Many of our “Divers” descended on Boston recently for our annual Dimensional Insight Users Conference (DIUC17). The four-day event featured a keynote by our CEO, Fred Powers, a technology update and future preview from our lab, 4 training sessions, 8 customer presentations, 27 breakout sessions, a product showcase, and an evening cruise around Boston Harbor.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to our customers and partners who traveled near and far to attend the conference, as well as our employees who spent countless hours putting together the agenda and ensuring that the conference ran smoothly. For those of you who weren’t able to attend DIUC17 (or if you did attend and just want a recap of events!), here are a few takeaways from the event and where we’ll be focusing our time over the coming months.
Usability, collaboration, time
Our CEO, Fred Powers, set the stage for the event during his keynote address. Fred talked about our current focus, which is enabling successful projects for our customers. This is important, given that only 16.2% of projects finish both on time and on budget (source: the Standish Group).
Areas we are focusing on include:
- Improving usability: Continue to make product enhancements to get users up to speed in less time, enhanced mobile support, and support for larger data volumes.
- Increasing collaboration: Help facilitate governance and involve various stakeholders in dialog about the data.
- Minimizing time: Reduce the amount of time required for development, modification, and maintenance of software.
Data governance is an area that many stakeholders seem to be talking about, but not necessarily making progress with. Fred defined data governance (with the help of Wikipedia) as a set of processes that ensures important data assets are formally managed throughout the enterprise. It ensures users can trust the data. In addition, governance is an evolutionary process for a company. It alters a company’s way of thinking and sets up processes to handle information so it can be used by the entire organization.
Most organizations are currently at a low maturity level when it comes to business intelligence and analytics. They are still using mainly descriptive analytics (what happened?) or diagnostic analytics (why did it happen?). The goal with analytics is to be more strategic. Analytics should ultimately help you forecast what will happen and to inform what you should do or what action you should take. As organizations climb the maturity ladder, governance is critical. That’s why we are helping our customers in getting started with data governance. Collaboration is the starting point for successful governance, and we have some exciting developments in dashboard collaboration that we demonstrated at DIUC17 will help with this.
In addition to our new dashboard collaboration capabilities, our lab in Cambridge talked about other product enhancements. Some of these include:
- Ongoing improvements to Spectre, our big data engine
- Simplified interface and new applications for DiveTab, our mobile BI solution
- What’s new in developer tools for Diver Platform 7.0
- Measure Factory, which provides a new way to manage business rules, measures, and data processing
- New visualization enhancements available through our Chart Portlet and Map Portlet
We have a lot going on in product development, and these enhancements are a direct result of what we’ve been hearing from customers in terms of what they most need in order to be successful. Some of the best feedback I heard from the show is that our customers feel as though they have a “voice” with us and can be directly involved in helping to shape our future products. Collaboration is not just something that we are integrating into our product; it is how we operate day-to-day with our customers. And that is something incredibly unique that sets us apart.
For those of you planning to attend DIUC next year, we will be hosting regional events across the country. Stay tuned for details on those events in the months ahead!