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What is IBIS?
Last week a few of the Squirrel team attended the Infosol IBIS event in Arizona. IBIS is the leading independent BusinessObjects education and knowledge conference. We were there both to hear from customers about how they are using Squirrel and to update them with all our latest product news.
Many BusinessObjects customers use Squirrel as a replacement for the missing dashboarding cpability in the BOBJ BI Platform, but others use Squirrel standalone or with direct access to their underlying databases through the InfoSol InfoBurst product.
Squirrel Case Studies
There were many fascinating case studies, including:
- USPI – improving Healthcare Operations using BusinessObjects and Squirrel365
- Hain Celestial – Improved Processing and Visibility to Warehouse Shipments Using BusinessObjects and Squirrel365
These were notable for their operational nature, the dashboards they have created in Squirrel are unusual because, as well as allowing users to see part trends, they also provide near-real time information to drive operational decision-making in the USPI medical facilities and Hain’s warehouses.
In fact, these dashboards were great examples of “BI Dashboard Apps” as discussed by Squirrel’s own Donald MacCormick in his keynote address “BI Dashboard Apps – The next big thing in BI”.
In terms of standalone Squirrel dashboards, the standout examples were from Bill Straus, CEO of Future Metrics, who presented twice during the conference covering:
- How Dashboards are Helping International Trade in Renewable Fuel that Replaces Coal in Power Generation
- How Dashboards are Helping Replace Hydrocarbons with Carbohydrates in the Power Generation Sector
These fascinating sessions explained how Future Metrics is helping reduce our collective carbon footprint by championing a move from coal to sustainable wood pellets. Included in the presentation is some of their suite of 15 Squirrel dashboard calculators (all built “no code” from spreadsheets) which they use to communicate their expertise (you can see all their dashboards at https://www.futuremetrics.info/).
Continuing the environmental theme, the conference featured a Squirrel hackathon where attendees were invited to build a Squirrel project based on a spreadsheet to calculate a personal carbon footprint.
Neither of the two winners had used Squirrel before the conference but they both quickly took to the tool and produced great looking interactive carbon footprint calculators. The younger winner (who was only 13) left the conference with a plan to hold a similar hackathon for her fellow pupils back at school.
On a lighter note, David Behr from USPI presented a session on:
- Building an online jewelry store mobile application for my 11-year-old daughter with Squirrel365
Which highlighted an app he had created using Squirrel which his daughter uses to sell bracelets she makes online (even school children have a side hustle these days)
However, for many of us, the highlight of the conference was an evening of star gazing courtesy of Mark Johnston aka AZAstroGuy (https://www.azastroguy.com/). Mark brought along his telescope and his encyclopaedic knowledge of all things extra-terrestrial and treated us to two hours of wonder as we saw everything from binary star systems to whirlpool galaxies on the big screen projections from his telescope. A truly remarkable evening.