Kscope12 – How the Sausage is Made

jake_turrellI’ve often wondered how the abstracts I submit to Kscope make their way into a particular track….or don’t make it in at all.  Why are some selected while others get rejected?  Who is making the decisions?  Last year, Natalie Delemar, who is responsible for Oracle BI & EPM content, called me and asked if I’d like to lead the selection process for Hyperion Planning and HFM.  Based on that experience, here’s a peek behind the curtains at Kscope.

Breaking out the Rolodex

Natalie’s final instructions to me were, “think about the topics you want covered and put together a team.”  I figured I really needed two teams, because my knowledge of HFM is limited.  So my first call went to Chris Barbieri, to whom I passed the proverbial HFM “buck.”  Next, I set about convincing some of the best Hyperion Application resources available to spend several late nights pouring over hundreds of abstracts . . . in their spare time . . . for free.  While most jumped at the opportunity to help, these resources tend to be over allocated by their employers.  They’re busy running large projects, blogging, writing books . . . you get the idea.  In the end, our content selection team was a great mix of folks from industry and consulting.  Each had strengths that rounded out the team and ensured that each toolset was well covered.

Fair and Balanced

One thing you can be assured of is that the content selection process for Kscope is fair. The initial selection process is “blind.” It isn’t until the second round of selections that the author’s name is associated with a particular abstract. Why not keep it blind throughout the entire process? It comes down to balance. The content teams need to ensure that a wide spectrum of presenters and companies are represented. Each presenter and each abstract gets graded from 0-5. Presentations are grouped into the various topics we wanted to be covered, and then based on the grades (and a whole lot of debate), the selection process begins.

Making the Cut

One of the downsides to this process is that some really good abstracts are inevitably cut. For example, this year there were a lot of great submissions covering Public Sector Planning, Workforce Planning, and Smart View. Our team could only allocate a certain number of slots for each topic. We picked the best of the best, but inevitably still had to cut some great abstracts. For certain brand-new products, we didn’t have any submissions, so we went to Oracle and asked them to cover the topic. The end goal was to ensure broad and deep coverage of the Hyperion Apps, with plenty of new content and great speakers.

Assembling the Jigsaw Puzzle

Luckily, Natalie took on the job of slotting our selections into the overall schedule and various sized presentation rooms. It’s tricky to make sure that no one is giving back-to-back presentations, that presentations are slotted for the appropriate spaces, and that presentations from the same company aren’t overlapping. Think of it as a big 3D puzzle that, in the end, results in some of the best technical Oracle content available anywhere.

Who are These People?

ODTUG is made up of people like me and you. As an organization, it brings together great content from developers, administrators, architects, and business users, and it provides a vehicle for sharing that content. I belong to ODTUG because I want to get better at what I do, and because I want to help others get better along the way.

See you in San Antonio!

- Jake Turrell

Kscope12 Content Lead – EPM Apps

Kscope 12 Presentations:Hyperion Planning Approvals and Data Validation & Running Hyperion Planning on Your Laptop

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