The BusinessObjects community gathering at IBIS 2019 was totally amazing and, once again, walked away with the “Best IBIS Ever” accolade. Over 50 attendees pre-registered for IBIS 2020 during the conference itself!
I experienced so many eye-opening presentations, inspiring sessions and great conversations that I was not sure where to start with this blog to condense it all down to the main takeaways. I was saved by my running journal whose quote for the week from Khalil Gibran said it perfectly:
“Progress lies not in enhancing what is but in advancing toward what will be.”
The theme of IBIS 2019 was “What does flying look like.” The content and tone of the conference clearly showed that it is by advancing toward new Business Intelligence technologies and methodologies while leveraging and integrating what we have that we can make progress and fly.
The opening keynote included three very cool demonstrations on “Advancing toward what will be”.
The first showed some of the new features coming with the next exciting release of BusinessObjects, BI 4.3. The new HTML5 user interface revolutionizes both the power and capabilities of interacting with Web Intelligence reports. It also opens up the opportunity to bring in a whole new self-service audience to using the ad-hoc query and analysis capabilities of Webi as well as consume intuitive Webi dashboards. In addition, BI 4.3 brings its powerful semantic layer to the Webi document so you can create a new data model based on existing objects (dimensions, measures, variables) from an existing Webi document to use as a source for other Webi documents.
The second demonstration showed some fascinating integration capabilities between BusinessObjects and Tableau. With an estimated 45% of BusinessObjects customers now using Tableau, the demo showed how you can schedule, burst and intelligently publish a Web Intelligence document to a Tableau Hyper extract. Then, a quick Tableau dashboard visualization with a map of the US was built from the Hyper and the States were linked back to another Web intelligence report. So, as you clicked on each State in the Tableau dashboard, it would bring up detailed related Webi data in another component on the dashboard. The demo concluded with publishing a PDF of combined Tableau dashboard and Webi report snapshots burst for each individual State going to that State’s regional director. All done with the new InfoBurst Tab.
The third demonstration was showing a new Visualization and Dashboard tool called Squirrel that is being developed as a follow-on to Xcelsius. It has been designed so that an existing Xcelsius designer can use it without additional training. The demo clearly showed this along with its built-in conversion utility to convert existing Xcelsius dashboards (XLF) into the new Squirrel format.
All three solutions generated a lot of excitement during the rest of the conference and clearly show that BusinessObjects users have a lot to be happy about right now.
There was also a lot of discussion about Cloud, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. While new BI tools and solutions are cloud based and incorporating AI, the integration and transition to get there is still evolving. This requires a separate blog as do many of the other amazing topics discussed.
IBIS 2020 is in June next year by which time BI 4.3 will be released, BusinessObjects and Tableau co-existence will have evolved even further and Xcelsius users will be going nuts over Squirrel. Progress indeed.