What are Your Dashboard Plans for 2015?

By | Data Visualization and Dashboards | No Comments
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As you reflect on 2014 dashboard project successes or challenges, how will you proceed forward in 2015?

With so much excitement around visualization, the burning question is what tools are you using now, how happy are you, and what shiny new dashboard solution you will use in 2015 and beyond?

What Dashboard tools do you love to use?

With over 5,000 unique visits since releasing this survey we want to know what dashboard tools do you love to use, and which ones are on the end of their run? Your participation counts so please take 1 min to fill this out. I truly appreciate it 🙂

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What you get for Participating this Year?

Get the raw data to build your own analysis!

Only those who submit with a valid address will get access to download the raw data so you can build your own visualizations. I will send a link directly to everyone who fills out the survey so you can get the raw, anonymous submissions under a creative commons license.

When will I report the results?

This year I am using D3 to create my visualizations. Likely after the first couple hundred results come in, I will enable the visualization.

View the Poll Results from 2014

Last year we had an amazing turnout, but was heavily skewed toward SAP. That wont be the case this year as I reach out to all of the communities.

CLICK HERE

dashboardsresults

 

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Bring on Self Driving Cars!

By | Technology Trends | No Comments

Self driving cars are fun to think about because it is a major shift from how the world operates. Regardless of petroleum or alternative fuels, all car companies are on the path to inject driverless features into their vehicles. This article along with 5 others in my news feed today got my imagination going:

Tesla Planning the Biggest Autonomous Leap Yet

People have one of two reactions to driving cars… Fear or excitement. Self driving cars are the future, so if you think of the benefits rather than the mechanics, it is near impossible to not get excited.

Parking will become obsolete

How many times have you avoided going somewhere because parking is difficult? In San Diego where I live, there are areas that I wont eat or shop because parking is such a nightmare. Imagine pulling up to a restaurant getting out of your car and having it park itself? Even better imagine requesting your care to come get you as you finish paying your bill? Most of America is one big sprawling shopping mall, so while self driving cars on public roads will take time, private property is the perfect proving ground.

One day in the future…

Compensated Commute

Globally, many people commute to and from work, which for all intensive purposes is dead time. If you stack up the human hours spent on the road it is mind boggling. That is time lost doing other things… Buying stuff on amazon, watching TV, reading blog posts like this.

Driving will become Old School

If cars become truly driverless, once there is a trust in the system to go completely hands free, your car becomes your personal driver. If you love to drive, this sounds horrible. If you are a terrible driver like myself it is an ultimate luxury.

Could your car be a designated driver?

If hands free, could we ever see new rules for cars transporting patrons to and from a bar? My guess is this would never happen unless we start seeing cars without steering wheels and gas pedals. For now, I rely on Uber!

What other cool benefits can you imagine from driverless cars?

 

Maps and Analytics go Together Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

By | Location Intelligence | No Comments

In your daily routine, you’re extremely comfortable using a map on your phone, in your car, or computer. When I survey rooms of Business Intelligence professionals, 100% of the participants raise their hands when asked if they have used a map in the last 24 hours.

At work however, two reasons those same professionals don’t use maps for Business Intelligence is a lack of understanding how to use geographic information and/or having the right tools to create and distribute meaningful Location Intelligence.

READ MORE ON LINKED IN

Top X (tips, tricks, secrets) to (power word) subject matter

By | Tech Entreprenuer | No Comments

Don’t worry, I promise this title is not another typo…

If your goal is to attract new visitors to your blog or web site and you have something to say, this is sure-fire way to get attention, unless you are experienced writing good headlines.

Top X (tips, tricks, secrets) to (power word) subject matter

Example: Top 3 Location Analytics Uses and Best Practices

Example: Top 3 IT Tips for Choosing Maps for SAP BusinessObjects

Go to Linked-In to see how many articles or links from your network use this formula. Why is this formula so effective? In a social-media driven world we are in perpetual content overload. Most professionals don’t have time to read a written novel.. They want information quickly. The expectation is if your headline uses this formula you have bulleted or numbered lists that are quick and easy to consume.

Hopefully this trick helps you if you are sending an email to your peers inside your corporate network or writing a new blog post.

March Maps Madness: Where to find me

By | Events, Location Intelligence | No Comments

This month is jam packed full of exciting  events.

If you are out on the road or working from your office globally, I wanted to share where I will be and what exciting new maps related work I am up to!

Live SAP Events

March 9&10- BI 2015 in Las Vegas

The entire BI2015 event spans March9-12, but I will be on-hand with our friends at BIBrainz talking about BI strategy, data visualization, and of course Location Intelligence.

March 11- San Francisco BusinessObjects User Meeting

Join me for an invite-only event.
REQUEST AN INVITE

I have done 4 of these events around the country and they are amazing. No marketing, no sales… just knowledge and networking with other BusinessObjects professionals.

REQUEST AN INVITE


March 19 and Beyond

Being a huge college basketball fan, I typically go on the road during the NCAA tourney following my team until they lose. Assuming things go well, I may be in a city near you happy to meet for an office visit or even coffee. Stay tuned via Linked In

March 24- Lets Speak BO

I am thrilled to be a part of a webinar series, “Lets Speak BO” that my friends at InfoSol launched in 2015. If you are a BusinessObjects professional, these should be on your radar. Check out upcoming sessions

Join me March 23, as we take a look at top business cases and tips for injecting maps into your BI implementation. This informative webinar will extract and share the knowledge taken from hundreds of customer stories and share how you can gather and transform requirements into amazing location intelligence solutions.

REGISTER NOW

Exciting New Developments for March

One of the new developments that I am most excited about in March is a brand new mapping solution for SAP BusinessObjects Webi integration, that I have been dreaming up for the last 5 years and could’t do until the last 6 months. I truly think we have a winner with this one… LEARN MORE

This is an area I am focused on now as we just released Webi, have Microsoft Sharepoint complete, and are actively working to announce additional integrations before end of March!

What’s coming in April?

Get ready for April, because I am going to open up my very popular survey from last year “What are your dashboard plans for this year?” 

Death of the “3 Hour Service Window” with Location Intelligence

By | Location Intelligence | No Comments

We have all been there where a service provider gives us a 3-5 hour windows to wait for a technician or delivery. As a consumer, there is nothing that infuriates me more than waiting through one of these windows for customer service.

Uber has reset my expectations for real accountability and transparency. If Uber can provide me with real time GPS feedback and the ability to rate my experience, why can’t other providers?

Consumer Horror Stories are Too Common

Today, a friend called me needing a ride because AAA had left her stranded for 3 hours on the side of the road. The most horrifying part of her story was that dispatch led her on for 2 hours indicating her tow truck was 20 minutes away and in route. That was far from the truth, when the driver confirmed that the truck was re-routed to another part of town. This stuff happens to the best of us, but in this scenario was dangerous for a female who was not stranded because of her car, but because AAA held her their waiting for a tow truck.

I will stop beating up on AAA, because they are not the only company with problems properly setting expectations… In December, my ADT alarm broke and their customer service indicated a 22 day window to get someone on-site to fix my house alarm with yet another 4 hour window… The point is not to fill this thread up with service horror stories, but rather point out a problem with a fairly simple solution…

Part of the Solution is Location Intelligence

Both AAA and ADT and many other service based enterprises are missing the boat to effectively use data, infrastructure, and mobility to provide a superior “customer experience”. Customer service is no longer a friendly voice or firm handshake but an open and semi-transparent dialogue between consumers providers. Location based data generated by consumers and service providers can easily be combined with other systems to help predict more realistic expectations back to the consumer, and help increase efficiency of service providers.

In a post Uber world, companies can deliver better customer service and increase retention by simply transforming location data into useful information in real time.

Had my friend for example saw that her tow truck was on the other side of town, she could have called an Uber to go somewhere safe and comfortable while she waited. Had I seen known my ADT technician was 30 minutes away with 3 jobs ahead of mine, I could have stayed at the office. These are two real-world scenarios where delivering location-based information can improve customer retention.

By using data from logistics systems, telematics, mobile devices, there is a wealth of information that can increase customer retention, and I am excited that I get to spend my days thinking of new ways to help solve these kinds of problems. If you run a service organization and want to learn more about Location Intelligence, feel free to contact me direct any time… If you have your own horror story, feel free to share it below 🙂

Jumping Ship from Salesforce.com

By | Tech Entreprenuer, Technology Trends | No Comments

I am a long time customer and fan of Salesforce.com. As cloud adoption soars, Salesforce has transformed itself from a CRM into a cloud platform as a service.

The problem, is while Salesforce is chasing after new opportunities as a PaaS company, making acquisitions, and expanding its reach to sustain growth, their core SaaS suite has been collecting dust. Salesforce.com wants to be THE platform for cloud Business Applications which is why I am investing and integrating our CMaps Analytics location intelligence tools. As a customer, SFDC no longer provides value to centralize all facets of customer engagement, which is a shame.

For the last 3 years, I have been compromising customer engagement by using Salesforce.com.

The approach to Salesforce.com is to throw money at licensing and development to get to a solution; makes sense as a PaaS.  The problem is that Salesforce charges a “solution premium” for a development platform and charging that same premium for customer facing apps. This model just doesn’t scale and I found that the cost/benefit of using Salesforce.com for customer facing applications forced my company to find a new solution.

Simplification through OpenSource and WordPress

2 years ago, I noticed the development community for Wordpress exploding, and the technology growing more powerful with each release. I have used WordPress to power a variety of public cloud apps and sites with great success. Now, the same portal where my customers get knowledge, training, templates, and other materials will be my hub for logging cases, providing software downloads, and other customer engagement / community activities.

My total cost savings by dumping Salesforce for customer facing engagement will be close to $5,000 per year. My total Amazon hosting and 3rd party licensing costs under $1000 per year and will allow me to scale to my thousands of users instantly and grow without paying money for resources I am not using.

It should be an interesting experiment now that I have launched phase 1 this weekend, which also moves our e-commerce and license delivery to CentigonKnowledge.com. Ultimately the goal is to driving more value to customers who invest in our technology and increase engagement. While we make this move, we are also testing solutions from ZenDesk and UserVoice.

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How to Fix a Corrupt SAP Dashboards Project

By | SAP BusinessObjects, Trouble Shooting, Xcelsius | No Comments

You open up your precious Xcelsius dashboard only to have it crash on startup.. The good news is you are not doomed.. If you are like me and run a lot of programs at once and have frequent crashes, it is plausable for your Excel file to go corrupt.

The fix is actually pretty simple. You will crack open the XLF file, open the source Excel, let Excel repair itself, re-save, and then inject it back into your XLF.

I put together a post on SAP Community Network with detailed step by step directions.

2014 Review: Tableau was an Unstoppable Force

By | Technology Trends, Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s that time of year again where I get to sit back and reflect on what I experienced, and get pumped up for the new year ahead! The first thing I do is look back at what I said would occur in Dec 213 which I highlight at the end of this article.

Looking forward to 2015

Analytics

Tableau is still a runaway train for data visualization and exploration in 2014, and that will continue into 2015. However, there are a lot of really good contenders that give Tableau a run for its money. As a long time ambassador of SAP Dashboards, I think the only exciting work coming out of the BusinessObjects is Lumira, though that excitement for me personally is fairly low for a number of reasons.

I think the Antivia guys have captured it beautifully on this blog post which is reflective in their product DecisionPoint, which is one of the technologies I think could have a breakout year in 2015

Consumer Tech Bubble Growing

Is 2015 the year we see a massive adjustment in valuations? Perhaps it will take Facebook missing its estimates to send fear into the market? Hopefully it wont happen in 2015, but when a hitchhiking app like Uber valuation doubles in less than a year to $40B in midst of it being systematically shut down one country at a time, you have to wonder.

Security

The security breaches will continue, so consumers and enterprises will become even more security conscious… finally! From cyber terrorism, to corporate espionage, privacy and security are two hot topics going into 2015 and will remain so as tensions rise.

Regulating the Cloud

The Internet removed physical boundaries for global communications and commerce. Now that infrastructure is threatened as countries, including the US place heavier regulations on the web and its use for commerce. There are some landmark cases underway, most importantly the big one against Microsoft.  that could literally re-define “the cloud” on a global level.

Breakout year for Centigon Solutions

Late 2014 was a huge turning point for my company with the release of CMaps Analytics Designer. Running a small, profitable software company, I am excited to charge into 2015 with a full head of steam. I can’t wait to see the cool solutions we cook up with CMaps Analytics Designer this year.

 

UPDATE FROM 2013 End of Year

DEVICES: More enterprises are “mobile ready” going into 2014.

Mobile is no longer an exciting proposition but an assumed feature when talking enterprise software today.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Cloud is still forming

Amazon still reigned supreme for IaaS in 2014. Look for 2015 PaaS offerings to get much better with MSFT, Google, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP and others fighting hard for marketshare as they expand from their core customers.

BIG DATA: Big Data is a real problem and opportunity, but not for everyone…yet

If you are on Linked-In you probably see 3 Big Data articles a day, so I don’t need to tell you that the hype cycle will continue will into 2015.

MICRO-TRENDS RELATED TO THIS BLOG:

1. Customers who use SAP Dashboards without BusinessObjects have been left in the cold.

World is getting colder as SAP still tries to catch up with itself and the rest of the marketplace. Perhaps 2016?

2. More market disruption for SAP BusinessObjects

I nailed this one on the head as more customers shift attention away from BusinessObjects. If you are an SAP customer connecting to SAP data, this really does not apply to you because you are on the SAP crazy train for ever!

3. HTML5-  Is 2014 is here already

HTML5 standard was finalized and browser support improved.. Now we need some way for IE 8 to die quickly!!!

How to Transform your Inbox into Command Central

By | Technology Trends | No Comments

If you think Excel is your corporation’s biggest inhibitor for accessing, analyzing, and distributing actionable information, you wrong. Email is by far one of the greatest time, productivity, and knowledge drains in the corporate world.

My personal email situation is out of control as I continuously run the risk of emails falling between the cracks. This week, I decided to step out of my Outlook comfort zone to take steps forward to improve my ability to stay on top of my business. I have always been critical of GMail as a corporate grade experience… Google spent all of that time simplifying and refining the email experience to be minimalistic (borderline useless), with the engine to make it extremely useful. I found a handful of add-ons to unlock the power of my inbox and transform it into command central. Untitled-3

Here are some extremely useful add-ons that I wanted to share that I am testing, that I believe will help make me more efficient moving forward:

Boomerang

Start with a real business problem and build a clever solution. That is exactly what the Boomerang team did. Google should buy this solution and make it standard with GMail because every person has this same problem… When you send an email knowing that you need a response, how do you keep track? Boomerang does that for you. You can check a box and have your email remind you if you don’t get a response in hours or days so it shows up at the top of your list.. That way you can stay on top of the people who owe you information. Additionally, if an inbox pops into your inbox and you can’t get to it right away, you can flag it or put it in a folder.. Instead boomerang will pull it out of your inbox and re-email it to you later. Think of it like a snooze button for email.

CHECK OUT BOOMERANG

boomerang

 

Preview Pane

Preview Pane is a must have if you are coming from Outlook because it allows you to navigate through emails fast. The biggest gripe I have with cloud email is speed for moving between emails, so preview pane allows me to quickly toggle and take action on emails quickly. In outlook click on the settings button, select the labs tab, and then press Preview Pane. Enable preview pane and refresh your browser

Cirrus Insight

After installing Cirrus Insight for Salesforce.com, I am already hooked! Not only do they have a tight integration with Salesforce.com but it also lets me get to custom objects right from within GMail. Now, I have at my fingertips every bit of information I need as I communicate with customers and partners. If you have Salesforce and GMail customer this extension is a must-have.

CHECK OUT CIRRUS INSIGHT

RapportiveUntitled-5

Rapportive is a pretty slick tool that connects GMail to your Linked-In account. As you receive or send emails, it will indicate your Linked-In Connection status. If you are not connected, with a single click you can send a request.

RAPPORTIVE

Utility and Not Algorithms

I have tried several algorithm based email optimization tools. My favorite is SaneBox but even with Tony Robins endorsement, I found that important emails that needed immediate attention slipped by. For that, I am not ready to trust my inbox and my business to algorithm based tools.

What Email Add-ons are you using?

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