Rittman Mead BI Forum 2011 Brighton & Atlanta : Wrap-up

Over the past two week we've been running our annual Rittman Mead BI Forum, which this year ran in two cities; Brighton, our home town in the UK, and for the first time, Atlanta, the base for Rittman Mead in the USA. Each event featured ten speakers from around the Oracle BI, DW and EPM industry, and we were joined at both events by Oracle Product Managers and developers of the various BI, DW and EPM tools.

Brighton's event ran from May 18th - 20th, started by an optional OBIEE 11g Masterclass by myself and Tony Heljula from Peak Indicators. Tony and I covered the new OBIEE 11g architecture, RPD modeling new features, spatial and Mapviewer integration, and integration with SOA and web services. I was keen to run these sessions at the start of the event to help provide a context for the rest of the sessions, and from the delegate feedback I get the impression that the day went down very well. The slides from the masterclass, along with the slides from the rest of the sessions, are available for download at the end of this posting.

The Brighton event then opened formally on the Wednesday night, with a drinks reception in the Hotel Seattle followed by a keynote from Nick Tuson, who heads up development of the infrastructure parts of OBIEE from their offices in Bristol, just down the road from Brighton. Nick, joined by Adam Bloom and Mike Durran, took us through the technology landscape that OBIEE 11g is operating in, went through some of their thoughts for the product going forward, and highlighted some of the new features in the release. Presentations then started on the Thursday morning, covering topics through from OBIEE 11g security, methodology approaches for OBIEE projects. scripting using WLST and XUDML, DW performance tuning, and real-world upgrades from customers who have been though the process.


Something new we tried this year was to have two team debates, one on the first day on the topic "OBIEE 11g - Was it worth the wait?" and the second, more project-based, on "Shoud all BI projects be agile?". I won't go into the results here suffice to say - the results weren't what you'd expect - but the debates were good fun and very well informed. Again from the delegate feedback it looks like these were the most well received parts of the event, so we'll try and expand on this idea at next years events.

So after the Brighton event, Stewart, Jon, myself and Tony hopped on a plane and went over to Atlanta for the US BI Forum event. This was held at the Emory Convention Center and again started with the optional OBIEE 11g masterclass on the Wednesday, followed by a drinks reception and keynote this time by Philippe Lions, with then the event opening properly on the Thursday morning

This time the sessions ranged from OBIEE 11g security, through mobile, through to RPD modeling techniques, but we had a bit more data warehousing content from Oracle on Oracle's "big data" approach, and from Stewart on agile development and Exadata, and a great session at the end of the last day on OBIEE integration with Exadata.


More photos from the two events are available on these Brighton BI Forum 2011 and Atlanta BI Forum 2011 photo sets.

Finally, at both events we polled the delegates on who they thought gave the best presentation at each of the events. Both sets of votes were close, but I'm pleased to announce that Michael Wilcke from SumIT AG in Switzerland won the UK Best Speaker award, with his session on Business Intelligence Competency Centres and OBIEE, whilst Kevin McGinley from Accenture won the US Best Speaker award, with his session on OBIEE 11g and Mobile BI. Both sets of presentations, along with all of the others, are available for download from the links below.

So that's it for us for a while, as we're taking a break from events for the rest of 2011. Keep an eye on the blog early in 2012 for our next round of Training Days events, and we'll announce the call for papers for the 2012 BI Forum sometime towards the end of 2011/start of 2012. Thanks to everyone who came to either Brighton or Atlanta, and thanks especially to the speakers for making them both such great events.