It will be one of my first opportunities to hear from SAP’s new CTO Quentin Clark as he delivers the conference keynote on The new opportunity for business transformation. He will be showcasing “SAP’s unique platform by highlighting the journey of its customers – startups and large enterprises – as they rethink and transform entire industries.”
And as usual, I’m going to have a terrible time choosing between the different sessions. Here are the key ones I’d like to attend, along with the reasons why — I hope to see you there (there are still spots available!).
Because Visualization is Important!
- Build a data visualization roadmap: All visual fanatics welcome! and Mastering the art of dashboard requirements gathering and prototyping, both by Mico Yuk, BI Dashboard Formula. Mico always gets rave reviews for her pragmatic approach to making sure your dashboards are successful — and her presentations are packed with entertaining real-world examples of what does and doesn’t work.
- See, know, act: How visual design standards improve analytical literacy, Wayne Eckerson, Eckerson Group. Veteran analyst Wayne Eckerson literally wrote the book on best-practice dashboards for your business.
- SAP Lumira: Current capabilities, planned enhancements, and future vision, Ashish C. Morzaria, SAP. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the strategic directions for one of SAP’s most strategic products in the analytics space.
- Lessons to query, analyze, and visualize unstructured data with SAP HANA and SAP Lumira, Clint Vosloo, EV Technologies. It’s not just about boring old transaction data anymore. I guarantee Clint will give a very hands-on view of exactly how to start getting value out of your text data sources.
- Using SAP HANA Live and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio to present real-time KPI metrics, Marshall Kelley, Decision First Technologies. Visualize real-time data in dashboards.
- An introduction to the SAP Lumira Server and what it means for SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 users, Kevin Hutto, Consultancy by Kingfisher. How to integrate data discovery and visualization as a first-class partner in your existing BusinessObjects environment.
Robert Abarbanel, SAP. There are lots of new opportunities to visualize existing data in 3D in addition to mapping, for example overlaying data onto real-world constructions such as devices to buildings.
Because Administration is Important!
- Smarter uses for Auditor in migrating to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 and beyond, Eric Vallo and Greg Myers of EV Technologies. There are still many analytic teams that don’t do any real analysis of how well they provide analytics! If that’s you, you know you have no real excuse… and you should attend this session.
Because Getting To Business Value is Important!
- Building a business case for SAP HANA: How do I get started? Dan Lahl, SAP and Building a business case for SAP HANA and S/4HANA, John Appleby, Bluefin Solutions. The business case for analytics has always been a problem: what’s the value of what you don’t yet know? Who knows?! Personally, I’d like to overturn the debate, and have the bean counters prove to me that their insistence on ignorance isn’t costing the business a fortune… But that’s probably a pipe-dream, so in the meantime, you should attend these sessions!
- A fresh take on in-memory: How and why SAP HANA is transforming the way we build information systems, Chris Dinkel, Deloitte, and Deliver a seamless user experience between SAP HANA and Hadoop to gain critical business insights, Avishek Neogi, Deloitte, and Tools and techniques for exploiting data in SAP HANA for real-time business impact, Chris Dinkel, Deloitte. You don’t quite trust what SAP has to say about HANA? Why not listen to Deloitte candidly (and expertly) explain why they think it’s a big deal, for themselves as a HANA customer internally, and for their customers.
- Interactive workshop: Expert recommendations for picking the right SAP BusinessObjects BI solution for your reporting and dashboarding needs, Thierry Audas, SAP. A lot of the problems in analytics come from using the wrong tool for the wrong job. This session can help you make sure you’re making the right choices for users.
- BI to go! A guide to mobilizing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports, Dallas Marks, EV Technologies. One of the easiest ways to get extra business value from existing deployments is to mobilize what you already have. For example, getting just-in-time information out to field staff, or helping existing users understand data in new ways by including geographic mappings.
- Case study: Arch Coal’s strategy for using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to drive self-service, Roy Cherian, Arch Coal. Another easy way to get extra value out of existing report-focused deployments.
Because It’s About Looking Forwards, Not Backwards
- Predictive analytics tools in SAP HANA: What tools are available, and when should I use them? Hillary Bliss, Decision First Technologies. Predictive has become a huge part of the overall SAP approach, with the engines in HANA, the front end tools like SAP Predictive Analysis, the packaged “big data” applications, and a dedicated data science team available for projects.
- Case study: Best practices from The Irvine Company for deploying and optimizing SAP Predictive Analysis, Ken Wong, The Irvine Company. and Advanced analytics for the non-data scientist: What you really need to know, Ashish C. Morzaria, SAP. Predictive has been the “next big thing” in analytics for at least 20 years, but now it’s finally happening. Data science has leapt over the firewall between propeller-heads and the BI analysts. Come listen how normal people can start really leveraging predictive technologies.
- Leveraging SAP HANA embedded advanced analytics for predictive, text, and spatial analysis in real time, Neil McGovern, SAP and What’s new in SAP HANA? A deep dive into enhancements introduced with SPS09, Ken Tsai, SAP. One of the best things about HANA is that it includes a whole series of engines that were previously very difficult to leverage. Join these sessions to find out more about how to get the full value of these great new technologies (and with a bit of luck there will also be coverage of the new graph engine…)
- Explore the benefits and patterns of a logical data warehouse with SAP BW on SAP HANA, Brian Wood, SAP, and A comprehensive guide to multi-temperature data management using SAP HANA dynamic tiering
Neil McGovern, SAP. The concept of data warehousing will always be with us, but the notion of a single, physical data warehouse has had its day. Come hear more about where data warehousing is going.
- A strategic and technical guide to the most up-to-date SAP BI roadmap, Blair Wheadon, SAP. As ever, the future is all about taking the best of the past and combining it with the awesome analytics future.
A traditional data warehouse architect’s guide to SAP HANA: It’s not just “another database”, Sambaran Chakravorty, Deloitte and Successfully integrate analytical data with transactional data using Hadoop and SAP HANA, Alan Weedman, BICP – Business Intelligence Consulting Partners. The future is “OLTAP” — online transactional/analytical platforms — says Gartner. How does that look in the real world?
- SAP Simple Finance: Drive financial transformation with S/4HANA, Carl Dubler, SAP. SAP has bet its future on S/4HANA applications that seamlessly combine transactions and analytics. Come here more about the how Simple Finance rethinks the notion of what a financial system could and should be.
Because It’s About Culture, Not Technology
- Optimizing your BI organization and processes for trusted data discovery, Timo Elliott, SAP. In my session, I’ll be explaining why BI Competency Centers have to become BI Competency Communities — and how to get there!
- Critical success factors to develop and deliver a forward-looking BI strategy and roadmap, Pat Saporito, SAP. You want BI to be strategic in your organization? You need a strategy for that!
Because You Want To Hear About Real-World Deployments!
It’s all about business transformation — come hear about real-world examples.
- Panel discussion: Living with SAP HANA – Early adopters share lessons learned, useful tips, and expert recommendations, Moderator: Dr. Bjarne Berg, COMERIT. Panelists: Cynthia Strickland, McKesson; Delma Schriever, Shell Oil – Downstream; Ken Tsai,
- Customer panel discussion: SAP HANA … it’s built for more than speed: Innovative business use cases that have delivered business ROI, Moderator: Patrick Bresnan, Panelists: Eric Johnson, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores; Eniko Bugescu, Actavis; Rich Foster, Actavis; Nancy Fessatidis, (internal user of SAP HANA), SAP; Carlos Jofre, Norwegian Cruise Line.
- Case study: How Callaway Golf simplified and accelerated the delivery of dashboard solutions to users with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, Norman Ruppert, Callaway Golf.
- Self-service BI: Best practices and recommendations from the trenches, Anurag Barua, GyanSys
- Case study: Lessons learned from operating an SAP HANA environment at Shell International B.V., Djorgo Gubbels, Shell International B.V., Nick Vorstermans, Shell International B.V.
- Case study: Palo Alto Networks’ journey to modern dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, Rajan Patel, Palo Alto Networks
Finally, the big benefit of these conferences is to hang out with other people facing the same types of challenges as you — SAP Insider has organized a wide range of networking activities.
And personally, I’m no gambler, so if I have any free time, I’ll be trying out some of Las Vegas’ sporting activities, such as the Sky Zone trampoline park:
Anybody care to join me?