#iod2012 Monday

Good news! I am now an officially certified IBM Cognos 10 BI Author and IBM Cognos 10 BI Multidimensional Author.

There are some very interesting new technologies coming out of the IOD this year. The most impressive to me are the PureSystems and Dynamic Cube. Also the support for Bi-Directional in Cognos. Did I mention the bi directional support? Cause that’s awesome!

The PureSystem and PureData are preconfigured boxes that come with everything you need for a BI platform. OS, Database and a central management system that covers it all. Cognos and SPSS needs to be installed on another server, but the performance is supposed to be phenomenal. The scenario I gave them is based on the needs of one of my clients. With 200k rows inserted into tables per second, the real time reports their customers need are unacceptably slow. The IBM guys assured me that not only can Netezza handle such drastic bulk loads, the system will return the results of any query quickly and efficiently. I’m trying to set up a demo to see if it’s something my client will want to work with.

Dynamic Cubes are a new thing in Cognos 10.2. It has it’s own development studio to build them, which is supposed to be similar, but simpler, to Transformer. It can support multiple datasources by creating multiple cubes, then a virtual cube to combine them. Apparently the way it works is that you first design the cube based on your data source, then as users run the reports it will cache the results to make future queries faster. Since it’s a honest to god cube, and not DMR, it fully supports all the dimensional functions that you would expect from an OLAP source.

I got my own signed copy of 5 Keys to Business Analytics Program Success. Thanks to all the authors who were there to sign it!

The various people manning the stalls at the Expo were all wonderful and very willing to talk about what they do. There were lots of very interesting technologies and solutions on display. In no particular order (pulling them out of the bag as I do this):

1. Vormetric provides data security by transparently encrypting databases. They gave me a pen and a nice business card case!
2. Vega has The Vega Unity Suite which allows you to integrate multiple repositories and search through them on multiple browsers or devices.
3. Viewpointe does Information Governance, and was giving out awesome footballs.
4. Microsoft had a stand there that was talking about the Open Data Protocol. It seems like a very interesting way of retrieving data from a database.
5. Datacert is a solution provider with some very nice demos, plus they gave me a Rubix cube and a nice pen.
6. eCapital was giving out funky digital clock/card holder/little bendy toy man thingies. It’s fun. They do Business Analytics solutions.
7. Kinetek Consulting does consulting and solutions. Very nice demo. They were giving out nice paper pads.
8. ImageSource does ECM services and consulting. Unfortunately that’s not really my area but they had an impressive stand. They were also giving out nifty rave style blue led light stick thingies.
9. Nice had a really awesome demo set up. The demo was showing the progression of a frustrated customer calling a call center. They were able to match the activity of the customer from clicking on the ad (of which they could call up), to him calling to complain about something. The demo showed how managers and supervisors can use their system to track the agents behaviour, and the customers sentiment. From this system you were able to hear the conversation, send emails to the supervisors or agents, and view the entire progression of the contact. Of course it also showed you the standard call center metrics, but everything can do that. Scored a pen off them.
10. ESRI. Esri is a lot of fun. I’ve always had a soft spot for geoanalytics. Ever since I heard of the first use involving tracking cholera in London. Their maps are awesome and wonderful. They were giving out the Esri Map Book showcasing the most impressive use of their maps. Looking at it now I continue to be blown away by what they can do. They also gave me a pen! Now go here and enjoy their maps. Then come back, there are more pens to talk about.
11. VirtUSA does consultations and solutions. They had a decent demo there. They were giving out nice cloths to clean screens, useful on glasses too.
12. ADLIB will convert anything into PDFs. The system will allow you to create chapters and all sorts of nifty things. They were giving out pins.
13. Aviana Global had a very very nice stand. And a motorcycle that they’re raffling off. And motorcycle video games. I’m just wondering how I’m going to convince AA to allow me to check the motorcycle as luggage when I win it. They gave me a pen, and a foam bottle holder that entitled me to a free beer from the complimentary bars. Double free beer!
14. Viewpointe were showcasing their information governance platform, OnPointe. It looked impressive but unfortunately it’s not really my area. They were giving out some nice pens.
15. BSP are wonderful people and I’m not only saying that in hopes of getting a shirt. Their stand was right next to a bar the first night, and next to a lunch stand today. They were showing off their always impressive meta manager and version control suite. The big plus for me was that I finally got to meet the wonderful people there (really, I’m not saying this just to score a shirt). Mark, also known as MFGF on the Cognoise forum was there as the BSP Cognos Champion. So kudus for him! Note that I’m not at all jealous of him. Not in the least. They were giving out what I first thought was a cheese grater for the iPhone, but turned out to be a nifty pen holder.
16. PerformanceG2 was a fun place to visit. Really nice people, plus I got to meet the very lovely Candace who is absolutely prolific in the LinkedIn and Twitter world. They also gave me a very nice pen.
17. Peritas Solutions is a Calgary based consultancy/solutions company. I chatted with them for a bit, they’ve been working with Cognos a long time, back to when it was owned by a company called Cognos, and the product called PowerHouse.
18. DATA41 also does consulting and solutions. Very nice people, they were almost throwing candy at me at one point. They also had some really nice flasks to give out that fit perfectly into the IOD badge case. Take a drink into the sessions and noone will be the wiser!
19. Integritie was the company whose name I forgot last night. I may have been delirious from sleep deprivation last night, but I do remember that they are wonderful people. They gave me a 250 meg flash drive that contains datasheets for their software. I’ll take a look at those later tonight.
20. Ernst and Young were there. They are also offering consultations and solutions. Apparently they have quite a few experts on staff who can do amazing things. The pen they gave me was the best of the night. Short but shiny and will act as a stylus – works very well on my Galaxy.
21. The Ironside Group was there. I didn’t talk to them much, besides telling them how much I loved their blog. Lots of tech tips there. They gave me a set of headphones, I think it has a microphone too. I’ll have to try that out.
22. Sky Solutions were demoing some very nice dashboards. Many of the things I do for my clients through heavy use of HTML items and JavaScript, they have prepared. Great people too, they had three representatives there, and we were all chatting for nice long time.
23. Datamatics also does consulting and solutions. Nice demos, plus they were giving out bags. Very very useful for carrying around all the stuff people kept on giving me.
24. IBM was giving out shirts at the infosphere area. I also managed to snag an IBM from somewhere, but I don’t remember where. They were talking about some very interesting things. I was later told that some of the people there were actually responsible for getting the bi-directional stuff in Cognos. I’m need to go back and shake each and every one of their hands until I find the one responsible and buy him a round of beer from the complimentary bars.

Total pen count as of today: 9

And that is all I can remember from today’s expo. Tomorrow I’m planning on attending the general sessions, learning more about Dynamic Cubes.