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Zebra BI silver sponsor at IBCS Annual Conference 2015, June 19, Royal Philips, Amsterdam

By Andrej Lapajne • Last updated

IBCS Annual Conference 2015, the key event for reporting professionals to exchange experience with their peers, thought leaders, consultants and software developers, will be held on June 19th at Royal Philips Global Headquarters in Amsterdam. The conference will offer practical case studies of rolling-out IBCS (International Business Communication Standards) in established corporations, as well as focused discussions led by reporting and visualization experts.

Zebra BI is the silver sponsor of this year's conference, where Mr. Ilkay Furmaz of Coca-Cola İçecek, the Coca-Cola bottler for Turkey, Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan, will deliver the keynote speech on their experience in international roll-out of IBCS-compliant reports and dashboards, implemented with Zebra BI. Andrej Lapajne, CEO at Zebra BI will contribute to the conference by leading a breakout session titled "IBCS charts in practice - real world examples and dilemmas".

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IBCS Silver Sponsor

An important milestone for standards in business communication

This year's conference will be especially interesting for at least the following reasons:

  1. The International Business Communication Standards are rapidly spreading in companies throughout Europe and internationally. Increasing experience, best practices and guidelines on practical implementation of the Standards are available and will be shared at the conference.
  2. IBCS Standards have evolved significantly since last year due to extensive work by Dr. Hichert, Dr. Jürgen Faisst and other members of the IBCS community. In IBCS 1.0, Draft 2, the standards have been restructured and significantly upgraded, as well as illustrated with numerous examples. Tables and integrated table-chart objects have been defined in much detail, new templates have been produced.

In short, this year's conference will present an important milestone for business communication standards and best practices and the final release of IBCS 1.0 will follow just shortly after this event.

Keynote session: How Coca-Cola İçecek rolled-out IBCS with Zebra BI

We're especially excited about the Coca-Cola İçecek (CCI) case study, where Mr. Ilkay Furmaz will describe the processes that led to successful implementation of IBCS in one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers, covering 10 countries in the regions of Turkey, Middle East, Central Asia and Pakistan, with 23 plants and over 10.000 employees.

Coca-Cola İçecek

After a comprehensive search for the appropriate reporting or "dashboard" solution, CCI decided to break the standard "IT-driven" approach and initiate a thorough process of standardizing their business communication instead. This included:

  • An extensive analysis of existing reports from all possible sources, including "corporate" SAP Business Objects solutions, custom-made departmental tools, a huge pile of Excel spreadsheets and "creative" visualizations and numerous PowerPoint presentations being made by CCI employees or outside agencies / information suppliers
  • Developing CCI Corporate Reporting Standards handbook, based on IBCS and tailored to their specific needs, including a glossary of business terms and KPIs, example-driven guidelines and even such details as standard pictograms for key business dimensions
  • A quick reference guide in PowerPoint to introduce report designers and analysts to reporting standards
  • An agile proof-of-concept project realized with Zebra BI, redesigning 5 key top management and operational reports/dashboards from 5 different business areas (with 5 different small teams), which led to the final approval for project roll-out by the top management
  • Computer workshops on implementing reporting standards through practical examples with Zebra BI, for all key financial analysts, controllers, project managers and other employees involved in reporting processes
  • Brainstorming sessions with teams from different departments on redesigning their own reports and dashboards
  • Equipping users with Zebra BI and making sure that the official "CCI Style" was used consistently in Excel through Zebra BI's Reporting Standards features
  • Ongoing occasional mentorship by a Hichert Certified Consultant

Working with CCI was a special and enlightening experience which resulted in some really powerful redesigns and best practices, that were achieved and rolled-out across the organization due to their smart approach to project planning, deep understanding of their own issues and almost military discipline of the CCI team. We are looking forward to Mr. Ilkay's presentation in the hope that he will also share a few of the actual before/after examples with the audience.

IBCS charts in practice - real world examples and dilemmas

I will lead a breakout session on practical examples of IBCS charts, small multiples and table-chart combinations, including:

  • Dilemmas in selecting the most appropriate chart based on the structure of data and intended message
  • Time-series analysis: when to use columns, dots/"pins", lines, areas? Multiple series or small multiples?
  • Dilemmas with waterfall charts: multilevel hierarchies and calculations, achieving consistent color codes for "neutral", "good" and "bad", notation of scenarios in chart series vs. semantic axis, etc.
  • Shape coding details: applying markers, semantic axis and patterns consistently across different chart types and for different KPIs

I'll prepare real-world examples from actual projects as the foundation for our discussions and variants for A/B split testing. Hopefully this will lead to an interesting group discussion and possibly also to a few new IBCS guidelines or recommendations. Join me and share your ideas and contributions with our community!

Meet us in Amsterdam, June 19!

This year's IBCS annual conference will be a lively peer-by-peer event with lots of opportunities for exchanging experience and sparkling ideas. As Silver Sponsor, the Zebra BI team will of course be present at the IBCS conference, so stop by out booth and meet us live in Amsterdam for a friendly chat, to see the latest version of Zebra BI in action and for a special surprise that we plan to announce a few days before the event.

June 19, 2015
Royal Philips Global Headquarters
Amstelplein 2
Breitner tower
1096 BC Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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