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The St. Louis Analytics User Group (STLAUG), a new community of SAP analytics users, had its inaugural meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the Knight Executive Education & Conference Center at Washington University. We kicked off the event with a data hackathon (#STLDataHack) with teams from several local companies and a student team from Washington University. The goal of the data hackathon was to benefit the Clark Fox Family Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to “Funding the future of St. Louis through education, community initiatives, and economic development.” The teams used SAP Lumira 1.30 to analyze Microsoft Excel-based data provided by The Clark Fox Family Foundation with various metrics from St. Louis-area high schools.

The goal for the Hack-a-Thon was to analyze the data, identify some actionable outcomes, and create a SAP Lumira storyboard to present the course of action. Each team crafted the data into a story using Lumira's storyboard feature and presented their work to their peers as well as a panel of discriminating judges. The judging panel (pictured below) consisted of (pictured L-R) John Simanowitz, CEO of Integrity, Sheila Ryan, director of business development for RAD Innovation Partners, and Allie Cicotte, programs manager for The Clark Fox Family Foundation. Photo bomb courtesy of Eric Vallo, CEO of EV Technologies and sponsor of the St. Louis Analytics User Group.

Check out related article Integrity’s John Simanowitz brings usability expertise to St. Louis hackathon.

Many participants had never worked with SAP Lumira, so the Hack-a-Thon was their opportunity to not only evaluate the tool's capabilities, but its ease of use. The #ILoveLumira stickers were quite popular.

Team Washington U getting advice from Hack-a-Thon judge John Simanowitz.

The Global Data Providers (Suddenlink), under the watchful eye of Hack-a-Thon judge Sheila Ryan.

The Mercy Mathaletes (Sisters of Mercy), analyzing data with SAP Lumira.

The MTC Seers (Maritz), getting some guidance from Bonnie Brown, EV Technologies solution director and Lumira expert.

The Caleres Gladiators (formerly Brown Shoe) were declared the Hack-a-Thon winners. Pictured (L-R) Eric Vallo (CEO of EV Technologies and sponsor of the St. Louis Analytics User Group), Joe Hofer, Meera Hariharan, Daniel Sequeira, Kevin Carmody, and Allie Cicotte (programs manager for The Clark Fox Family Foundation).

After the morning Hack-a-Thon, we kicked off the first STLAUG meeting. I began with a presentation entitled "What’s New in SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2?". Next, SAP Mentor and EV Technologies solution director Greg Myers talked about predictive analytics in a presentation entitled "Eating the Elephant – Tackling your Big Data project one byte at a time with SAP Predictive Analytics". After Greg, EV Technologies solution director Bonnie Brown showed tips and tricks (sadly, too late for the hack-a-thon participants) with "SAP Lumira For the Analyst". We concluded the event with a Diversified Semantic Layer panel with SAP Mentors Jamie Oswald, Greg Myers, Eric Vallo and myself, taking live questions from the audience and opining on recent developments on the SAP product roadmap for analytics.

For coverage of our first event, check out the Twitter hashtags #STLAUG and #STLDataHack.

The St. Louis Analytics User Group is open to any user of SAP analytics products. We plan to meet twice a year and our next meeting will be on Thursday, October 13, 2016. Keep informed about this new analytics community by liking our Facebook page or following us on Twitter.

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