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Regional BO Crystal User Groups Alive and Thriving

In the last two months, I have attended three regional independent BusinessObjects and Crystal User Group Meetings that have simply been amazing both in terms of their content and user participation. One was in Pennsylvania, one in Michigan and one in Arizona. Each one had between 50 to 70 attendees, was hosted at a customer site and was free to attend.
More significantly, each one had real world case studies and live demonstrations of solutions, many presented by customers, that were both educational and useful.
A gentleman from the State of Michigan presented his experiences in using Xcelsius while teaching the do’s and don’ts to novice and new users that was as entertaining as it was informative.
A demonstration of the new Web Intelligence 4.0 brought rounds of applause when showing the new graphics and “print to page” features.
A session on converting Desktop Intelligence to Web Intelligence documents had attendees captivated and taking copious notes on their iPads.
A manager from a Fortune 50 company presenting and demonstrating a case study of a new distributed dashboard they developed for one of their clients that has both saved them and their client significant time and resources was just sensational.
However, there was one presentation that just completely blew me away and left the audience awestruck. It was about advanced data visualization in BusinessObjects and how to create more visual graphic representations in Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence and Xcelsius. Creating heat maps in Crystal Reports was pretty cool, but creating animated Venn Diagrams in Xcelsius was just phenomenal. If everyone’s jaw had not dropped far enough, the presenter then shared a small personal project he had been working on that left us all speechless.
He kept a betta fish in a tank in his office and he used a web cam along with some software he downloaded from the internet to track the movements of his fish over a 24 hour period. The software allowed him to load all these coordinates into a database. He then accessed this database through Xcelsius to create a playback animation of the movements of the betta fish that could be sped up, slowed down and even add in a 5 second bubble trail to show more precise movement! The audience was stunned and I was so completely lost for words that the only question I could ask was “What was the name of his fish?”. It’s name was “Betta” as simple and as brilliant as the solution itself!
So I have to say that these BusinessObjects Crystal regional user group meetings are just the best thing going on out there right now in the BusinessObjects community. The education, innovative ideas and uniqueness of these gatherings is just unparalleled . I can’t wait till the next one!

About Paul

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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