Every year, CXO Software welcomes leading organizations from around the world to the Netherlands to take part in its annual customer event: AGORA. Held at the iconic Amsterdam EYE exhibition center, the event is a chance for employees at CXO Software to say thank you to our customers and showcase the latest features and functionalities of CXO Software.
For the CXO community, it’s an opportunity to come together, to share knowledge and best practices, and to take inspiration from each other’s creative reporting approaches. Engagement with our customer community has always been one of the core values of the CXO mission – as Nick Desbarats, this year’s keynote speaker pointed out: a company’s results are ultimately defined by the quality of its relationships.
This year’s theme was ‘Visualization’. Through a combination of workshops, round-tables, expert talks and customer presentations, the AGORA participants explored new ways to visualize performance through data – to spot problems, identify patterns and make informed decisions.
After an invigorating opening, Chief Technology Officer Wouter Born kicked off the day’s events with his ‘Vision of the future’. He offered the first look at CXO Catalog, an innovative new community driven dashboard sharing platform, a sneak peek at CXO Software 7.0, a near future version with a completely fresh look and feel. For the first time, the CXO community was able to ‘visualize’ the exciting new developments around the corner.
This was followed by Nick Desbarats, a world-renowned performance reporting and visualization guru with a mission to “go beyond dashboarding” and help companies to use and organize their data more dynamically. Nick’s presentation dived deeper into what companies use as a base when building their reports. He outlined the problems associated with poorly organized reports, why ‘one-size-fits-all’ is really ‘one-size-fits-no-one’, and why these reports are ultimately doomed to fail.
He explained that most dashboards fail for two reasons, the first being ineffective visualization; the second, the fact that companies tend to organize information according to their data source or their hierarchical structure. Nick advocates a different approach: build reports to fit your needs, not to be merely a mirror image of the data.
The day wouldn’t be complete without our customers sharing their own experiences. A total of four customer cases were presented over the course of the day, with senior Finance professionals from Randstad, Sunrise Medical, Symrise and Senior Plc. describing their financial reporting challenges prior to implementing CXO Software and outlining the path they took to solving these issues.
The participants were also treated to a presentation by Philipp Claussen, a senior financial professional who presented his research and findings on the modern BI trends and financial dashboarding. His fascinating investigation asked the question of whether Finance can benefit from in-memory and generic BI tooling. Crucially, he revealed exactly why modern BI tooling has such difficulty coping with Finance data needs.
It was then down to the keynote and business growth expert Paul Hughes to round off the day with his innovative discourse on the power of storytelling. Visualization being the word of the day, Paul’s unique presenting method captivated the audience, as he spoke to them whilst illustrating his words on a 10-meter-long roll of paper. Ending the event on Paul’s key takeaways, the importance of relevance in business and of “making the complex clear’”, could not have been more fitting.
CEO Ronald Wissink: “This year’s AGORA event was our best yet; the range of workshops and presentations offered something for everyone. We are a growing company, and yet we have never lost sight of what’s important, which is listening to the customer. Today we did just that, but we also inspired our customers with great suggestions and ideas.”
With another successful event over, enough talking points and ideas have been generated to keep the participants busy until AGORA 2019. But, as we’ve seen, there is plenty for the CXO Software community to look forward to in the meantime.
To view all the presentations, pictures and videos click HERE