News & Events

Check out all of the latest and greatest News and Events here at cBEYONData

We are excited to be attending and sponsoring the Association of Government Accountants Shared Services Summit 2019! This event will be on November 14th and held in Washington, DC.

We are excited to be hearing from speakers such as Charles Keckler, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Dave Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury,  Amy Edwards, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Accounting Policy and Financial Transparency, U.S. Department of the Treasury Fiscal Service, Matt Miller, Deputy Commissioner, Fiscal Accounting & Shared Services, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury and John Marshall, President and CEO, Shared Services Leadership Coalition.

cBEYONData is a silver sponsor of Shared Services Summit 2019, so if you are attending this event, please stop by our table and say hi!

From the AGA website:

The Shared Services Summit (SSS) will bring together more than 400 individuals from across the federal CxO community (acquisition, financial, HR, IT and performance) to address common opportunities and challenges in sustaining progress in shared-services implementation.

Be sure to register on the AGA website and we look forward to seeing you there!

We are excited to be attending and sponsoring the AGA Shared Services Summit 2019! This event will be on November 14th and held in Washington, DC - cBEYONData News and Events

We are excited to announce that cBEYONData is a sponsor at the SAP NS2 NOW 2019 Security and Innovation Summit! Our team will be exhibiting and attending NS2 Now 2019 in Tysons Corner, Virginia. We look forward to attending this year and hearing from speakers such as Mark Testoni, (CEO, SAP NS2), Fran Townsend, (EVP, WW Government, MacAndrews & Forbes) and more!

From the SAP NS2 website:

Join us for some great discussion with proven leaders on how to address the gaps – between data and capabilities, industry and government, cloud and security, critical infrastructure and cyber risks. At this free event for government and regulated industries, you can be part of the team that is Narrowing the Divide.

Be sure to head to the NS2 Now 2019 website and register to attend!

We are excited to announce that cBEYONData is a sponsor at the SAP NS2 NOW 2019 Security and Innovation Summit! Our team will be exhibiting and attending NS2 Now 2019 in Tysons Corner, Virginia - cBEYONData Events and News

We are excited to be attending and speaking at the SAP BusinessObjects Federal User Group in Washington DC, on October 24th! We are excited to be part of this event with SAP360 Suite, Carahsoft, and NS2.

The SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Suite is a tool that we have used throughout our organization and in multiple projects. We are looking forward to hearing about topics such as “How the Environmental Protection Agency Maximized its SAP BusinessObjects Investments and Reduced Costs”, “Boosting SAP BusinessObjects with Hana” and more! We hope you will join us at this great event on October 24th at the Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC Downtown!

From the event website:

This complimentary user group aims to expand and refine the knowledge base of the SAP BusinessObjects community in the greater Washington, DC area through interactive sessions and presentations.

Everything on us! Register now to get free new knowledge on SAP BusinessObjects, free breakfast, free lunch, and free parking.

Register online HERE

We are excited to be attending and speaking at the SAP BusinessObjects Federal User Group in Washington DC, on October 24th! We are excited to be part of this event with SAP, 360 Suite, Carahsoft, and NS2.

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting an upcoming breakfast to present on Automating and Improving Federal Budgeting Processes! Join us on Monday, October 21st at the Ronald Reagan Building, downtown Washington, D.C., to learn about the CFO Control Tower, preconfigured to meet the needs of Federal budgeting requirements and industry best practices for your budgeting process.

Register here!

Gain real insight into:

– Your end to end budgeting process?
– Your budget data at any and all budget levels?
– Analytics which combine budget formulation AND budget execution data?

Our morning presentation will cover:
Full oversight and the ability to see into the process and data. For advanced integrated budget and actual reporting (status of funds) at every level of your organization.

Budget Formulation. Replace spreadsheets and manual integrations of multiple data sources and move to an integrated automated process.  Budget at the lowest levels of details and automatically roll up a budget to the highest levels, within multiple views of the data.

Budget Execution. Automatically perform budget realignments throughout the year and all the execution teams to easily share actual executed data with the formulation team.

Budget Automation. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other automation tools to help build and manage the budget process.

Register online for free here!

This is a free event, so seats will fill up quickly.

This event is sponsored by cBEYONData and Column5 Consulting.

cBEYONData is a professional services firm focusing on Business Analytics, Data, and Visual technologies and implementations. Our team of highly experienced consultants will successfully design, execute and guide you through the implementation of your solution. We know the key to a successful implementation is to tailor the solution to the customer’s specific needs. We are being awarded Top IT Services Firms Award in Virginia 2019 by Clutch.

Clutch is a B2B market research firm featuring ratings and reviews for over 9,000 IT service firms agencies worldwide. Clutch helps businesses make the decision about who to hire to solve their firm’s challenges by providing reliable information on top-performing firms centered around client-feedback. 

We have many satisfied clients that have provided feedback, here is our latest review on Clutch:

We have been featured amongst B2B firms on The Manifest. As a sister site of Clutch, The Manifest is a B2B firm description platform that features top companies alongside business news and how-to guides for firms to help them improve and develop. It serves as a resource for small to mid-size companies in a blog type format and provides industry insight.

Check out Visual Objects, Clutch’s new sister site. It is a visual portfolio site that highlights top B2B companies. Take a look at company profiles that highlight the creativity of the work so that you can envision what your project might look like. We are featured here under their top custom software developers. We are grateful to Clutch for this recognition and we thank our clients who left us with feedback that not only helps us improve, but helps future customers me more knowledgeable. Contact us for more information!

Our meet the team segment is here! This is our regular segment where we feature one of our employees, hear about their experience, and ask them questions about working at cBEYONData! This week we talked with a new employee, Rachel Furman! Rachel has over 10 years of experience in the business intelligence industry and has worked on some incredible projects! We are excited to have Rachel on the team here at cBEYONData, and to showcase her work in the future!

Name: Rachel Furman

Title/Team: Sr. Consultant/Unisys USMS POD Contract

How long have you been with cBEYONData? Two weeks

What is your favorite part about working at cBEYONData? I work with a great cBEYONData team

How long have you worked in the business intelligence industry? Ten years

What was your first job title in the industry? Business Intelligence Specialist

What does cBEYONData offer that our competitors do not (or what makes cBEYONData unique)? I converted forty SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) reports to Tableau. It was both interesting and challenging

What do you like to do in your “off work” time? I enjoy spending time with my dog, playing softball and traveling

Do you have family/pets? I have a 16-month old yellow lab:

Here at cBEYONData our philosophy is to nurture our culture and make it a top priority in the company, then our associates’ happiness, customer satisfaction, and long-term business partnerships will naturally flourish. Company culture is derived from its core values and our core values are meant to empower our associates so they enjoy the work they do and the environment they do it in. We know that when we enjoy what we do, we are in turn delivering exceptional service to our customers and thriving in our business. To make this happen, we hire and invest in associates that share our core values.

cBEYONData is a results-driven firm that provides value to government agencies and organizations through Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for the CFO’s Office and end-user missions. We ensure our customers’ analytical and reporting requirements are met through solutions such as financial reporting, audit readiness, DATA Act analytics & submission, procurement & external reporting, dashboards, analytics, visualizations, and geo-mapping. cBEYONData is committed to customer success, as demonstrated by our strong customer retention rates, references and awards.

Our team knows the key to successful implementation is to cater to our clients’ specific needs, which is why we specialize in a wide range of technologies. We are thrilled to share that Clutch.co recently ranked us in their 2019 report as the #1 in operations and process management as well as #4 among leading risk management companies!

Based in Washington D.C., Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform committed to connecting businesses with the best agency or service provider to tackle their specific needs. They analyze thousands of firms based on reviews from their clients, their industry knowledge and expertise, and their ability to deliver high-quality services. Through their unique method, analysts have spoken directly with our clients and received extensive knowledge about our iterative approaches. Our 10 reviews allow potential clients to understand a project and a client’s experience at a quick glance.

In addition to being recognized on Clutch, our success expands to the firm’s sister-sites: The Manifest and Visual Objects. The Manifest publishes industry reports, tech news, and how-to guides to help businesses efficiently find their next partner. Here we are listed among other IT services firms. On the other hand, Visual Objects is a portfolio platform designed to help prospective clients visualize a future project before hiring a firm. For example, you can browse through the work of branding agencies.

Without our incredible clients, we would not have been recognized by Clutch for our expertise in risk management and big data operations! We’d like to thank them, as well as Clutch, for taking the time to review our professional services. Our team is looking forward to implementing more successful solutions for our clients.

cBEYONData Ranked #1 and # 4 by Clutch - Top Big Data Compliance, Fraud and Risk Management cBEYONData Ranked #1 and # 4 by Clutch - Top Big Data Operations

cBEYONData is a results-driven firm that provides value to government agencies and organizations through Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for the CFO’s Office and end-user missions. We ensure our customers’ analytical and reporting requirements are met through solutions such as financial reporting, audit readiness, DATA Act analytics & submission, procurement & external reporting, dashboards, analytics, visualizations, and geo-mapping. cBEYONData is committed to customer success, as demonstrated by our strong customer retention rates, references and awards.

Our meet the team segment is here! This is our regular segment where we feature one of our employees, hear about their experience, and ask them questions about working at cBEYONData! This week we had the opportunity to hear from a new employee,Tim Phillips! While he has only been at cBEYONData for a short time, he has great experience within the Business Intelligence industry, and we are excited to have him on team.

Name: Tim Phillips

Title/Team: Lead Developer, DMRS

How long have you been with cBEYONData? 3 weeks

What is your favorite part about working at cBEYONData? Meeting people from different technological backgrounds

How long have you worked in the business intelligence industry? 8-9 years

What was your first job title in the industry? Webfocus developer

What does cBEYONData offer that our competitors do not (or what makes cBEYONData unique)? Training and certifications in different aspects of business intelligence

Where do you think this industry is going in the near and far future and how is cBEYONData leading that charge? To the cloud

What do you like to do in your “off work” time? Learning new programming languages, working out, golfing

Here at cBEYONData our philosophy is to nurture our culture and make it a top priority in the company, then our associates’ happiness, customer satisfaction, and long-term business partnerships will naturally flourish. Company culture is derived from its core values and our core values are meant to empower our associates so they enjoy the work they do and the environment they do it in. We know that when we enjoy what we do, we are in turn delivering exceptional service to our customers and thriving in our business. To make this happen, we hire and invest in associates that share our core values.

cBEYONData is a results-driven firm that provides value to government agencies and organizations through Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for the CFO’s Office and end-user missions. We ensure our customers’ analytical and reporting requirements are met through solutions such as financial reporting, audit readiness, DATA Act analytics & submission, procurement & external reporting, dashboards, analytics, visualizations, and geo-mapping. cBEYONData is committed to customer success, as demonstrated by our strong customer retention rates, references and awards.

We are excited to announce that our team will be attending the Association Of Government Accountants (AGA) Professional Development Training (PDT) event this year!AGA’s premier training and networking event will take place in New Orleans, and will start on July 21st and go through July 24th. From the AGA website:

Three reasons you should attend:

  1. Earn up to 25 CPEs. Enhance your lifelong learning and gain the knowledge and understanding to better improve your job effectiveness.
  2. Stay cutting-edge. Top-notch speakers from federal, state, local, academia and the private sector will share key findings and educational experiences to augment your knowledge and enhance your skills.
  3. Network and connect. Collaborate and engage with industry experts and government financial management colleagues facing the same or similar issues and exchange ideas to bring back to your organization.

We cannot wait to attend this event and hear from amazing speakers such as: Ben Nemtin, Kelly McDonald, Gov. Martin O’Malley​, Natalie Fikes​, David Lebryk, MPA and more! If you are interested in attending this event, either in person, or digitally, please go to the AGA website and register.

We hope to see you there!

AGA PDT 2019 Banner - cBEYONData Blog

cBEYONData is a results-driven firm that provides value to government agencies and organizations through Business Intelligence (BI) solutions for the CFO’s Office and end-user missions. We ensure our customers’ analytical and reporting requirements are met through solutions such as financial reporting, audit readiness, DATA Act analytics & submission, procurement & external reporting, dashboards, analytics, visualizations, and geo-mapping. cBEYONData is committed to customer success, as demonstrated by our strong customer retention rates, references and awards.

Published on March 18, 2019 via LinkedIn, by Jeremy Kuhlenbeck

Next up in my 14-in-2 dashboard development series is the 5 insights for speed and clarity.  So let’s jump right in.

(Btw, as I started writing this out, I realized that five in one post would make for a very long read.  Stick with me over the next few days and weeks to walk through them one at a time.)

“The most difficult thing I have ever had to do was tell my boss that a project needed to be shelved.”

1.    Purpose

I know, you think this is a copout here.

Purpose cannot possibly be an insight – can it?  A defined purpose is an absolute must, and this is where you are going to have to talk through the tension and build trust with your boss (more on that in a bit).

What I mean is, many projects start out with an extremely vague purpose:

“I need you to build a dashboard for our warehouse data…. I need you to build a dashboard around our food industry data… I need you to build a dashboard on our executive finances.”  

These are NOT purpose statements.  What these are, actually, are inroads for your company, your boss, or whoever is paying you to keep you and your company employed.

Therein lies the tension. Our companies need to always be drumming up new business, so they will find every sliver of an opportunity to get you in the door.  Once you are in the door, however, it’s up to you to know how exactly to establish the purpose for your work (See BIDS Methodology on BIBrainz.com)… and, it’s up to you and your boss to know how to pull the plug on a project that cannot find its purpose.

The most difficult thing I have ever had to do was tell my boss that a project needed to be shelved. For whatever reason, be it the data was not ready, the business rules, calculations, or formulas were not yet established by the business… it’s important to know when a project is not ready and note what is the responsibility of the business SMEs and what is the responsibility of the developer.

Build your relationship with your boss.  Build trust so that when you tell him or her that the project lacks direction or purpose, together, you can come up with a way to politely shelf that project and pivot to another.  Then, your team will have to find a way to help the leaders on the shelved project get ready for another run at it in the future.

So how do you find a project’s purpose?

Well, in the coming days and weeks I’ll discuss the remaining insights. These insights tie in so tightly to purpose that we will see it develop as we go through them all.  For now, let’s look at some situational examples of purpose at a high level.

Real World Example #1

Food Industry Store:  Company XYZ

Company XYZ is excited to bring you and your team in and establish some dashboards to help them drive insight and make better decisions regarding their food industry sales and usage. After a couple of meetings, you were able to determine that they have two main issues and one missing metric.

  • First, data is siloed into two areas, the transactions of the stores and the cost of labor for those employed at the stores.
  • Second, the current decision-making process for products is based on the metric / key performance indicator (KPI) of sell-through percentage or essentially the turnover of products put on the shelves each day.
  • And last, they are not yet analyzing the profitability or margin of their products.  Sell through percentage is their current gold standard.

From these discussions, we can determine that our goal is to correlate a “true-er” cost of goods sold by bringing together the vendor price for each product and the labor cost of the employees for the stores.  Together, with the sales cost and sell-through percentage, we can help identify profitable and in-demand products.

Boom.  Purpose.

An interesting byproduct here is that after seeing the data in a dashboard for a while, the company can begin to develop core values for new products they introduce to the stores. If a product doesn’t meet a minimum margin threshold, don’t bring it in… turnover is slow, I don’t care how amazing the product is, don’t keep it around.

HUGE TIP HERE:

This is where people like you and me can get tripped up.  Just because you are a brilliant thought leader, that doesn’t mean you are supposed to come into each situation bringing your own formulas or calculations (but double check everything they give you).  I know this sounds weird, but I have seen it over and over, the developer gathered requirements to do a certain calculation, didn’t ask the business SME for the formula, went back to their desk and decided to figure it out on their own. Why?  Ego, assumption, or lack of communication – because it was not comfortable to push the issue or simply due to the developer assuming they already know how to get there.

The business has most likely been doing some reporting for a while now.  They have their formula or know how they would like it calculated once you bring the data together.  Their SME is with you precisely for this moment (let’s hope that they have benchmarked with the industry standards – you can lead them into that if you feel they haven’t).

Using the BIDF spreadsheet from BIBrainz.com will help greatly in this metric requirement gathering process, but your job here is very specific.  You identify the metric, in this case, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) with Labor.  Write that down, and then ask them how they calculate the labor costs into the cost of goods sold.  If they do not have the calculation on hand, let them know you will need them to get that for you in order to include this metric. They own whether or not this metric is added to the dashboard by doing their homework and bringing back the company’s preferred formula.

Again, I’ve seen so much wasted time in this specific area of a project.  Some developers are less of the “communications type” and more of the “data type”.  They feel that it is more comfortable to try and figure it out on their own than it is to let there be an awkward silence in a meeting with the SMEs or they just don’t feel comfortable giving the SMEs homework.  I DON’T CARE.  YOU WILL WASTE TIME or possibly fail if you don’t push out of your comfort zone, communicate clearly, and let the business know what you need from them.

Continue on with this same KPI and formula requirement gathering process until you are done gathering all the KPIs.  Try to keep your KPIs down to three to five.  Engage the SMEs in open discussion on their thoughts on the importance of each metric to get them to hear their coworkers’ opinions.  Let them come to the conclusion on which three to five are the most important.  Also, don’t fret if you only have one or two.  You can definitely build a dashboard with great insight around just one or two metrics.

In my real-world example here, I was able to bring the siloed data together for the first time for Company XYZ.  What was fascinating was seeing the stores that had hit their preferred goal for sell-through percentage and and then layering on the profitability and labor costs metrics. When we added the product profitability and cost of labor for the first time, the company realized that sell through percentage on its own was extremely misleading.

Some of the stores that hit the sell-through goals had either labor costs or products costs that were well above their industry standards.  The decision and dashboard from that point forward were to always have these three metrics displayed together – COGS with Labor (e.g. Estimated Revenue), Sell Through Percentage, and Food Cost Percentage. These three provided the clean and clear insight they needed.

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Real World Example #2

Accounts Payable:  Company XYZ

Company XYZ loved what you did when you built their dashboard for Estimated Revenue, Sell Through Percentage, Food Cost Percentage, so they brought you back to help with the Finance side of things.

In the finance group, it was determined that most vendor contracts require interest to be paid on invoices over 30 days old.  The company would prefer to not pay more than they have to, so obviously avoiding interest charges was important.  Now we are finding our purpose.

We were able to determine that the goal of the dashboard would be to guide the accounts payable personnel to interest-bearing invoices that needed to be paid off.  Since there were already a few, we set a goal for this metric to pay off 15 percent of all interest accruing invoices by the first of the next month – every month.

Additionally, assist these same individuals by identifying the count and cost of invoices that are coming due over the next 10 days.  This information would provide the margin they need to get ahead on payments before incurring any interest.

To round things out, we added a third metric for more margin and provided the count and cost of all invoices coming due in the next 30 days.  Somewhat duplicative, but a good, aggressive mindset.

In this real-world example, I ended up developing the solution in Tableau.  The bottom third of my dashboard consisted of three columns, a list of Past Due (Over 30 Days) invoices by invoice number, an “actionable goal” dynamic calculation for Past Due invoices, and a list of the invoices that are coming due in the next 10 days.

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The dashboard user was able to select or shift-select multiple invoice numbers in the past due column which would then update the actionable goal column.  If the goal is to pay off 15 percent of all interest-bearing invoices, the user would see instantly what percentage of the goal the invoices they selected would cover.  If two invoices were selected and they were at eight percent, they could shift select more until they saw that they hit the goal.  They were then able to write down those invoice numbers, take the necessary payment action, and know they accomplished what Company XYZ had tasked them to do for the month.

They were also able to look at that third column and identify if they had enough financial margin to start paying invoices in advance of accruing interest.

Final Thoughts on Purpose

For speed and clarity, make sure you have a project document that starts with a purpose statement – work on this together with the SMEs so they can see the progress or lack thereof. Conduct a couple of initial meetings, and if you are not able to come to a clear and concise purpose statement, you will have to re-evaluate and decide if you are on track to developing the purpose statement or have that difficult discussion with your boss about shelving the project.

“A clearly defined purpose statement is your first priority.  It will either build your project momentum or get you out of a project within the first week.”

Purpose = clarity. Lack of purpose will always lead to scope creep.  A clearly defined purpose statement is your first priority.  It will either build your project momentum or get you out of a project within the first week.

How to use your purpose statement:

In your subsequent meetings, use the purpose statement that you jointly developed with the SMEs as your boundary or safeguard against scope creep.  Because the purpose statement was a joint effort, your SMEs now have buy-in on the goal and will be better receptive to “parking” those additional thoughts and ideas they come up with for potential future projects.

Quotes on Purpose:

“Without a purpose, your story will fail to connect with the audience.”  –The Anatomy of a Data Story by Nicole Hitner

“Execute. Execution is the only thing that matters but how do you execute?  It starts with having clear goals. You need to know exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish you are never going to get there. That is simply the clear truth.”  -Tom Bilyue as a co-founder of Quest Nutrition, the second-fastest-growing private company in North America on the Inc 5000 for 2014 (ok, its says goals but translate that as purpose)