Why is Yr. Obt. Svt. not part of this podcast? Aren’t you glad I’m not?

The Culture Clash series has – from the feedback we’ve heard – been well received. Thus far it’s been Americans talking to our comrades in performance management arms about their experience in their home country and in North America. What we’ve not had is someone from another country talking to his countrymen. This podcast deviates from that model because my Objectively Younger, Taller, Smarter and Subjectively Better Looking Brother From Other Parents is from India and is speaking with two of his Indian friends, Kishore Mukkamala and Sumit Deo. It was – and this was quite difficult for someone who has figuratively kissed the Blarney Stone – my idea to redact myself and Natalie and Tim from the podcast as we simply don’t have the background to do justice to this episode, thus, Celvin as the host.


Not Cameron

One of the things that makes this such an interesting episode is that Celvin really understands the immigrants journey – all three of them have had very different experiences and yet all three have had ones that are awfully close. Because of this, I think you, oh Gentle Listener, will find nuance and understanding in this episode that may very well be unique.

They came for opportunity. They left for family.

One of the things that I found so interesting about this podcast (your hosts and our guests listen to all of our episodes before they go live, the former for OMG-is-this-any-good and the latter for OMG-am-I-going-to-get-fired-over-this-content) is the effort and challenges Sumit and Kishore underwent as they came to the States and built a life only to return to their homeland. Their reasons differ slightly but commonly share the threads of family ties and duty. One cannot but admire their undoubtedly hard (have a listen to what they had to go through to get into this country and work here – it ain’t easy) decisions, for this is what real men (and women but c’mon, they are quite literally guys) willingly sacrifice for their families.

Their paths here (and I include Celvin) are interesting, their careers varied, their love of Essbase similar. They are inspiring stories and (for once) I as a listener was quite moved. I am sorry they left the States as I would very much like to meet them in person.

A couple of key things to listen for: guns, sports (American sports), movies (Hollywood is more accurate than one might imagine), personal space, Americans’ openness and friendliness, and just where are the servants.

A world united by Enid Blyton

At the end of every episode we (well, Celvin this time) ask our guests who in history they’d like to have dinner with, what they like to read, and the movies that they like in an attempt to know the real person.

I am as a native born American, somewhat taken aback by the well-read nature of our guests in this series. Kishore and Sumit are from their answers, people whose interests go far beyond just work and sports (I fear I do a disservice to my fellow Americans but let’s be real: how many philosophers does your average USAian list in his I’d-like-to-have-dinner-with-this-person) . But most importantly, how many Americans are fans of the Famous Five? Hah! I am. Well, I think the Secret Seven were better, but the Famous Five are just fine as well.

I’m not an Indian, I’m not even an Honorary Indian (there are many times I wish I was), but I am a huge Enid Blyton fan, courtesy of my father’s USAID­ contract in Guyana. From the Cameron Lackpour library, photographed on his office desk:

I’m not sure if listening to this podcast will convince you to dive into the really quite magical world of Enid Blyton, but if you have children, I urge you to dip your toe into the metaphorical water of Peter, Janet, Pam, Barbara, Jack, Colin, and George and of course listen to our two fascinating guests. It really is a superb episode.

Join us, won’t you?

Our guests, conferences, and we’re much the same but really quite different

The second in EPM Conversations’ Culture Clash series features two guests from Latin America: David Blanco and Belen Ortiz. I know both from conferences only. Actually, all of my cohosts and all of our guests are, one way or another, part of EPM Conversations (and my life as well) because of conferences. OneStream’s Splash is coming up in just over a week, 17 to 20 April, ODTUG’s Kscope is happening in Aurora, CO, 25 through 29 June. If you work in either (or both) of these technology stacks, I encourage you to attend the conferences. The sessions are key to our professional development; the networking is as well, cf. this podcast’s existence.

Is perception reality? Let’s hope not. But maybe it is.

This series has been from the perspective of North Americans (well, USAians) who try to understand our comrades in arms across the world. What we (and by we I mean your hosts and of course you, our audience) learn is always interesting. Sometimes the lessons are surprising.

How do guests who hailed from Mexico and Argentina and now live in Canada and the US of A, respectively, originally perceive those of us in the Land of the Free?

How we USAians see ourselves

How (apparently) Latin America sees us


What we (your EPM Conversations hosts) probably are

It turns out that The Simpsons are wildly popular in Latin America. From Mexico (geographically North American but culturally part of Latin America) to Argentina (Latin America yes, but oriented towards Europe), The Simpsons are a prime American cultural export.

Color me a bright pink for I am blushing. A lot. How mortifying: what is possibly the most moronic television family in the US (stiff competition there) is how much of the world sees us. At least it’s with amusement. And at least they don’t equate us with Family Guy.

My personal embarrassment aside (Yr. Obt. Svt. is the only host native-born, so my humiliation is greater than Celvin’s and Tim’s), it was hugely entertaining to hear how the show is a window into my homeland. I note that despite watching The Simpsons both Belen (California) and David (uh oh, he lives in Canada, so perhaps …) speak warmly of the United States.

Back to our guests

David has been in the field roughly as long as I have. It’s always a pleasant trip to the past when I hear that someone worked for Comshare, the granddaddy of all Performance Management firms. I can’t remember if he started with Essbase or went back even further to System W (2,048 members per cube in total on a gigantic IBM 3084-Q64 System 360 MVS/TSO mainframe).

Belen started out in computer security and serendipitously ended up in the Performance Management space. Anti-virus expert to Essbase to all-rounder in EPM is quite the trip. It was also interesting to hear about the Argentine approach to software licensing and IT good practices. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Their show is witty, warm, and interesting by turns. We your hosts, and you Dear Listener, are lucky to have them as comrades in arms in our Performance Management world.

Join us, won’t you?

Culture Clash Series

The performance management world is broad.  Those who practice within it are wide in skills, dispersed in geography, deep in talent, and – in general – all jumbled together. 

Your hosts are all North Americans (Canadians and Mexicans rejoice for this American has finally figured out how not to use “America” as shorthand for that quarter-or-so of the globe above the equator and a bit west of the Greenwich meridian) but hail from three different continents.  Beyond the differences in our personalities, it’s easy to see your hosts’ cultural influences in this podcast:  British diffidence, Indian thoughtfulness, American brashness.  Stereotypes and certainly wide brushed, but where your hosts’ formative years were spent marked us.  With luck, it makes for an in interesting podcast.

In that vein, we thought it would be interesting to talk to our fellow North American performance management practitioners who work and live here today but come from elsewhere.  Our audience is primarily from that quarter of the globe mentioned above; we are not perhaps the most introspective people and might be improved if we were so.  An outsider sees the quirks and foibles that a native cannot.  This episode begins a series on work culture – not Culture Wars – from the perspective of those who have worked professionally here and elsewhere.

Our Very Special Guests

I’ve known Ludovic for seemingly forever:  in Oracle-land as a webinar copresenter on ASO Planning and as an employee at OneStream.  Poor guy, he can’t seem to shake me.

I met Pascal on the drive back to the airport from a OneStream Services meeting, packed like a sardine in a rental car.  I remember thinking, “I am the only one out of seven in this car that was actually born in the United States.”  Perhaps a portent of this series?  It did set me to thinking, so maybe.

246 Varieties of Cheese*

Beyond knowing Ludovic and Pascal, there is the role of France in North America:  Quebec, the Marquis of Layfette, the Louisiana Purchase, the French Emperor of Mexico (yes, really) whose imposed rule by Napoleon III (no, that one, the other one but still a Napoleon) triggered the Battle of Camarón (yes, also named the Battle of Cameron, really) and the cherished artefect of legionnaire Jean Danjou’s wooden hand.  Yes, really.  How could we not have France as our first Culture Clash?

The conversation is wide ranging, informative, funny, historical (you’ve already started to get this Francophile’s taste for great French statesmen) and philosophical (yes, really, Frenchmen discussing their favorite philosophers just as one might expect).  We thoroughly enjoyed it and think you will too.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

Join us, won’t you?

Join us, won’t you?

*OMG, before you all lose your minds, the (2nd) greatest Frenchman of them all said that about governing his country.

Selectively extroverted

Celvin and Yr. Obt. Svt. struggled over recording this podcast in two ways.  Firstly, talking about ourselves:  no matter what you might think about geeks with blogs, presentations, books, and yes, this podcast, talking about other things is pretty easy; talking about yourself is hard.  Secondly, deciding to do so and then recording the podcast wasn’t particularly easy, even the technical bits (your author used the old podcast software that buggered us up completely a while back and then dropped three times during the recording).  Ugh.

So hard in fact that what you’re hearing in this episode is our second go round as we (mostly me) simply could not stand what we put together.  Ugh, it was bad.  Or we were self-conscious.  Why not both?

OneStream, OneStream, OneStream

A conference came to our rescue:  OneStream Wave, the very first pure technical OneStream conference.  I’ve not been to a conference since 2019 as The Plague pretty much (actually entirely) wiped out conferences.  I was slated to copresent at Splash 2022 but I then “cleverly” got Covid just before the conference.  OTOH, Celvin did not have The Plague, went to the conference, and KABOOM got it; I would likely have as well. 

This past November, my luck finally changed:  I did get to go to a conference and I managed to not get ThatThingyThatJustAboutWreckedTheWorld, so good all around.  It was a promising start to what we most fervently hope to be a long series of such conferences, each more technical than the last.  OneStream let their collective and figurative hair down around issues and challenges, something that only a mature company, confident in its product, can afford to do.  It was nice to see it finally happen; tech conferences are incredibly useful when the message is frank and direct and the solutions are equally so.  Wave did not disappoint.

That’s all to the good, but not really the impetus for this blog (and podcast) post; what mattered to us most was actually seeing our comrades in arms in person and not on the other end of a video conference.  Coworkers, OneStreamers, former coworkers (most of whom still talk to us, no matter how poor of an idea that might be), have been keenly missed.  The conversations one has in the halls and at lunch and after hours are (at least) half of the value in any tech conference.  Wave had that and in spades.  Beyond the excited conference chatter with those we know, hearing directly from our readers (What, you haven’t already purchased just as many copies of OneStream Planning:  The Why, How, and When for yourself, your significant others, the mailman, and random strangers met in the street as your bank manager allows?) was incredibly gratifying, both because it meant someone other than our immediate families bought copies and because hearing their thanks and comments proved that our work was worthwhile.  Seriously guys, your words of encouragement make this sort of really quite strenuous effort worthwhile.  Thank you.

And now to the book 

As I write this on the 12th of December, 2022, I realize that it’s just about a year since the book Celvin and I wrote came out.  It has sold, and sold better than hoped for.  Our egos believe that this is because we wrote it, reality suggests that this might be true but a more likely reason is because the book serves an audience starved for deep theoretical and technical OneStream planning content.  With every endeavor it is easy to look back and think of missed opportunities and mistakes; we wouldn’t change a single word.  For two introverts, that’s a pretty bold statement but we think the book’s work stands up to that level of quality.

So just what’s in it, Cameron and Celvin, or is that Celvin and Cameron?

The following will act as a précis to the book.


We felt that if we showed our readers merely how to do something we would have failed in our educational effort for without understanding the why behind a technique or approach, the reader will inevitably fail in his or her OneStream implementations and administration.  This is not speculative theory for we have both seen OneStream code blindly copied and pasted with the sad result of suboptimal or simply broken functionality. 


The scope of book has three broad themes:  good (not a subjective best) practice in all things OneStream, Cube-centric operations, and expanding OneStream beyond traditional performance management through an embrace of relational data. 

Use cases

The book also presented an opportunity to inform the way we have learnt best:  via business and functional use cases that provide context to code.  Code without that context is largely incomprehensible when complexity is anything other than most basic.  The Cameron and Celvin (or is that Celvin and Cameron) Coffee Company is used to provide those use cases.

Creative process

While the chapters were largely written by one of us or the other, (the first three chapters are mine, the latter three are Celvin’s), every sentence was examined by both of us, seemingly endlessly debated, and then finally agreed upon.  Moreover, as we wrote each made suggestions to the other.  Celvin’s were largely technical in nature, mine were more organizational and structural.  We continued this constant revision practice until who wrote what exactly faded into the past although our respective chapters do reflect our voice.  For better or worse, purchasers of this book are getting the combined professional essence of the two of us.

Chapter 1:  Theory, Philosophy, and Practice

This chapter is a mix of functional and technical practice with the functional principles the distillation of more than 25 years of performance management consulting.  It was incredibly satisfying to put these beliefs into words and just as cathartic as there are statements that need to be said and yet can be incredibly impolitic if not presented with care.  I got to write them, no matter how provocative (and some of them are), and I get the last word.  Perfection.  Seriously, when you read this section, pray realize that I put an awful lot of thought into what I wrote.  If wisdom is applied experience, the principles of planning content fit that category.

In the same vein I covered common OneStream technical planning practices.  As noted, some are (mildly or not depending on your perspective) controversial, e.g., OneStream is never going to pry Excel’s hands out of FP&A so why try?  Other things like Direct Loads vs. Imports, Aggregate vs. Consolidate, basic extensibility, and the role of BI Blend vs. that of a Cube are all there as well and are hopefully just as thought provoking as the functional principles.

Chapter 2:  Core Planning 1 – Data and Calculation

This chapter is far more technical in nature.

In its first section, the chapter goes beneath the covers to review how OneStream stores Cube data in its fact tables, what NoData, Real, and Derived data really mean, getting rid of zeros, the impact of the Level 2 Data Unit (maddening, sort of understandable, and thankfully work-aroundable).  Hacking OneStream’s tables…oh, how can I convey how incredibly satisfying to suss out how OneStream really and truly stores the numbers we look at in Quick Views, Cube Views, and reports of all nature was and still is.  I probably need to get a life but writing the normalized query (code is in the book) to pull out what’s really there was fun.  Yeah, I need to get a life.

The second section is where I think all beginning to medium skill OneStream practitioners will find value:  understanding and calculating data using Data Buffers.  If such a mythical reader were to understand one thing in this chapter, knowing that api.Data.Calculate in the middle of a Data Buffer loop is a Bad Thing would be it.  Buffer calculations are fast, but only if you do them correctly; they can be dog slow with very little effort.

The chapter goes on to show how to break the Data Unit using MemberScriptAndValue.  When I first moved to the OneStream world I was told, “It’s impossible to write outside of the Data Unit.”  That ain’t so and this chapter explains just how to do that.  Liberating stuff.

The penultimate section is an entreaty to COMMENT YOUR CODE.  Please.  Good programming practice demands it as does our collective sanity. 

Lastly, there is a review of Hungarian notation and CamelCase naming styles and the power of custom classes.  Standards matter.

Chapter 3:  Core Planning II – Command and Control the Cube

Understanding data and writing efficient calculations are key to successful OneStream practice.  Just as important are techniques that drive metadata selections in user artefacts such as Cube Views, Member Filters, Data Management Steps, Dashboard Parameters, and any other place that text is used.  XFBRs are incredibly powerful with their usage limited only by your imagination and ability to code.  Once you understand the basics, their power becomes obvious.

What is not obvious, or at least not to me, is the role of Scenarios in planning applications.  Like so much of OneStream, they are highly configurable and making them work can be a bit of a shot in the dark.  I tried to break down every single planning-centric property and illustrate how they work in practice and what good practice is. 

If the preceding sections were about enabling data in its loading, calculations, and presentation, the end of this chapter is all about restricting it.  Conditional Input Finance Business Rules (eh, I get it, I don’t like it) vs. Data Cell Conditional Input (oh yeah, I get it, I really like it) and what I believe to be the only full use case-driven example of Slice Security with users, groups, and inheritance are reviewed in excruciating detail.  I have never logged onto a single application with so many fake usernames as I did with this section.  I tried (and I think succeeded) to make it just stupidly complex enough to highlight the power and pitfalls of security by Slice.  Natalie, Jessica, Amy, Neviana, Sandra, and Tiffany all make an appearance. 

Chapter 4:  Planning Without Limits

Do you like code?  Lots of code wrapped within specific use cases?  If so, Chapter 4 onwards will be as mother’s milk to you.

Celvin is a huge advocate of going beyond the in-built Cube and addressing large and rapidly changing data sets that are not good candidates for Cubes when it makes sense.  Only OneStream provides this flexibility.  Only Celvin’s chapters give this complex topic the attention they deserve.

Relational Blending, OneStream’s technique of blending the two data types, are conceptually discussed and technically examined.  The technical aspects are code oriented and cover:

  • API Methods
  • Cache levels
  • Their retrieval with dynamic Formulas
  • Data Mart schemas
  • Sample retrieve SQL

OneStream’s own Specialty Planning solutions are Relational Blending within a predetermined framework.  This chapter’s subject range is unmatched – data storage, field usage, custom XFBR calculations, security,  data loads, installation and initial configuration, the user interface, differences between the multiple Specialty Planning products, custom event handlers, the role of Globals, and an overview of custom solutions vs. OneStream’s products are all dissected and dispassionately reviewed.  There really is nothing like this:  not in blogs, not in presentations, and not in OneStream’s own documentation.

But this is just the beginning of extra-Cube content.

Chapter 5:  All Data Points Lead to Reporting and Analysis

Data is fine, data is good, and data is after all why customers purchase OneStream.  But data without a way to access it and then present it is at best difficult to understand and at worst useless.  Design matters, particularly when Dashboards are in play.

Celvin conceptually covers how a Dashboard should work (you would, perhaps unless you’ve experienced the horror firsthand, be surprised at how bad, nay practically evil, dashboards can be unless care is take) and then how to make all of the constituent bits work together. 

Data must be accessed both in a UX and externally.  Fast Data Exports (FDX) is one way to get data out, really out, of OneStream.  As always, a simple use case sets the context for that data export, the code to perform said export is provided along with an explanation as to objects methods and properties and their usage within an Extender Rule and via a Cube View itself.  Yes, you read that right (I was certainly surprised when I read his draft), a Cube View itself can act as a data source.  Good grief, is there nothing that OneStream can’t do?  Only maybe, but probably not.

Access large data sets is done in OneStream via BI Blend.  Every aspect of that module – potential use cases, functionality, architecture, and configuration  — are detailed.  That’s BI Blend as OneStream presents it.  Celvin then expands it by using a REST API Connector Rule to pull the USDA’s farmers market directory and data directly into OneStream.  When I read this section, I realized that Celvin is likely a genius, possibly probably quite likely definitely a mad one.  Seriously, this is cool stuff and definitely Outside The Box yet all doable within OneStream.  Amazing stuff.

Chapter 6:  Specialty Planning Analysis

Specialty Planning is relationally based and so user analysis cannot be performed using Quick Views or Cube Views.  The OneStream way is to use Pivot Grids which are akin to Excel’s Pivot Tables.

This being OneStream, configuration and code, glorious code, are part and parcel of using them effectively.  This chapter reviews that and goes beyond in providing code to bring Slice Security to these Pivot Grids via Dashboard Data Set Business Rule which is Not Possible except of course Celvin shows exactly how to do just that.  Magic and incredibly useful in applications that are more than science projects.

Analyzing relational data goes beyond Pivot Grids and includes Table Views which are excitingly now (as of version 5.2) available directly in Excel for both reading and writing to Specialty Planning’s base Register

Lastly, techniques for bypassing OneStream’s in-built Stage and instead interacting with custom tables is explained.

What do we have?

We like to think that OneStream Planning:  The Why, How, and When performs the vital role of an encyclopedic repository of OneStream planning practice in an approachable manner.

We hope you do as well.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

Join us, won’t you?

Sree Menon, The Calc Man

Many years ago (just over 10!), Yr. Obt. Svt. wrote a blog post on why he Hated and Loved Calculation Manager. I even did it twice. I am – oft times, still, it continues unabated – a complete smartass who pays little heed to what he says and writes and this was most definitely one of those times. These posts were a continuation of not altogether terrifically awesome judgement as they were an expansion of a similarly-snarky two parter on Hyperion Business Rules. 2009? 2012? My, but the time does fly.

So that’s four snide technical blog posts on two closely related Oracle products. As is typical and as has been noted, I performed zero thought on any potential consequences that might arise from click-bait (was that even a term in 2009?) titles: Oracle could have gotten annoyed and come down on my head with a bag of hammers or they could have ignored it and hoped that no one read my posts or they could have read it, realized that (somehow) there was a little value in it and reached out to me so that in future my posts on this subject weren’t complete and unmitigated garbage were improved in their content, focus, and quality.. The latter is exactly what happened and it did so in the person of Sree Menon, the EPM Calculation Manager Development Manager, aka Calc Man.

No one at Oracle had ever spoken to me outside of Kscope; certainly no one on the development side of the house (I believe that at the time Sree was both Product and Development Manager of Calculation Manager although my memory is fuzzy on this) had ever interacted with me in any form. Sree was helpful, open, and friendly. He wanted Oracle’s tools to be better used, he wanted me to better understand it, and he surely wanted me to write better blog posts. All three occurred, and they occurred because of Sree’s thoughtful approach, despite my artless approach to all things Calculation Manager. Yes, I am a huge fan.

And I think you will be as well as you listen to Sree’s episode. His professional journey has taken a few twists and turns that you may be familiar with (Have you ever wondered who wrote Essbase Application Manager? Wonder no more.) and you’ll get a true developer’s perspective on what it takes to make the Performance Management tools we use.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

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Natalie Delemar and I – as with so many others in the performance management space – first met Elizabeth Ferrell at a conference, in this case ODTUG’s Kscope.

Elizabeth’s path to her current job, focus, and professional interests evinces the typical path from school, to finance, not-at-all-usual hobby, and now to our beloved performance management community.

But to characterize Elizabeth as typical is to do her an injustice or perhaps just inaccuracy on Yr. Obt. Svt.’s part. As evidence of that (beyond of course this EPM Conversation episode) is to have a read of Elizabeth’s thoughtful article on the state of your – ours – work satisfaction and what we do with that.

Her episode is just as thoughtful.

Join us, won’t you?

As Everyone Knows, But Hardly Anyone Actually Does

One of my fondest recollections of Kscope (umm, one year or another, they all blend together after a while) is sitting in on Kumar’s introduction of Exalytics (remember that Wave Of The Future?).  As Kumar dived deeper and deeper into the hardware behind Essbase-on-Exalytics, he prefaced each increasingly (exponentially?) complex computer engineering concept and detail with, “As everyone knows…”.  If only.  I sure didn’t.

Key to Kumar’s personality is this liberality of intellectual comradeship:  he thinks that surely whatever a given  insanely complex topic might be is easily understood by the average geek.   This (possibly insanely optimistic) generosity of intellectual spirit informs this podcast as Kumar takes us (and you, Gentle Listener) through his journey from theoretician to developer to advocate to Vice President of Engineering  while working at Informix, Oracle, and now Workday.

Cubes, Cubes, Cubes

Beyond the interesting personal history (and you have to catch Kumar’s glory days in the NCAA and yes, really; we in the performance management space are polymaths), he gives one of the most passionate, cogent, and comprehensive arguments of the cube as the ideal for planning and budgeting.  I’ve worked with non-cube forecasting tools and while they certainly have their uses, calculations that are trivial in a cube can be hard graft otherwise.  Listen to Kumar and be convinced.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

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Riding a rocket to the heavens

OneStream’s rise has been meteoric:  from a startup in a very small office in the not-particularly-well-known-tech-incubator Rochester, Michigan, to international powerhouse in the performance management space in less than a decade. 

Peter Fugere has been there from almost the very beginning and has an insider’s perspective on what makes OneStream tick, the product’s genesis, current initiatives (Peter is involved in more than one), and its exciting future.  From consolidations to planning to relational to analytics to machine learning to the certification program to the recently announced OneCommunity to OneStream Press, it’s all there in just an hour.  Rocket ship as sobriquet is scarcely sufficient and this episode reflects that break neck speed and excitement.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

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We’re all wired to see patterns

We live in patterns:  seasonal, political, historical, and even atomic.  Many live a life blithely unaware of them, which is to their disadvantage, for understanding those patterns is key to what makes us human, drives culture and society, and informs economics.  We happy few in the performance management world figuratively live and die by the patterns in data.  If careful observation of clients, customers, and conferences is an accurate guide, we are largely cut from the same professional and educational cloth.  This is not always true.  Those of us who come from outside that pattern have different perspectives, values, and insights.  Jodi Hill is one such outlier.

Her path to a job in business strategy is atypical and is driven by its unconventionality:  from Army translator to accountant to consultant to strategist is surely out of our norm.  So too is an educational journey from the Defense Language Institute to a BS in accounting to multiple Masters in predictive analytics, public policy, and health economics.  No matter how diverse this may seem at first glance, it is held together by the thread of transforming data into information by seeing, interpreting, and understanding patterns.  I’ve met a fair few people in our field and have never come across anyone with quite Jodi’s background.  It is refreshing and makes her episode a memorable one.

Hear the conversation

We hope you like the episode as much as we do. If you do enjoy it, please give us a good rating on the provider of your choice as it both bathes our ever-needy egos and also – and rather more importantly – allows listeners just like you to more easily find EPM Conversations.

Join us, won’t you?


Data, data everywhere, and none of it in the right place or in the right format

Performance cannot be managed (see what I did there?) without data. And yet data –because it is in the wrong format, because it is in the wrong place, because it is poorly defined, because we don’t have the ability or the resources or the time to transform it into what our systems need – is ever a challenge. Data is, quite simply put, hard. FinTech Innovations aims to alleviate that challenge and make data easy.

See a problem, fix a problem

The performance management world is small (which suggests that alas this podcast’s audience will necessarily follow suit unless we figure out how to break out – we’re working on it): I’ve known Matthias for at least a decade although when I first met him he was (I think – it was a while ago) an independent consultant.

How did Matthias go from that most independent (and arguably isolated) place to software entrepreneur? What made him leave HFM and FDMEE (apologies to all of you bass players out there – just listen and you’ll understand) behind and focus solely on the manifold problems that are data? Why would someone leave the relatively stable world of consulting for risky entrepreneurship? You, Loyal Listener, have but to listen to know.

How did he solve it? With ICE Cloud.

Before/after/during the podcast, have a look at ICE Cloud. Whether you’re a customer of Oracle, OneStream, AnaPlan, Blackline, Workivia, or one of the other players in the performance management space or if your firm uses Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, or NetSuite, ICE Cloud can talk to all of them and in the cloud. ICE Cloud is a complete end-to-end data integration tool, almost completely graphical. It’s pretty astounding and lets functional (aka normal not supergeeks although they too can profit from the tool) people own data.

Schedule a demo, learn more about the product, understand the platform, and even get a free PoC. It’s all but a click away. I encourage you to explore ICE Cloud.

And oh yeah, one other other thing

I continue to be fascinated by the music/math/logic connection. Think of the people you know in this field that practice music. It’s everywhere and Matthias is no exception although most of us haven’t made to a show like Das Supertalent. You’ll have to listen till the end of the show to hear him in action. He is quite good.

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