What is IBIS?
Last week some of the Squirrel team attended the Infosol IBIS event in Arizona. IBIS is the leading independent BusinessObjects education and knowledge event. We were there both to hear how people 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 in the BOBJ BI Platform. Others use Squirrel stand alone or with direct access to their databases through the InfoSol InfoBurst product.
IBIS, it is a great opportunity to see BI organisations showcase their work, impart their knowledge, and share their experiences. With many talks to choose from each day, there was never a dull moment and always an opportunity to learn new things.
Squirrel Case Studies at InfoSol IBIS
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 IBIS sessions were notable for their operational nature. Usually dashboards stop at providing data on historic trends but these were different. 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 “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. BIll presented twice during the conference:
- 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). They use these on their website to share and communicate their industry expertise (you can see all their dashboards at https://www.futuremetrics.info/).
Continuing the environmental theme, InfoSol IBIS featured a Squirrel hackathon. Here attendees were invited to build a Squirrel project based on a spreadsheet to calculate personal carbon footprints.
Neither of the two winners had used Squirrel before the conference but 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 jewellery store mobile application for my 11-year-old daughter with Squirrel365
Which featured a Squirrel app he created which his daughter uses to sell bracelets she makes online. (Even school children have a side hustle these days)
Astronomy at InfoSol IBIS
However, for many of us, the highlight of the Infosol IBIS was an evening of star gazing. Mark Johnston aka AZAstroGuy (https://www.azastroguy.com/) brought along his telescope and his vast knowledge of all things extra-terrestrial and treated us to two hours of wonder. We saw everything from binary star systems to whirlpool galaxies all projected on the big screen from his telescope. A truly remarkable evening.
Some photos from the night depicting the Milky Way! Yes – the sky was that clear!