Posts Tagged ‘Donald MacCormick’

Oct
15

Webinar Recording: Collaborative design is the key to great interactive end-user BI

Thanks to everyone that registered for the webinar, “Collaborative Design is the Key to Great Interactive End-User BI” with Donald MacCormick and Mico Yuk. As promised the recording is available for those who could not attend.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, please click here: http://bit.ly/1eok4m1

Some key points discussed during the webinar include:

  • User Engagement 101 (BIDF Style)
  • Why are Collaboration and Iterations so Important?
  • Next generation Business Intelligence

Enjoy the webinar and please feel free to leave any comments or questions for the speakers below.

Other Announcements:

Don’t miss out on the last chance to join Mico on the BI Dashboard Formula tour this year! Final stop -Montreal, Canada on November 11th.

Mico will be teaching the following 2 modules from the BI Dashboard Formula:

  • Module 1- PlanningLearn how to identify gaps in project resource, the business goals and alignment up front, to avoid any pitfalls later on in the process
  • Module 2- Dashboard ScopingStrop struggling with the business users to generate KPIs. Learn how to use our #1 rated BIDF Blueprint to work with your users, and let it do the work for you

For more information, please visit: BI Dashboard Formula tour page.

This is your final opportunity to learn from one of the best BI Dashboarding Gurus in the world!

Soo Tang Yuk (@sootangyuk) is the ‘Xcelsius Gurus Network” community manager and evangelist. To find out more, please visit her aboutme page.

Dec
13

ALERT: Must Attend #AllAccessSAP Xcelsius SOD Followup & SAP BI Roadmap

A few weeks ago we asked customers to let us know what they wanted to discuss and who they wanted to hear from as a part of our BI Dashboard Formula product ‘Get your BI Dashboard Project on Track in 2013’ campaign: http://bit.ly/TQYn1V

Receiving an astonishing 2K+ votes, we made this the last AllAccessSAP webinar of 2012! For the first time ever we’ve gathered all three of the SAP BI Product Managers in one place to have a NO BS discussion covering the most voted on topics from the survey.

SUPERSTAR CAST:

  • Webinar Hosts: Mico Yuk, Ryan Goodman
  • SAP BI Product Managers: Ian Mayor (SAP Dashboards, Design Studio), Mani Srinivas (Visual Intelligence, Explorer), and Charles Gadalla (Predictive Analysis)
  • Special Guests: Check in with SAP community members around the world on the state of their BI!

WEBINAR AGENDA (120 minutes):

  • 30 mins – Introductions and SAP BI Product Managers presentation answering your initial registration questions
  • 30 mins – Live questions from chat and twitter #AllAccessSAP hash tag
  • 30 mins – Open discussion led by hosts
  • 30 mins – Check in from special guests and global customers on their state of BI

MOST VOTED TOPICS:

  • Update on Xcelsius Statement of Direction (convergence with Design Studio)
  • Xcelsius HTML5 the right route?
  • Understand the Visual Intelligence/Explorer roadmap
  • Who should use Predictive Analysis

WEBINAR DETAILS:

  • Registration Link: http://bit.ly/TQYn1V
  • When: Friday, December 14, 2012
  • Time: 9am EST to 11am EST

END GOAL: Provide clear unbiased answers on these ‘touchy’ subjects so that you can enter 2013 with a clear roadmap on what is best for your organization.

The #AllAccessSAP webinars are famous for producing breaking news and having quite an engaging audience discussion. Join us!

Not able to attend the live session? No worries… Register to receive the recording!

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor Alumni and BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog and BI Dashboard Formula. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Sep
19

Free XWIS test-drive coming to a city near You!

During my keynote at the recent “Mastering SAP BusinessObjects” conference in Melbourne, Australia I said “in order to make Xcelsius or SAP Dashboards enterprise ready you need XWIS from Antivia.” I said this because Antivia’s XWIS closes five key gaps in Xcelsius / SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards functionality which are fundamental to enterprise dashboard success:

  1. Reduced complexity
  2. Design productivity
  3. Dashboard performance
  4. End-user functionality
  5. Mobile delivery

Just as WebIntelligence makes it easy to manage multi-dimensional data with its micro-cube, so XWIS brings similar in-dashboard OLAP capabilities to Xcelsius development. This reduces dashboard complexity by avoiding the need to create multiple connections to the server for different slices of data and by eliminating the formulas required to knit these slices of data together in the spreadsheet. Less complexity means you’ll achieve a significant increase in design productivity (meaning more dashboards, developed more quickly) and at the same time you’ll see a dramatic improvement in dashboard performance (both initial load and click-to-click). XWIS also enables the out-of-the-box addition of key end-user functionality such as drill-down, drill-across and “slice and dice”. And to top it off, all this is available both off-line and on tablet devices. But, I want you to see this for yourself … so, I’d encourage you to get along to one of the hands-on XWIS test-drives that Antivia is planning, this fall. By taking a test-drive, you will see all of these capabilities in action as you build your own interactive, connected dashboard, from scratch, against a significant dataset, within minutes, using XWIS.

Antivia is running test-drives in Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and New York during the first week of October.  My good friend Donald MacCormick (a key-player in the acquisition of Xcelsius by Business Objects and one of the guest speakers I hand-picked for my BI Dashboard Formula) is hosting each test-drive. Given the interactive nature of these events, space is limited, so I would urge you to register for an XWIS test-drive today.

Mico Yuk is a SAP Mentor and BI Influencer, co-founder of Benchmarkers Business Intelligence and founder of the Xcelsius Gurus Network, the Everything Xcelsius blog. To learn more about her, please visit her about page.

Aug
24

The value of the SAP BusinessObjects Ecosystem

Ryan Goodman’s last post, Understanding BI4 Dashboards and XWIS, drew a couple of comments (here and there) expressing frustration that capabilities of third party extensions ought to be delivered as a native part of the SAP Business Objects product.

To my mind this is a glass-half-empty view of things. Although the BI4/XI3 platforms come with numerous connectivity options for Xcelsius, no software is ever 100% feature complete (that is what upgrades are all about), so inevitably there is room for people to dream up ways in which features could be better. The great thing about SAP BusinessObjects is that (through both their Crystal and BusinessObjects histories) they have had the foresight to make sure their products are open to third-party developers to extend and enhance their BI platform through an ecosystem of innovation. So the glass-is-half-full view is that rather than having to wait for SAP BusinessObjects to provide a particular feature in a future release there is a product which fills them today.

(As a side note, the nature of third-party extension means that this also follows Vishal Sikka’s vision of “innovation without disruption”, with extension products integrating seamlessly with existing versions of the platform.) As I mentioned in a recent post on BI standardization, this partner ecosystem is one of the key advantages of choosing a large BI platform vendor.

In one of the comments the concern was that customers have to spend more money on such partner extensions. Again this is a glass-half-empty view because, whilst extensions will usually come at a cost (third-parties have to make a living too) they will also usually be designed to provide a return on investment. Anything else is just too hard to sell, so using the right extensions should be a financial saving rather than a financial drain.

The other comment seemed a bit confusing, it started by asking “why are we looking for different products to try and integrate with one another” and ended up suggesting a jump to a completely different dashboarding environment, which would require much more integration effort with the core BI platform, than any well designed platform extension would need. This comment is doubly ironic as many platform extension products are specifically designed to add features which avoid the need to jump to new non-integrated environments.

Overall I would recommend you resist the urge to be indignant and reject third party tools because they “should have come in the box”, this is a classic instance of being “right rather than effective”, make full use of the power of the ecosystem around your BI platform, assess extensions on the ROI they generate for your current situation and only when you run out of options inside your ecosystem consider non-integrated tools outside it.

Donald MacCormick is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Antivia, an SAP® software solution partner, and creator of XWIS the Xcelsius-to-SAP BusinessObjects connectivity solution. In past years, he was a long term member of BusinessObjects and Crystal, and part of the team that brought Xcelsius into the BusinessObjects portfolio.

Apr
28

What are Dashboards really for?

Dashboards are for Action, Not Information!

Given how much has been said about Business Intelligence over the years, it is hard to imagine that someone could, within the 140 character constraint, use a single post on Twitter (I still can’t quite bring myself to say “tweet”) to impart real wisdom about BI, but a few weeks ago I saw something from Gartner analyst Andreas Bitterer which did exactly that. He wrote :

Ironically, the timestamp on the post was April 1st, but I very much hope that this was not meant as an April fool because it cuts right to the heart of what effective BI is all about.

Business is not about knowing, it is about doing.

A good business intelligence system should reflect this. Unfortunately, there is a large part of human nature which is reassured simply by knowing. This tends to spawn BI systems which help people feel that they are in control, rather than do anything useful to actually drive the organization forward.

So for EVERY report, spreadsheet, dashboard, query, visualization, or whatever other form your BI takes, I would encourage you to make sure that there is a clear line of sight from the information you are delivering, to an action someone is going to take to move your organization forward. If you can’t make this connection, I would question the business value being delivered.

This is particularly true in the world of dashboards.

Dashboards are too often limited to simply giving an overview of the current situation.

It helps people to know what is happening, but offers nothing to help them drive action. This misses a huge opportunity, as a well-designed dashboard should provide interactivity to allow its users to drill into the data to help them decide what to do next.

A sales dashboard that only indicates you are on track for the quarter is of very-limited value, one which simply tells you that you are behind plan is not much better, but one which allows you to find out, based on past evidence, which customers in which region are most likely to buy which products is a huge step forward. Now it is much easier to take immediate and effective action (regardless of whether you are behind plan or not).

So, if your dashboards are simply single-screen windows onto the current state of play, perhaps you should consider adding a little well thought out interactivity to better direct end-user activity.

Donald MacCormick is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Antivia, an SAP® software solution partner, and creator of XWIS the Xcelsius-to-SAP BusinessObjects connectivity solution. In past years, he was a long term member of BusinessObjects and Crystal, and part of the team that brought Xcelsius into the BusinessObjects portfolio.