GPUG Summit 2016 - Day 3

Friday! (Yes, I’m sure!) Today was the last day of the conference and it was a busy day, as it was the first time I was presenting or involved in sessions at GPUG Summit.

Here are the sessions I took part in today and how the day fared for me:

Session 1 - Community Celebration & Awards

This was the session that most attendees really looked forward to all week where the community was celebrated and the next All-Stars and Chapter awards were presented.

There were 2,200 GPUG attendees this year! That’s a record…

Here are the highlights:

  • Member Engagement Awards - a new award this year based on community points earned. There are 3 levels for users (Sapphire, Ruby & Emerald) and 1 for partners (Granite).
  • Chapter Leader of the Year - Michelle Kocher, Delta Medical Systems, Wisconsin
  • Chapter of the Year - GPUG Minnesota (Twin Cities)
  • Richard Whaley Academy Award - Rhonda Runde
  • GPUG All Stars - Amber Bell (Training Dynamo), Frank Heslin (Exam Works), Brian Lambertz (Connexus Energy)

Medics Desk

After the opening session I went to the GP Medics desk intending to charge my laptop for a bit. Well, a whole pile of users came up with questions and I had to send an SOS out via Twitter to get other GP experts to come and help! It was crazy, in a good way… and those who saw the Twitter help request came to the rescue, which was awesome to see. (Steve Endow and Rod O’Connor specifically!)

Non-Financial Uses for Power BI

This was my first presentation at a GPUG Summit. I was on a panel with Steve Erbach moderating, and presenting with Belinda Allen, Mark Polino and Tad Thompson. It was a lot of fun. We each had about 10 minutes to go through our examples and take some questions. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

My example was using a Folder source with Twitter analytics downloads monthly which Power BI automatically picks up as long as you are putting the same file format in the same folder each time. That type of data source is pretty cool… drop in the new month’s file, refresh your .pbix file, re-publish to the Power BI service and you’re off to the races. Because your data modelling has taken care of the steps that are needed to read the contents of the files, based on a default file format, it just automatically applies the same modelling steps/rules to any file in the folder with the same format. Easy peasy.

Using Jet Reports - Noah Moseley

In between my two sessions, I attended a Jet Reports session. I had attended one at reImagine but was disappointed that any actual content was taking too long to get to, and I didn’t bother to stay for the rest of the presentation. So, this time, I was happy to see Noah Moseley’s name as I hoped this would mean actual content… and he didn’t disappoint.

I missed the very beginning of the presentation and by the time I got settled in the room, Noah was starting from an Management Reporter row format. He copied the contents from the row format into Excel, showing the users how to shortcut the process of creating a new report. I didn’t catch all of the details but essentially some of the high level steps appeared to be this:

  • Copy from an existing MR row (or FRx row probably would work too)
  • Paste into Excel. He was pasting into what appeared to be a specific starting cell like E5, I couldn’t tell. Obviously Jet uses some values in the header rows and left rows for hide/show/period info or something.
  • Use search and replace to edit the Account Formats to something for Jet Express. It looks like if you were using Main segments, you might use a format of XXXX..XXXX meaning: if your main segment is 4 characters, and you needed a range, you would put the starting value, then 2 dots, then the ending value of the range. He used search and replace in the MR pasted format to get rid of some extraneous characters MR uses like [ and ] brackets.
  • Got rid of some of the middle blank columns that MR formatting needs. He left Description, Fmt Code and the Link to GL segments. He might have kept the Formula column, I can’t remember. He moved the Link to GL column to the left of the account description.

After this I lost track of the steps but he went into showing some of the various formats of Financial Statements he could produce. He showed many things that really looked like the same set of FRx sample reports, Current Month on the left, Descriptions in the middle, YTD on the right, etc. Basically, from this session, I have the confidence that Jet Express would be able to produce a lot of fairly standard formats with some creative enough layouts that you are not limited to entry level really basic statement layouts. I think that was important to understand as I’ve heard rumblings from others during previous Jet Express sessions that the demo’er couldn’t show anything other than full detail reports with one row per GL account types of layouts. Of course, that seemed ridiculous but since I wasn’t there to see it, I can’t comment. Glad I went to this session.

Panel of IT Pros Q&A session

In the very last session of this GPUG Summit, there were various Q&A Panel sessions. I was on the “IT Pros” panel. Initially Frank Heslin asked me to join as (in his words), he didn’t want it to be a frat party. LOL. I laughed… I know what he meant. It turns out he couldn’t make it due to a family emergency, so Amber Bell, who was already scheduled to be on the panel, joined as the moderator instead. Mariano Gomez was late for the session, so in his absence, David Musgrave joined and we ended up with 3 MVPs and John Stulak to round out the group.

The crowd has a surprising number of dev questions so it was a good thing David was there (& when Mariano joined as well). John and I were window dressing for much of the session. :)

I finally got a chance to talk when we were asked about access and use of ‘sa’. This is one of my favourite topics, so I’m glad I got to say my two cents. David feels the same as I do, and he elaborated even further.

Overall it was a fun session where most of the small crowd has questions for us, so I think it was a good one for those users as they left with some answers and guidance to proceed further.

Evening Dinner

After the sessions were done, I ran into Belinda Allen and she invited me to dinner. We went to dinner with Mark Polino and his wife, Aaron Back, John Lowther and Tim Wappat, to an Italian place walking distance from the convention center.

I had to walk back to my house in Ybor City to drop off my computer bag and then changed into some better clothes for the warm temperatures and walked back to meet the gang at one of the hotels to walk to dinner. It was a great evening and a nice small crowd in a quiet restaurant, a perfect way to end the conference. A large or loud dinner environment was not what I would have wanted so I was happy for this small crowd, and quiet time.

After dinner I walked again back to the house rental I was staying in, and I ended my day with 21,316 steps. Crazy. Walking each way is 35 minutes so it’s no wonder, I walked both ways, twice to the place I’m staying in so that’s over 2 hours of walking in just that trip alone. If I factor in the walking around the convention center and sessions, it’s pretty easy to rack up the steps. I figure most days, most people are getting 5,000 to 6,000 steps if they are staying near the convention center. Here are my steps for the conference, starting from when I arrived, last Saturday:

  • Saturday: 11,768
  • Sunday: 12,530
  • Monday: 15,749
  • Tuesday: 13,133
  • Wednesday: 13,274
  • Thursday: 6,474
  • Friday: 21,271
  • Total so far: 94,199

I’m writing this Saturday in the ATL airport, so I know now that I have exceeded 100,000 steps this week, but more on that tomorrow!

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