfolio? Are those reports looking a little tired and not delivering the modern, interactive experience your decision-makers need?

If so, join Chris Kalaras of Antivia, the creators of DecisionPoint™, to see how you can transform your Web Intelligence content into the task-focused interactive dashboards and BI Apps that today’s business users expect.  See how to:

  • Leverage your existing investment in Web Intelligence to deliver modern, interactive dashboards and BI apps, quickly and with no-coding
  • Create stunning content with pixel-perfect layouts and high production values that reflect your corporate brand
  • Deploy BI content, cost-effectively to large numbers of mobile and desktop

What is Self-Service BI?

Chris Kruger, InfoSol Inc.

BI has progressed in function and features over the years and is approaching a level of ease of use that many people would like to see it transformed into a consumer driven field. The technology department would then be primarily defined as a data acquisition and delivery organization but BI itself would be developed and managed by end users. The tools are in place, but can it be done? What does self-service really look like and is it a realistic replacement for the status quo? These topics and concrete examples will be discussed and delivered in this session.

Why Do I Have So Many Tools in My BI Tool Belt?

Chris Kruger, InfoSol Inc.

SAP now has three more tools that were added to the already over-crowded tool belt. Let’s face it, you aren’t Batman, you don’t have the powers of the Cape Crusader, and chances are that you don’t know what each tool is used for in your BI tool belt. In all reality, you don’t have time to learn each of those tools and you barely have time to master one. So, save some time and headaches and learn what each tool was made for and why. In this session, we will discuss the purpose of each tool, the audience they were created for, what they are used for, and how organizations can capitalize on the functionality to see an ROI on their Business Intelligence dollars. When you know what each tool does, you can then start scaling buildings and saving the world in no time. Well, at least your business users will think you have super powers.


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BI Data Management and Administration Sessions

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BI 4.1 Decisions

Ethan Durda

While working with a few customers who have made the migration from prior versions to 4.1 this year, key decisions had to be made about how to use the system beyond some of the strictly technical considerations. Examples included choosing between HTML or Java viewers, IDT or Universe designer, etc. This discussion will be to review some of these key decisions and the logic behind them and the resulting customer experience.

Design Creationism

Michael Ward, Creative Technology & Training Solutions

An entertaining presentation that gives you a best practices guide to building universes. Includes index awarenesss, aggregate awareness, and other features for Designers.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Business and Data Security Profiles

Allan Williams, Manitoba Public Insurance

Business Objects 4 introduced the concept of Business Security Profiles and Data Security Profiles in the Information Design Tool. This presentation will focus on the improvements introduced in BI 4 with respect to restricting access to data when creating queries, displaying data and filters in a Business Security Profile. In addition, demonstrations will be performed illustrating how to restrict connections, controls, SQL, tables and rows using Data Security Profiles. The live demo will use the eFashion Universe and attendees will be able to download the Universe files after the conference.


  • An understanding of how Business Security Profiles work.
  • An Understanding of how Data Security Profiles work
  • Understanding how using Business and Data Security profiles can be used together.

Getting the most from the Auditing Environment on the BI 4.0/BI 4.1 Platform

Evan Davies, InfoSol Inc.

There have been a number of significant changes related to how activities are audited on the BusinessObjects platform between the XI 3.1 and BI 4.0/BI4.1 releases. This session will review the major changes as well as focus on how to get the best value from your audit database. Main topic areas will include:

  • How an effective auditing strategy can provide a complete understanding of you BI 4.0/BI4.1 operating environment as an aid to effective administration
  • Details of the architecture changes and configuration options
  • Review how best to get data from your audit database (including a sample audit universe and reports)
  • Best practices in managing your auditing environment

Managing the Migration from XI 3.1 to BI 4.0/BI 4.1

Evan Davies, InfoSol Inc.

This session will review the processes involved in migrating to the BI 4.0/BI4.1 platform. It will discuss the major elements and milestones of a successful migration project and review the key findings and experiences we have gained from the many migrations we have performed. Main topic areas will include:

  • The key components of a migration project – scope and implementation
  • What are the key decisions that need to be made and how do they impact the plan
  • Breaking down the migration project – key milestones, lessons learned
  • Key changes between XI 3.1 and BI 4.0/BI4.1 – different administration requirements and approaches required to manage the new environment

Monitoring and Auditing in BI 4.1

Minith Patel, InfoSol Inc.

Business Objects 4.1 includes a real-time monitoring solution.

This presentation will show:

  • The features of Monitoring
  • Probes and Custom Probes
  • Alert Levels in BI 4.1
  • Suggested setups using Monitoring and Alerting for system monitoring
  • Available 3rd party solutions for system monitoring

Multisource Universes

Allan Williams, Manitoba Public Insurance

Business Objects 4 introduced the concept of multisource Universes creating a single Universe with connections to different database platforms. This presentation will illustrate creating a basic multisource Universe from scratch. In addition, important considerations for configuring the Adaptive Processing Server to support multisource Universes will be covered. Finally, a complex real world multisource Universe pulling from MSSQL Server, Sybase and Access will be showcased.


  • Introduction to multisource Universes
  • Live demo creation of a multisource Universe
  • CMC configuration considerations for the Adaptive Processing Server to support multisource Universes

SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 with HANA: Mad(e) for Each Other

Rajesh Ponnurangam, InfoSol Inc.

This session will benefit customers envisioning a new/run-better BI system in evaluating the advantages of building SAP BusinessObjects applications using HANA platform. Attendees will gain an understanding on how SAP HANA customers have implemented a next generation BI system and learn how BusinessObjects can leverage SAP’s in-memory BI solution to reduce wait time for reports and dashboards so the business community can react faster. Step-by-step guide for creating Explorer information spaces, dashboards using Dashboard Design and web intelligence reports on HANA will be demonstrated. Connectivity options for various BusinessObjects tools with HANA as well as tips and tricks for using BI client tools with HANA will be presented. The presentation will also cover the “Mobile First” approach towards BI-HANA implementation.

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with SAP: The Chemistry Works

Rajesh Ponnurangam, InfoSol Inc.

SAP is the leader in enterprise resource planning market and the new BI 4.1 brings the best integration between SAP and BusinessObjects making it easier for every SAP ERP customer to incorporate BusinessObjects as a part of their BI Infrastructure.

This presentation will elaborate on how the new BI 4.1 proves to be a one-stop shop for enterprise BI and will benefit the customers evaluating the integration of BusinessObjects BI with Netweaver BW and ECC. The presentation targets clients who are looking for guidelines on how to use and deploy the SAP BusinessObjects BI Software in combination with SAP landscape. Attendees will gain knowledge on prerequisites for connectivity options, user management, ABAP Queries, query design in SAP Business Explorer (Bex) etc. and also about how the different elements of BW and ECC systems can be leveraged in the new BusinessObjects BI environment. Case study on BI implementation for an SAP ERP customer will be discussed and step-by-step guide for creating the first report and dashboard on top of SAP data will be demonstrated.

Streamlining Your BI 4 Migration and Advancing Your BI 4 Deployment

Allan Pym and Ofir Gil, APOS Systems Inc.

This session will provide an overview of key topics for planning and executing migrations for the SAP BusinessObjects 4 platform. This will include a discussion of the important factors of a successful migration, and the challenges of specific customer migration experiences. This session will then turn to focus on key areas for advancing a BI 4 deployment, including sizing and architecture tuning, the new semantic layer, and dashboard migration strategies. Discussion will be given to best practices and advanced technologies which can be used to assist with migration and advancement processes.

The Whole Universe is Against Me! What do You Get for Changing Your .unv to .unx Universe?

Chris Kruger, InfoSol Inc.

There are many questions that come with a migration to the 4.x platform. One major question that will need to be addressed will be whether you should convert your .unv universes to the new .unx format or not. Don’t worry, the whole universe is not plotting against you. In fact, after this session, you may think that the whole universe is on your side! This session will discuss why you would or would not convert, when you should do it, and the pros and cons of each. There are many impacts, some larger than others, and you will need to know the effects of the changes and your decisions, and when to make those changes. Case studies will be given to help you learn from what others have done to ensure your universe, and stars, align with your needs.

Third-Party authentication and Single Sign On in BI 4.1

Amy O’Neel and Jean-Francois Cayron, InfoSol Inc.

The number of available external authentication methods has grown again. This presentation will cover:

  • Active Directory
  • AD SSO
  • LDAP
  • Trusted Authentication
  • Custom Login
  • Other authentication providers

Tomcat 7 and Web Application Management in BI 4.1

Amy O’Neel and Jean-Francois Cayron, InfoSol Inc.

Business Objects 4.1 is now delivered bundled with Tomcat 7. This presentation will describe:

  • The architecture of the SAP BI web applications
  • How to (re)deploy web applications using Wdeploy
  • How to modify application parameters
  • The basic architecture and configuration of Tomcat

Understanding What is Happening on Your SAP BusinessObjects System

Evan Davies, InfoSol Inc.

What activities are really happening on your BI platform? How can you find out who is doing what? What reports are being used the least/most? This session will provide you with the insight to best understand the scope and use of your SAP BusinessObjects system to enable you to make the best informed decisions for system deployment/migration activities. The main topics will include:

  • What are the main components of your SAP BusinessObjects system and how are they related to each other?
  • What tools are delivered with SAP BusinessObjects to provide gain a better understanding of the system? (Query Builder, Auditing, Monitoring)
  • The use of third party tools to assist in the full system audit (360eyes)
  • Ongoing administration management best practices

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Limitless Business Intelligence Sessions

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Doing Less and Getting More Done

Gary Holbrook, SET SEG

IT departments want to help their constituents. Counter-intuitively, the best help may come from doing less. When we revised our underwriting process we discovered that we could create the most efficient process by enabling our underwriters to create their reports using Business Objects.  Live Office allowed our team to access Business Objects data directly from Excel, and then manipulate the data in a way that was familiar and intuitive to them. Instead of IT supporting the underwriting process, the process became the responsibility of the line of business vendor who built the Universe.

Although traditional reports work well for retrieving and analyzing data, there is a gap between retrieval and analysis, and synthesizing new activities or directions based on the data. Tools such as Microsoft Excel offer us opportunities to use packages such as Solver to synthesize answers, transcending mere data interpretation.

GraneRx creates a Customer Facing Portal using the BusinessObjects SDK

Tammy Datri, PMP and Fred Bauer, Bauer Computing

GraneRx has created a Customer Facility Portal to provide their internal and external customers with access to Miscellaneous Content, Document Libraries and the ability to refresh Web Intelligence reports. Launchworks has developed a series of products that leverage the BusinessObjects SDK and platform to allow its customers to develop custom applications which provide BusinessObjects content and secured by BusinessObjects security. See how GraneRx is using the Launchworks product in Phase I of this pilot project and what their plans are for subsequent phases and portals.

This session will cover the various pieces of the portal as well as discuss the underlying platform(s) that were used to bring it together. There will be a brief overview of the hardware/software architecture, BusinessObjects security and system administration required to support the portal. In addition, we will discuss how GraneRx plans to expand the features offered through the portal.

How a BI Dashboard Helped Improve Market Share for a Retail Business

Rajesh Ponnurangam, InfoSol

Retail companies have the inevitable need to stay on the top of all the information pertaining to their business in order to survive the competitive market. Dashboarding data pertaining to logistics, customers and sales information would greatly reduce the time spent by the C-level executives in analyzing complicated business reports. This case study demonstrates how a simple, yet visually appealing dashboard with custom components helped the CEO of a retail company to gain business insights and improve the market share in E-commerce space. Real life examples and use-cases for the dashboard design will be demonstrated in the presentation.

How an Animal Rescue Adopted BI

Adam Lange, Lake Tahoe Community College

How can we efficiently monitor the performance of our organization? How can we utilize our data to make well-informed, timely decisions? These are questions that business intelligence practitioners confront every day, but they are not limited to for-profit businesses and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations must also find creative solutions to these same problems.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…”]

Furever Friends Rescue is a nonprofit animal rescue which serves the eastern region of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Since opening its doors in 2012, Furever Friends Rescue has grown rapidly and has made a significant impact on the East Valley community. It processed over 300 animal adoptions in 2013 and it currently manages over 100 volunteers. In this rapidly growing and fast-paced environment, the organization’s leaders must have easy access to the critical information they need to make strategic and operational decisions.

This session will provide an in-depth look at the homegrown business intelligence solution created for Furever Friends Rescue. The presenter will share information on a data warehouse that was created to merge information from multiple sources: volunteer tracking system, animal and adopter tracking system, and website and social media traffic logs. Attendees will see how reports and dashboards were created to highlight trends and monitor key performance indicators. Finally, although this project did not rely on SAP BusinessObjects, the presenter will briefly outline a model of how the solution may have been approached within a BusinessObjects environment.

Full Disclosure: The presenter’s wife is the vice-president of Furever Friends Rescue.[/expand]

How BI Unlocked the Black Box at Diverse Brands

Jason Dodo, Diverse Brands

One thing we have is data. One thing we were lacking was information and user adoption. In this session, I will discuss how our company turned our data dump into information gold with the help of InfoBurst and Dashboards to create something users loved. A piece of coal takes tens of thousands of years to turn in to diamonds; we did it in just a matter of months!

How BusinessObjects is helping with Medication Management for Long Term Care Patients at Grane Healthcare

Tammy Datri, PMP

This session will review the journey that GraneRx has taken to date to develop tools to aid with Medication Management for its members using BusinessObjects. See how this project has evolved as various technologies have been applied to produce information for reporting and management of patient information. Learn about the obstacles that have come up and how they were overcome.

Now that GraneRx has been able to establish a foundation for this reporting, see how they intend to build on it and what other BusinessObjects tools they plan to utilize to meet additional requirements. This session will review the process that the team went through to establish what they have so far as well as which BusinessObjects products they are currently using and plan to use in the future. In addition to the reporting, this session will also discuss how GraneRx has developed a Portal using BusinessObjects technology to provide their customers with direct access to Web Intelligence reports and more.

Instant Cost-Savings with Data Consolidation and Report Distribution

Scott Wilks, USPI

USPI is made up of over 200 surgery centers, all operating independently but managed by a Corporate office. Each facility has its own CEO, CFO and Board of Directors – as well as a unique instance of a Patient Accounting Software (PAS). Traditionally, each facility did it’s purchasing within this PAS system – therefore Corporate had no visibility into these transactions until month-end close was completed.
This session will highlight and demonstrate how United Surgical Partners International purchased a cloud based procurement software which forced all facilities to order items using a master item table. The Data Warehouse team then built out a procurement “purchasing” data mart which allowed the BI team to start building reports and analytics around a consolidated data set – ultimately bursting reports to facilities that showed what other facilities were paying for similar items. This data has equipped the facilities, as well as the corporate office, with the necessary information to negotiate better contracts for heavily purchased items, and it has let to instant savings across the company.

Performing Impact Analysis in Business Objects to Identify Changes for Medical Diagnostic Codes

Bruce Alexander, Presbyterian Healthcare Service and Julien Drouvin, GB & SMITH

When Presbyterian Healthcare needed to identify all occurrences of the use of disease classification codes (ICD-9) in its BusinessObjects deployment in order to make changes for a new standard (ICD-10), they were looking at a daunting task. The codes were used throughout multiple universes, queries and reports and they saw no easy way to quickly identify the impact of this change. Then they were introduced to the 360Eyes tool that performs both auditing and impact analysis on BusinessObjects content which enabled them to quickly identify the impact saving them an enormous amount of valuable labor and cost.
This session, presented by the customer themselves, will show you how they did it.

Self-Service Spend Analytics

Sakthikumar Rangarajan and Paul Santaniello, Newmont Mining Corporation

This presentation will showcase how one of the business intelligence solutions at Newmont Mining Corporation has had a significant impact on the global supply chain business. We will highlight the challenges faced by the business, the need for a self-service solution and how we built the solution using Teradata, Business Objects Explorer and Web Intelligence. We will also share the challenges we faced in this solution delivery along with some of the success stories that came out of this. There will be a demo of the solution and will also touch upon the best practices we learnt on the way.

Starting a New BI Implementation

David Behr, USPI

Traditionally, to get Business Intelligence up and running within an organization was a very costly and timely endeavor involving building out a Data Warehouse and purchasing a BI Software suite to deliver the data. While this still may be the case today, there are ways to build out valuable Business Intelligence applications at a fraction of the traditional cost and time.

This session will highlight and demonstrate how United Surgical Partners International built out Business Intelligence capabilities along with a Data Warehouse from scratch, and delivered reporting, dashboards and self-service analytics corporate-wide in under 6 months, at a quarter of the expected cost. By bundling Business Objects with InfoBurst, USPI has been able to fast-track Business Intelligence and have attained an instant ROI.

Top 3 case studies for location analytics and BI

Ryan Goodman – Centigon Solutions

How are other organizations using geo data to drive business decisions? Join us for a session where Ryan Goodman, creator of CMaps Analytics location intelligence suite, will answer this question and highlight 3 exciting customer use cases. Learn how location analytics tools of today are adding incremental value to business intelligence and the opportunities that lie ahead to revolutionize analytics.

Using Limitless BI to Provide Customer Service Excellence

Don Woods, ARI

ARI’s service excellence commitment to its fleet management customers includes matching them with a vendor that is best suited for their vehicle and repair type, negotiating the best prices on the parts and labor costs that get passed through to them, and keeping vehicle downtime to a minimum. The ability to identify the highest performing vendors and improve operational efficiency for customers are key business drivers for ARI and among the criteria the company uses to determine success.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…”]

This session will highlight ARI’s use of limitless business intelligence to combine data from existing vendors, customer vehicles, and financial records to produce spatial context for all client vehicles in a given proximity that could equate to business growth, driving volume and value up for ARI’s vendors while ultimately reducing costs for ARI’s customers.[/expand]

BI 4.1 Upgrade Case Study

Mel Sheppard, InfoSol Ltd.

Based on a case study this session tells the story of a recent XI3.1 to BI4.1 upgrade.

This particular case study is for a side by side installation of BI4.1 sp1 Edge on Windows Server 2012, but the experiences and lessons learned are invaluable for anyone starting to think about, and plan for, their upgrade.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

We will have a look at the upgrade approach, the steps involved, the problems encountered and how they were overcome, including tips and tricks for a smoother upgrade process. This session would prove useful for anyone wanting to know more about upgrade and migration to BI4.1.

Specific topics covered:

  • Installation and pre-requisites
  • Configuration
  • Content Migration using the upgrade management tool
  • Client tool upgrade
  • Deski conversion (and the Deski Compatability Pack)
  • Dashboards (Xcelsius) conversion[/expand]

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BI Development Sessions

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Creating Cross Tables in WebIntelligence v4.x From Basics to Advanced!

Michael Ward – Creative Technology & Training Solutions

In this session, you will learn a variety of ways to create Cross Tables in WebIntelligence v4.x. Topics will include using Turn Into, how to properly use the Report Element Tab, and using Assign Data to create a Cross Table.  You will learn how to create a master detail report with a Cross Table as the detail report. There will also be a section on how to apply calculations to a Cross Table and how to apply block features such as alternating rows, and turning on report headers to a Cross Table block.  You will learn how to apply the various reporting functions to a Cross Table, including Break, Rank, Sort, Local Filter, Outlining and Ranking.

Creating Formulas and Variables in Web Intelligence: From The Basics To Advanced

Michael Ward – Creative Technology & Training Solutions

This session will focus on the basics of building formulas and variables.  Learn how to convert a formula to a variable.  Learn how to utilize functions in your formulas and variables.  Learn advanced calculation features such as the use of Context Operators, and building date formulas.

Crystal Reports 2013 – Best Practices

Paul Gonzales – InfoSol Inc.

A collection of Best Practices for the development of Crystal reports will be discussed including: naming conventions, formula standards, aesthetic considerations and visualization standards and purpose.

Crystal Reports 2013 vs. Crystal for Enterprise

Paul Gonzales – InfoSol Inc.

In this session, we will explore the paradigm shift in moving from Crystal Reports 2013  to the Enterprise edition. Just how similar are the products?  Does  Enterprise have all the features  of CR 2013?  We will also discuss the use of the semantic layer versus using a database as a data source.

Crystal Reports 2013 – Developing an Effective Testing Strategy and How to Manage the Migration Process

Paul Gonzales & Evan Davies – InfoSol Inc.

Best practices in setting up effective testing strategies for Crystal Reports will be discussed.  In addition, a case study from a migration involving the testing of over 7000 Crystal Reports from a legacy version to the BI 4.1 platform will be presented.

Crystal Reports 2013 – Making Your Report More Interactive

Paul Gonzales – InfoSol Inc.

Crystal offers a variety of ways to make your report more interactive and even perform like a dashboard. In this session we will explore the different things we can do in a report to make it more interactive such as: drill down, prompts that suppress sections, prompts to highlight data, and sub-reports.

Crystal Reports 2013 and Web Intelligence Face-Off

Paul Gonzales – InfoSol Inc.

Synopsis: In this session we will explore and pros and cons in Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence side-by-side. We will determine the role and uses of each reporting tool within the SAP BI stack.

Dazzle Your Web Intelligence Reports with Conditional Formatting

Michael Ward – Creative Technology & Training Solutions

In this session you will learn how to apply conditional formatting to your report blocks as well as how to create different types of rules, including cell format, text and variable, and how to turn on and off the rules as required.  More advanced uses of conditional formatting in Cross Tables and Master detail reports will also be demonstrated.

Highs and Lows of Adopting SAP BusinessObjects for BW at British America Tobacco (BAT)

Mark Cooper – British America Tobacco

British American Tobacco is halfway through a journey to implement a global ERP solution with SAP BW7.3 and SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x delivering the BI. Attend this session to understand why BAT chose BusinessObjects over BEx and benefits along with the challenges that have ensued. The session will focus on a number of areas including:  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

  • Technical Architecture considerations including sizing
  • Rationale for choosing Crystal Reports for Enterprise over Crystal Reports 2011 and subsequent experiences
  • Bridging the gap left by BEx WAD while BAT waited for BusinessObjects Design Studio
  • Experiences with the new OLAP “Analysis” family of reporting tools
  • Pros and Cons of BO integration with SAP BW vs. direct connect to SAP
  • Customizations, Challenges and Success stories[/expand]

No More Boring Reports: How to Create an Interactive Web Intelligence Solution

Adam Lange – Lake Tahoe Community College

Lake Tahoe Community College has created several strategic-level Web Intelligence reports using the SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 platform. These are no ordinary reports with boring data tables. These are engaging reports with lots of interactive features: prompts, drill-downs, input controls, quick filters, hyperlinks, and more.

LTCC has employed many of WebI’s most powerful features to develop flexible reports which managers can use to get the precise information they need when they need it.  This case study will discuss the business problems these reports addressed and the outcomes of the project. This session will also include technical information on how each interactive feature was implemented.

Mobilizing BI for Business Objects

Bree-Anna Mustad – InfoSol Inc.

In the ever-expanding mobile world ,  it is important to consider the best way to view BI content on a mobile device. This session will discuss ways to develop mobile content from the  various BO tools such as Web Intelligence, Dashboard (Xcelsius) and Explorer.

Prompts, Parameters and LOVs in Business Objects 4

Allan Williams – Manitoba Public Insurance

This presentation will focus on creating prompts, Parameters and LOVs in Business Objects 4 in addition to the concept of Cascading Prompts. We will show how to create a prompt at the report level using the default LOVs created by Business Objects.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

In addition, we will show how to create custom LOVs either at the Data Foundation or Business Layer level and illustrate how to use these custom LOVs in the creation of Cascading Prompts that can be used in Web Intelligence Reports.  Takeaways:

  • An understanding of how prompts work in Web Intelligence
  • An understanding of how to create Parameters and associate a custom LOV to the Parameter
  • Understanding how to create custom dynamic cascading Prompts in Business Objects[/expand]

Report Filtering in WebIntelligence v4.x

Michael Ward – Creative Technology & Training Solutions

In this session, you will learn how to create query filters and local reporting filters.  Attendees will learn about the differences between a query filter and a local filter.  Topics include how to properly utilize the various operators in a query filter. You will learn how to make static query filters dynamic by using the prompt feature. Also included will be an in-depth look at prompts and prompt properties and how they can affect your report. Topics will include how to mix and’s and or’s properly in query filter. You will also how to utilize wildcarding in your query filters.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

Attendees will learn how to create local filters and apply those filters to blocks in the report document, including report and chart blocks. There will a section on how apply local filters at the report tab level and how that affects the local filtering. You will also learn how to utilize both the query and report filter templates to provide detailed information on filters. A major topic will also include creating and applying input controls to a report/chart block.[/expand]

Take Web Intelligence to the Next Level with Advanced Formula Techniques

Adam Lange – Lake Tahoe Community College

Web Intelligence is a wonderful tool for simple ad hoc queries and basic data extracts. But beyond those basic features lies a powerful formula editor that developers can use to solve complex reporting problems.  [expand title=”continue reading…” alt=”continue reading…” swaptitle=”collapse”]

  • Have you wondered how to perform calculations based on previous or future row values? Web Intelligence can do that.
  • Have you wondered how to calculate percentages of a grand total? Web Intelligence can do that.
  • Have you wondered how to do conditional aggregation, like the SUMIF function in Excel? Web Intelligence can do that.

This session will cover the advanced functions and formulas that every Web Intelligence guru should know. It will also include examples of how Lake Tahoe Community College applies these techniques to real-world reporting scenarios.[/expand]

Web Intelligence Rich Client: Tips and Tricks from the Master

Michael Ward – Creative Technology & Training Solutions

This session will provide an in-depth look at how to bring in personal data providers, such as text and Excel, to a Webi Rich Client document.  Attendees will learn how to properly synchronize common dimensions, and how to “fix” format issues with dimensions. Presentation will also include a section on various tips and tricks for extending Webi Rich Client documents for use by pure WebIntelligence users. It will also include a section on how to utilize personal data files for filtering in a document.

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InfoBurst Sessions

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InfoBurst Development Roadmap & User Influence

John Wilcox & Bryan Baca, InfoSol Inc.

In this session the lead developers and members from the InfoBurst support team will talk about the roadmap for planned new features and invite feedback and ideas from current InfoBurst users.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About InfoBurst

Bryan Baca and Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

A user once described InfoBurst as a “BI Swiss Army Knife”. Sure, you know where the big knife and corkscrew are. But are you familiar with some of the lesser known, yet equally powerful, tools InfoBurst has to offer? In this session you will learn about 10 such features of InfoBurst.

Bursting Large Data Volumes

Rich Harvey and Mel Sheppard, InfoSol Ltd.

A detailed look at how the arval invoice schedule is structured to get the most out of InfoBurst and Business Objects to burst 10,000’s of reports out in a set time window.  This is covered in high level details in the case study, but this session is to give more technical details on how the schedule is achieved and the process of how I got there.

Topics to cover:

  • The importance of understanding the BO limitations for parallel processing
  • The importance of a highly tuned and efficient BO report
  • How the parameters for the burst were batched up
  • How the burst is created
  • How the bursts are chained together
  • Error trapping and automatic restarts
  • Monitoring using Xcelsius

Bursting & Scheduling Best Practices

Bryan Baca and Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

InfoBurst offers a myriad of options for scheduling and bursting BI report content. Learn how to leverage these options to implement an efficient and effective report bursting solution.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Multi-pass vs. single pass bursting
  • Sequential vs. parallel processing
  • Parameter source vs. document source
  • Parameter LOV validation
  • Delivery conditions
  • Available scheduling options
  • Event only schedule vs. frequency with event
  • Actions
  • Monitoring InfoBurst

Deep Dive with Anubis Designer

Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

InfoBurst offers a complete HTML5 Application Platform that allows organizations to build cutting-edge HTML5 solutions for both the desktop and mobile. In this session we will look at some example Apps. and also take a look at the new Designer that allows Apps. to be created without any programming.

In this session we will show the basics of:

  • Connecting data to dashboard components and charts
  • Use components to filter and query large volumes of data
  • Create beautiful, highly stylized dashboards
  • Control component and chart visibility

InfoBurst Administration Best Practices

Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

InfoBurst is a mission-critical application in many organizations. Its robust feature set makes it an integral component of many enterprise BI solutions. InfoBurst administrators must be prepared to optimize the InfoBurst system while responding quickly to user and environmental challenges.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Deploying an InfoBurst server
  • Backup and recovery techniques
  • Platform and database migrations
  • System redundancy
  • Troubleshooting

InfoBurst for Mobile

Bryan Baca & John Wilcox, InfoSol Inc.

InfoBurst offers a variety of solutions for delivering BI report and dashboard content to mobile devices.

In this session you will learn about:

  • PNG Image format for mobile
  • Packaging of Xcelsius dashboards for consumption on iOS and Android devices
  • Support for BI Mobile
  • Mobile HTML5 data visualization using InfoBurst Apps

InfoBurst & SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1

Bryan Baca and Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

SAP’s BusinessObjects BI 4.1 is finally here and offers a wealth of new features for BusinessObjects users. InfoBurst has supported BI 4 since its initial release in 2011 and fully supports the latest 4.1 release.

In this session you will learn about:

  • InfoBurst support for BI 4.1 report scheduling, bursting and delivery
  • Bursting of DeskI reports in BI 4.1 using SAP’s Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack
  • How to migrate an existing InfoBurst Enterprise environment to BI 4.1

InfoBurst & SQL Server Reporting Services

Bryan Baca, InfoSol Inc.

Do you use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)? Most companies that use SQL Server leverage SSRS in some fashion. InfoBurst offers a robust solution for scheduling, bursting and delivering SSRS reports to the masses.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Bursting of SSRS reports
  • Publication of SSRS reports in a variety of formats like mobile-friendly PNG Image format
  • Delivery of SSRS reports to a variety of destinations like email and SharePoint
  • Scheduling of report delivery using advanced scheduling rules and events

Introduction to HTML5 Dashboards with Anubis

John Wilcox and Greg Berns, InfoSol Inc.

InfoBurst offers a complete HTML5 Application Platform that allows organizations to build cutting-edge HTML5 solutions. Business users need easy to use, drag-drop tools, that allow them to quickly build dashboards for both desktop and mobile. This session will provide an introduction to the new Anubis designer tool, show the current feature set, and discuss the future of the tool.

Leveraging the Power of Extra Columns in a Data Source

Bryan Baca, InfoSol

The Data Source is used to drive reporting bursting and delivery. However, the Data Source can contain other columns of relevant information that can be used to customize report file names, delivery paths and other aspects of report delivery. In this session you will learn how to access Extra Columns and how they can be used across the InfoBurst platform.

Topics include:

• Achieving personalized report format delivery
• Customized file and folder naming
• Personalized passwords
• Per-user FROM addresses in email

Object Promotion Preview

Bryan Baca & John Wilcox, InfoSol Inc.

Synopsis: InfoBurst users often have multiple InfoBurst server environments, including development, staging and production. The typical InfoBurst project often includes an array of objects, including reports, data sources, actions, bursts and schedules. Object Promotion (OP) will provide InfoBurst users the ability to seamlessly move objects between InfoBurst environments.

In this session you will learn about:

  • How OP works
  • Benefits of OP
  • Availability date for OP

Reduce the Clutter with BI Report Content Grouping

Bryan Baca, InfoSol Inc.

Synopsis: BI report consumers are often inundated with files and attachments representing their various BI reports. Reduce that clutter with InfoBurst Content Grouping. Deliver a single file that contains a variety of reports, regardless of report type or source.

In this session you will learn about:

  • Grouping report content to PDF and Excel
  • Combining report content from various types of BI reports
  • Grouping content by various criteria like email recipient and bursting variable
  • Advanced grouping scenarios

Tales of the Burst

Bryan Baca, InfoSol Inc.

In this session you will learn about how three InfoBurst users solved unique business challenges using the InfoBurst platform in conjunction with other BI tools.

Tales include:

  • Big Savings: Reducing BusinessObjects licensing with automated, offline dashboard delivery
  • The C-level wants what? (or giving them what they want, how they want it…)
  • Smoke & Mirrors: Delivering a dashboard snapshot from within a dashboard

Using an XDC as a Parameter Source in a Burst

Mel Sheppard, InfoSol Ltd.

In b123 functionality was added whereby you could use an XDC as a source for parameters in a burst. This session is to bring people up to speed with this latest addition to IBE providing some exaples etc.

There are a number of benefits of using this functionality in bursts:

  • No need to create physical tables with parameter data
  • Speeds up parameter input if the SQL to get the parameter data takes a long time


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