2016 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2016 is almost over. I began the new year moving my blog to a new web hosting service. A side benefit was finally moving my blog to the DallasMarks.com domain from the previous DallasMarks.org domain. You’ll definitely want to update any bookmarks that you have.

It’s taken ten years, but this year Eric Vallo asked me to transition from services into presales. I also visited the SAP Vancouver office for the first time to receive SAP BusinessObjects Cloud presales training for partners. Sometimes your dreams don’t come true how and when you expect them to. In 2006, I got my first passport on the hopes that I’d be accepting a presales job with BusinessObjects and traveling frequently to Vancouver, BC for training. That opportunity did not come to fruition, nor did two additional attempts after SAP’s acquisition.

This year was the first that I did not attend or speak at the annual ASUG BI conference (see related article, Watching #ASUGBIA from the sidelines). I’ve spoken at the national event each year starting with BusinessObjects Insight 2006 conference in San Francisco, California and was an attendee at Insight 2005 the year before at the Gaylord resort in Orlando, Florida. Missing the annual event and its networking opportunities was a big bummer and yet another reminder that not every career opportunity is under one’s own control. What I have learned this year is that many more people have seen my writing than seen me give a presentation. So I am endeavouring to write more frequently in 2017.

One of the things I’ll be writing in 2017 is the fourth edition of Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide from SAP Press with co-authors Jim Brogden and Christian Ah-Soon (see related SAP Community article, Is There Room On Your Bookshelf for Web Intelligence, Fourth Edition?)

Even though I missed both the 2016 ASUG volunteer meeting and ASUG Business Intelligence and Analytics conference, I remained an active ASUG volunteer as program chair for the Kentucky chapter. Due to some career transitions, I inherited planning the annual ASUG Developer Tools Day, co-sponsored by the Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky ASUG chapters. I’m looking forward to the 2017 ASUG volunteer meeting next month in Chicago, Illinois.

2016 Travels

courtesy of TripIt and Google Maps

It’s a challenge to beat last year’s trip to SAP’s Paris office, but my first visit to SAP’s Vancouver office was splendid. I ran into Blair Wheadon at Starbucks and Ty Miller at the SkyTrain station. It was good to see familiar faces like Jayne Landry kick off the partner event and Radim Bacinschi gave me a personalized tour of Vancouver.

2016 Webcasts

Books Read and Reviewed

I’ve noticed that I’m not reading as many books, due in part to three active children as well as eyes that now need reading glasses. I still read lots of shorter articles from my laptop or tablet, but book reading is an area of my life where I need to set higher goals in 2017.

SAP Lumira Essentials by Dmitry Anoshin

2016 Writing

In addition to the articles I’ve written here on my personal blog in 2016 (click here for complete list), you’ll want to check out the articles I wrote for the SAP Community (see my profile on SAP Community for a complete list).

Or the articles I wrote for EV Technologies (see my profile on EV Technologies for a complete list).

Thanks for your encouragement and support this year. 2017 should prove to be another interesting year. I’m already scheduled to present two sessions at SAP Insider BI 2017 about SAP BusinessObjects Lumira and SAP IQ (read related article here). I’ll also be attending the January 2017 ASUG volunteer meeting with my fellow Kentucky volunteers Eric-Stephan Neill, Vince Barber, Ashley Lowe, and Theresa Westlund. And no doubt SAP will provide a few interesting announcements to keep us on our toes.

2015 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2015 was an amazing year for me. In addition to my volunteer work and conference presentations with ASUG, there were some exceptional events. In April, I was accepted into the SAP Mentor program. Then in May, I accompanied Eric Vallo to SAP Paris to learn more about the future of the BI platform and its SDK’s. 2015 marked my return to the SAP Insider BI conference, which I had not attended since 2012. I also got to participate in SAP Lumira testing for partners at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, California. I also got to meet author Steven Johnson, who was the keynote at the 2015 ASUG SAP BusinessObjects and Analytics User Conference.

If there was a low point, it was this blog getting hacked. Twice. Unfortunately, the effort spent fixing my blog meant less time for writing new articles. I finally gave up and moved this blog to a new web hosting service. I’d like to apologize to all of my readers for the site outages and lack of new content.

Truly an exceptional year and I am grateful for EV Technologies and all of the SAP customers I met this year.

2015 Travel Destinations (courtesy TripIt)

  • Austin, Texas (ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference)
  • Cleveland, Ohio (SAP BI 4.1 Upgrade)
  • Detroit, Michigan (SAP BI 4.1 Upgrade)
  • Fort Worth, Texas (ASUG volunteer meeting)
  • Los Angeles, California (Web Intelligence and Information Design Tool training)
  • Las Vegas, Nevada (SAP Insider BI 2015 and HANA 2015, SAP TechEd user conferences)
  • Orlando, Florida (ASUG Annual Meeting and SAP SAPPHIRE)
  • Palo Alto, California (SAP partner test for Lumira at SAP Labs)
  • Paris, France (Tour SAP, May 16-20, 2015)

Speaking Events

BI to Go! A Guide to Mobilizing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Reports
ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
February 27, 2015

BI to Go! A Guide to Mobilizing SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence Reports
SAP Insider BI 2015
February 27, 2015

Analytic Storytelling with Web Intelligence
ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
August 31, 2015

Taking SAP BusinessObjects from Stock to Custom
ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Using the Best Ingredients for the SAP BI Platform
ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Universe Design: Evolution, Intelligent Design, or Just a Big Mess?
ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Books Read and Reviewed

 

2014 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2014 is now history. I worked with several customers on XI 3.1 to BI 4.1 upgrades, helped write the third edition of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide (see related article) and moved from Market Leader to Program Chair as a volunteer for the ASUG Kentucky chapter.

Thanks for reading my blog this year and I look forward writing more in the year ahead.

2014 Travel Destinations (courtesy TripIt)

  • Dallas, Texas (BI 4.1 upgrade)
  • Fort Worth, Texas (ASUG volunteer meeting and SABOUC conference)
  • Houston, Texas (XI 3.1 architecture assessment and Live Office consulting)
  • Los Angeles, California (Information Design Tool and Web Intelligence 4.1 training)
  • Orlando, Florida (BI 4.1 upgrade)

Most Popular Articles of 2014 (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1
  2. Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0
  3. Using Variable Functions in the Universe
  4. Sizing the Adaptive Processing Server in BI 4.1
  5. Sizing the Adaptive Processing Server in BI 4.0
  6. SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 is (Mostly) 64-bit
  7. Displaying Web Intelligence Date Prompts Using Built-In Functions
  8. Displaying Images on Web Intelligence Reports
  9. SAP BusinessObjects Query Builder 4.0
  10. Don’t Fluster the Cluster

Books Read and Reviewed

Top Visiting Countries (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Italy
  10. Brazil
  11. Turkey
  12. Spain
  13. Switzerland
  14. Belgium
  15. Singapore
  16. Mexico
  17. Russia
  18. Japan
  19. China
  20. Poland

Speaking Events

Analytic Storytelling with Web Intelligence
EV Technologies Webcast
February 26, 2014 US/March 5, 2014 ANZ

Agile Business Intelligence with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1
EV Technologies Webcast
May 21, 2014 US/May 28, 2014 ANZ

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, KY
August 8, 2014
Agile Business Intelligence with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.1

ASUG SAP Analytics and BusinessObjects User Conference
Omni Hotel
Fort Worth, Texas
September 22-24, 2014a
Secrets from a Business Intelligence Barista
Taking SAP BusinessObjects from Stock to Custom
Agile Business Intelligence with SAP Lumira (panel discussion)
“Cost Saving” Cuts Your Project Can’t Afford (Diversified Semantic Layer panel discussion)

Other Significant Events

ASUG Volunteer Meeting
Fort Worth, Texas
January 25, 2014

2013 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2013 was the year I celebrated my first decade working with SAP BusinessObjects (see related article, A Decade of SAP BusinessObjects) and two decades as an IT professional. In my first full year with EV Technologies, I spent most of my time working at home with only a few short trips on the road. This year’s exotic destinations included:

  • Anaheim, California
  • Highland Heights, Kentucky
  • Houston, Texas
  • Hurst, Texas
  • St. Louis, Misery Missouri (just kidding, Eric)


To the over 50,000 people from 189 countries who visited my site this year, thank you for reading. I’m grateful for each one of you and wish you continued success in business intelligence and a prosperous new year!

Most Popular Articles of 2013 (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. Customizing SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0
  2. Using Variable Functions in the Universe
  3. Sizing the Adaptive Processing Server in BI 4.0
  4. Displaying Web Intelligence Date Prompts Using Built-In Functions
  5. SAP BusinessObjects Support for Windows 8
  6. Query Builder 4.0
  7. Displaying Images on Web Intelligence Reports
  8. Don’t Fluster the Cluster
  9. A Glimpse of SAP BusinessObjects BI 5.0
  10. Universe Designer Refresh Structure

Top Visiting Countries (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. United States
  2. India
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Netherlands
  9. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  10. Italy
  11. Spain
  12. Switzerland
  13. Belgium
  14. Brazil
  15. Turkey
  16. Singapore
  17. Mexico
  18. China
  19. Russia
  20. South Africa

Most Popular Browsers (courtesy Google Analytics)

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer (38%)
  2. Google Chrome (33%)
  3. Firefox (16%)
  4. Safari (5%)
  5. Android (3%)

Speaking Events

St. Louis BusinessObjects User Group
St. Louis, MO
March 7, 2013
Going Mobile with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0
State of the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 Upgrade (panel discussion)

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY
March 22, 2013
Going Mobile with SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0

ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference
Anaheim Convention Center
Anaheim, California
September 9-11, 2013
Analytic Storytelling with Web Intelligence: Using the right visualization for your data
The Shift to the Network of Truth (panel discussion)

Business Intelligence Summit for Higher Education
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
October 1-2, 2013
Analytic Storytelling: Using the right visualization for your data

Other Significant Events

The Tableau 8 Road Show
Cincinnati, Ohio
April 17, 2013

2012 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

Mayan Apocalypse2012 was the year of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 (BI 4.0).  After going through ramp-up and going into general availability last year, early adopters began using it in full force.  In contrast to prior years, I focused on two major BI 4.0 projects instead of a series of smaller projects. The first was a BI 4.0 upgrade from SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1. The second was a new initiative (no migration) using BI 4.0.  2012 was the year that SAP’s mobile BI strategy began to coalesce, with Feature Pack 3/Support Pack 4 shipping in June with Exploration Views and Support Pack 5 shipping in November with mobile support for Dashboards 4.0 and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio. Thankfully, the Mayan Apocalypse had no effect on the SAP BusinessObjects Maintenance Schedule Calendar and Forward Fit Plan.

Professionally, 2012 was a year of many firsts for me, including:

This blog had more than twice the number of readers it had in 2011- a 108% increase- from 181 different countries around the globe. Thank you for visiting. I wish you continued success in business intelligence and a prosperous new year!

Speaking Events

This year I was able to deliver several new presentations, but even the older ones required significant updates for the BI 4.0 platform.

ASUG Indiana Chapter Meeting
Indianapolis, Indiana (Fishers)
February 17, 2012
A comprehensive introduction to the Business Objects BI security model

SAP Insider/BusinessObjects Expert BI 2012
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, NV
February 28 – March 2, 2012
Ensuring a successful Business Objects Explorer deployment — A systems perspective
A comprehensive introduction to the Business Objects BI security model
Guidelines to secure and personalize your BusinessObjects universes
E-learning, help desk, and more: Picking the right training and user adoption approach for your user base

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Bellermine University
Louisville, Kentucky
June 22, 2012
Universe Design – Evolution, Intelligence Design, or Just a Big Mess?

Pittsburgh BusinessObjects User Group (PGHBOUG)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
July 19, 2012
Exploring the Universe with Explorer 4.0: What IT Needs to Know

ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Orlando, Florida
September 10-13, 2012
Secrets of a Business Intelligence Barista
Delivering Personalized and Secure Business Intelligence
SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0: How to Make the Magic Happen (panel discussion)

Business Intelligence Summit for Higher Education
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
October 9-10, 2012
Secrets of a Business Intelligence Barista

Other Significant Events

ASUG User Conference/SAP SAPPHIRE
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida
October 9-10, 2012

The Tableau Experience
Louisville, Kentucky
December 6, 2012

ASUG Developer Tool Days
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
December 7, 2012

2011 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2011 was a year of transition, as I moved to Kalvin Consulting in an attempt to decrease the amount of time on the road and increase the amount of time spent at home with my family.  Less travel is bittersweet – it means lower status at airlines and hotels.  And fewer points to spend on personal travel.

2011 is the year that I was able to spend more time attending ASUG chapter meetings in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.  I was even asked to present a couple of times.

2011 is also the year I transitioned from full-time consulting to just part-time as Kalvin’s first Manager of Pre-Sales and Training.  Here are the exotic destinations from this year:

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Chicago, Illinois (Chicago BusinessObjects User Group, aka CHIBOUG & SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 training)
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Dearborn, Michigan
  • Houma, Louisiana
  • Huntsville, Alabama
  • Madisonville, Kentucky
  • Moline, Illinois
  • New York, New York
  • Orlando, Florida (ASUG/Sapphire 2011 and SBOUC)
  • Savannah, Georgia (SAP Partner Summit)
  • St. Louis, Missouri

2011 was my busiest year ever for public speaking.

ASUG Ohio Chapter Meeting
Cleveland, Ohio
April 29, 2011
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer: What IT Needs to Know  

ASUG Kentucky Chapter Meeting
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
June 24, 2011

St. Louis BusinessObjects User Group
St. Louis, Missouri
Thursday, July 14, 2011
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer: What IT Needs to Know

St. Louis SAP Inside Track
St. Louis, Missouri
Friday, July 15, 2011
SAP BusinessObjects CMC Security Essentials

ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort
Orlando, Florida
October 9-12, 2011
Delivering Secure and Personalized Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence Summit for Higher Education
Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, Kentucky
November 9-10, 2011
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer 4.0: What IT Needs to Know
SAP BusinessObjects Security Essentials

Chicago BusinessObjects User Group
Chicago, Illinois
November 18, 2011
Delivering Secure and Personalized Business Intelligence

I’d like to thank everyone that invited me to speak or help with their business intelligence strategy this year.  I’m looking forward to a busy and exciting 2012 as the adoption for SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 continues to grow.

2010 Year In Review

A personal reflection on the past year.

2010 was a busy year of SAP BusinessObjects migrations, ridding the world of BusinessObjects 5.1 one site at a time.  I also got to do a few health checks, helping customers adopt SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 and make their business intelligence strategy more effective.  2011 is shaping up to be an exciting year with the release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0.

Many thanks to the new customers that I met in 2010!  It was a pleasure to work with all of you.

By the numbers:
Delta Medallion Segments: 100 (Platinum)
Delta Medallion Qualification Miles: 73,927

Nights at Holiday Inn Hotels: 39 (Platinum)
Nights at Hilton Hotels: 71 (Diamond)
Nights at Marriott Hotels: 58 (Gold)
Nights at Starwood Hotels: 5
Total nights spent in a hotel: 173

Cities Visited:

  • Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Cleveland, Ohio (ASUG Chapter Meeting)
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Erlanger, Kentucky (NKU Business Intelligence Summit for Higher Education)
  • Houma, Louisiana
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Lee’s Summit (Kansas City), Missouri
  • Madisonville, Kentucky
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Moline, Illinois
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Orlando, Florida (ASUG/SAPPHIRE NOW and SAP BusinessObjects User Conference)
  • Pinehurst, North Carolina
  • Vincennes, Indiana
  • Winchester, Virginia