Friday, November 09, 2012

Actuate One Conference

On November 8th, 2012, I attended the one day ActuateOne Live! conference put on by Actuate in San Francisco.  The following are some of my notes from that event.

They are using 3rd party app (guidebook) to provide mobile access to session info. However since you don't register anywhere, I had to re-select my sessions when I worked with 2 different devices.

Breakfast for early registrations and an extra entry into a drawing for an iPad mini or Kindle at the reception. The surveys for the overall conference and each sessions were also extra entries for the drawing. Breakfast was the typical carb and fruit stuff though.

No wifi access. Boo.

Pete Cittadini, CEO Keynote

Changing landscape

  • big data / cloud / social media

  • touch devices

  • more focused applications

  • faster development cycles

  • deployment platforms more readily available

  • less specialized developers

increating consumption of data on a variety of channels
explosion of data volume, variety of soruces and velocity of data

Need a tool that can access all the various data sources securely without pre-processing (no new data warehouses).

  • support touch devices

  • deliver individually customized data

  • scale to any size

  • accessiable anywhere and anytime

Birt iHub - The Big Data Hub

  • delivery ready information snippets

Quiterian Analytics (Barcelona, Spain) is now BIRT Analytics

  • big data

  • no preprocessing

  • multiple data sources

  • BIRT Analytics Solutions

  • compete against Qliktech and Tableau

PDF will be generated so that it can automatically be read by a JAWS reader

Licensing based on named user (smaller installs), work units (medium installs) or CPU core (large installs)

Open source BIRT

  • 12 million downloads

  • 2 million developers

  • Top level Eclipse project since 2004

  • Online community

  • Free training

Only Leader in Forrester Open Source BI Wave

Entire BIRT source has been move to git within Eclipse

Actuate will be at Eclipse Open(?) and other eclipse conferences

Actuate Excellence Awards
1st Bank - Ryan Buerger
Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County - Sean Christian

Top Ten Rules of Big Data Systems - Shaku Atre (Atre Group Inc)

To provide value
from all data
to all users
from all channels

The V5 function

  • variety of data

  • various interactions

  • velicity of ata

  • volume of data

  • provide big value

Determine your "golden path" busines analytics (the paths that are most frequently used), start there.

Who or what is generating a big variety of big data

  • Machine 2 Machine

  • Bank tranactions

  • Airline transactions

  • Telephone transactions

Not all big data is new
Look outside the normal areas for big data (emerging markets)

Emerging markets are producing a middle class. A middle class produces data

What is needed to perform business analytics with big data.

First principle of analysis

  • Based on comparision

Second principal of analysis

  • Based on evidence

Third principal of analysis

  • provide actionable data

What is Business Analytics at it's Best

  • What happened - Descriptive Analytics

  • Why did it happen - Diagnostic Analytics

% of tech savy users is going down
% of business savy user is going up
% of young customers ( Information -> Knowledge -> Wisdom )

Wisdom is taking Knowledge and doing something useful and benifitial with it.

"Where is the life we have lost in living" T.S. Eliot

Telling Compelling Stories with Numbers - Stephen Few

  • Graph Design IQ Test - app available from his web site

ActuateOne Live! - Jeff Morris

New products releasing soon

  • BIRT 360 Plus

  • BIRT onDemand ( cloud based )

  • BIRT Analytics

Demo of BIRT Analytics - Pierre Tessier and Mark Gamble

Roadmap for BIRT Analytics

  • Immediate - Rebranding

  • Short term - Connection to and from other products

  • Long term - Incorporation into iHub

Mobile access demo by Pierra Tessier and Mark Gamble
Integrated with SIRI, you can tell the application what to do

BIRT Tips and Tricks - Jason Weathersby - Director of Evangelism

Understanding event order
General Scripting Objects
Global JS Functions
Crosstab Scripting
Call teh Designe Engine API
Chart Scripting
Call the Data Engine API
Image Report Item
Mixing Client and Server Side Script
Misc Examples
Jave Event Handlers and Debugging them

You can leave var off a variable declaration, then the variable becomes global.
Recommend using reportContext.setGlobalVariable or reportContext.setPersistentGlobalVariable instead.
For setPersistentGlobalVariable it has to be serializable. It is only used in the generation phase.

You can put try/catch blocks in a javascript block.

The reportContext object is available everywhere, not just scripting events. It's available in expressions as well.
can be used to pass value between table sets in a report object

this.setExtensionProperty can reach any property by name.

Page break interval - specify on a data set how often the page should breaks. Set it to 0 to let the report handle it instead.

Page variables
Page variables are recalculated for every page
Report variables are calculated once for the entire report

In Page Scripts, you can locate a report items by name
var groups = this.GetInstancesByElementName("GROUP_STATUS");
var groups = this.GetInstancesByElement (73)

Column level breaks
Cross tab reports have a page break interval property

Client side scripting
Add text element
Make type HTML
Add script tags
Code javascript

Best Practices in Dashboard and Scorecard Design - Catie Sirie and Brett Olmstead

Under your Objectives
Choose a Frameword
Align Measurements
Build Dashboards
Engaging Users
Ongonig Maintenance

User expecations have increased - want data faster and on more devices
Technology capabilities have increased

Strategy -. objectives -. Critical Succss Factores ->Key Performance Indicators

Frameworks Options
Stategic - Balanced Scorecard
Operational Scorecard
Stategy Maps

Accrediations & Compliance
Malcolm Baldrige
National Quality Institute

Process & Operations
Risk Management
Six Sigma

Developing new measures

  • What activities drive your business

  • What meeting occur on a regular basis

  • What information is being reviewed during those meetings

  • What questions are being asked

  • What initiatives are important to the organization

Choose metrics aligned with metrics in your framework
Select a few (e.g. 3) metrics for each objective

Building Dashboards

  • Data

  • Data sources - what are they, do I have everything I need

  • Format

  • Transformation - what manipulation is required


  • Determine what audience is

  • What group do they fit into (executive / manager / analyst )

  • What are they accountable for (department / processes / measures )

  • Consumption method

  • Interactive / print / mobile

  • Use

  • Day in the life


  • Tie the story together

  • processes, usage, line of sight

  • Know when to use which indicator

  • Alignment - Views

  • Cause and Effect - Maps

  • KPI - Guage , meter

  • Information - Chart

  • Scorecard - heat map

Business Scope and Stakeholders slide

Some recommendations

  • Grab user attention with SIMPLE design

  • Images command your attention and lead to other information

Buid a few examples for each group

  • Users sometimes have a hard time articulating need

  • Much easier to assess a design and provide feedback

Know your role

  • Not everyone is skilled in designing visualizations

  • Need design experts and business representatives who understand overall goals

Give effective are the measures (re-evaluate once a year)

  • Is anybody doing anything with the data?

  • Are you consistently meeting targets for a particular measure?

Are your existing measures still relevant?

  • Is it time to measure something else?

  • Are you using that measure as a best practice?

Measure detail dashboard (a useful tool for determining how effective the current set of dashboards are).

1. Understand the 3-5 year goals and objectives
2. Choose a framework that complements your culture
3. Choose metrics aligned with objectives in your framework
4. Keep designs simple
5. Showcase exmaples to users
6. Evaluate measures on a regular basis

No comments: