Week Two of the RM BI Forum 2012, in Atlanta

I'm just back now from Atlanta, having been over there for the past week helping run the second week of the RM BI Forum 2012. Around 55 BI professionals from around the USA (and with a few from Europe) got together over four days to network, share tips and techniques around Oracle BI development, meet the Oracle PMs, and enjoy themselves downtown in Atlanta, GA.

The format of the US BI Forum followed the same structure as the UK one, with Kevin McGinley providing the masterclass on the Tuesday, the main conference running on Wednesday and Thursday, and the NDA BI Developer day on the Friday organized in conjunction with Oracle. Kevin's session was if anything even better received than in Brighton, with topics ranging from the Action Framework through Oracle Scorecard & Strategy Management, UI customization and of course BI Mobile. Thanks again to Kevin for taking the time to develop the materials, and then join us over two weeks to deliver the masterclass and then take part in the event itself.

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The main conference then kicked-off with Tim and Dan Vlamis talking about dashboard best practices, then went on to cover Endeca, OBIEE performance tuning, security, Exalytics, RPD data modeling, big data and the new 11.1.1.6.2 SampleApp. As with Brighton, we ran a number of 10-minute sessions over the two days, including some Ignite-style sessions that had slides that auto-advanced every thirty seconds, and TED-style sessions where the speaker covered a controversial or counter-intuitive topic with minimal slides and sometimes props. Here's Christian Screen, from Cap Gemini and ArtofBI.com, delivering his Ignite session on how to become an Oracle ACE.

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The Best Presentation Award went in the end to our own Jordan Meyer, who talked about the wider world of data visualizations including examples such as the Billion Dollar Gram, a facebook network visualization created using R, and other examples created using Oracle's R toolkit and embedded in Oracle BI dashboards. Jordan had a great relaxed but engaging presenting manner, covered some hot new technology and even managed to create a visualization based on Stewart's comments about Apple on our internal mailing list, shown in the photo below along with the subject.

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Although the event is primarily community organized, we had some exceptional support from the Oracle BI product management/development team again this year in Atlanta, including Matt Bedin who heads-up developer outreach for Oracle BI, Philippe Lions who demonstrated the new 11.1.1.6.2 SampleApp and provided a beta version for delegates to take away with them, and Pravin Janardanam who recently joined the product management team and is responsible for the metadata elements of the BI Server. We were also privileged to be joined for the second year by Jean-Pierre Dijcks who ran a whiteboarding session on big data, and Adam Ferrari, ex-CTO of Endeca who talked about the Oracle Endeca Information Discovery platform and analyzed, live, the tweet stream from this week's, and the previous week's, attendees. Thanks again to everyone from Oracle, especially for staying around for all four days and taking part in all of the sessions.

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Friday, as with the Brighton week, was a special BI Developer day organized in conjunction with Oracle BI product development and held under NDA (non-disclosure agreement), where we were taken through the product roadmap in more detail and looked in particular at a couple of significant changes/developments in the OBIEE product architecture. Of course I can't go into any detail now, but thanks again to Oracle for this and watch this space for insight and analysis once things become public.

So that's it for now. I'll do one final blog post early next week to post all of the presentation PDFs, and photos from the US event can be viewed in this BI Forum Atlanta 2012 Flickr set. Thanks again to everyone, and no doubt we'll start planning the 2013 event very soon!

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