BBCon 2020 – Session Recommendations

This year will be a very strange BBCon. Gone is the flight over, the anticipation, hoards of people all in one place, the discussion over the food, the inevitable “bacon” joke (does that joke ever get old?), the jet lag and of course, all that swag.

One thing still there though are the quality speakers and sessions. As with each year I am giving a round up of the most interesting speakers and anticipated sessions. These are all my personal opinion which is, of course, from a more technical perspective so if I have left anybody off the list that justifiably should be on then I apologise in advance.

So, in no particular order….

Utilize the Power of OData in Blackbaud Altru® to create Valuable Dashboards in Microsoft® Excel and Power BI – Carly Meek.

We make use of OData in Chimpegration Cloud for Altru. From a technical perspective it is one of the most important distinctions between the Altru development platform (Infinity) and the SKY API. OData allows any query that has been put together in Altru to be “streamed” to other platforms, in our case, Chimpegration but importantly applications such as Excel, Power BI and other analytic applications. Definitely one to watch if you need access to your data in a more advanced setting.

Nonprofit Analytics: How To Build Financial and Fundraising Dashboards – Thomas A. Evans and Linton Myers

This session is a great follow up to the session that I did last year with Graham Getty (From Crystal to Cloud. See the live demo part here). Where Graham and I looked at ways in which you could replace and enhance legacy functionality and move to the cloud, Thomas and Linton take another look at how those capabilities have changed and added some that Graham and I may well have missed. Definitely worth taking a look at.

Get Your Head in the Cloud – Eric Wand

As developers we sometimes forget life before the Cloud. The ease with which you can reach all your resources wherever you may be is something that web applications strive to help customers with. And yet I still find resonance with Eric’s opening sentence: “Remember when the internet felt expensive, untrustworthy and complicated?”. When I compare developing a plugin to developing a cloud solution this still rings true. If I still get nostalgia over desktop applications then surely less than technical users may well feel the same. This session is sure to convince you otherwise.

Open a world of possibilities with SKY Developer – Stu Hawkins and Ben Wong

I have seen some of the customisations that Stu and his team have produced and I am regularly impressed. The SKY API platform has come a long way from the early days and there is now so much more functionality available to developers to customise RE NXT. It will certainly be fascinating to see what new and exciting utilities Stu has to offer. If you are new to developing or want to get started make sure that you take a look at this session and quiz Ben who has all the answers!

Back by Popular Demand: NXT Tips and Tricks – Lisa Nurminen and Jarod Bonino

This session is becoming an annual favourite. Having missed it at BBCon 2019 in Nashville (the room was too packed to get into), I managed to see it at BBCon 2019 London. Now husband and wife team (sorry if I spoiled the worst kept secret outside of Blackbaud) are back. Lisa and Jarod know NXT inside out and have found ways of working with it that overcomes any drawbacks that you might find. I felt that this session was worth it even though I am not working with NXT on a day to day basis. You can be sure that they will have some new tips and tricks up their sleeves as well as showing the best ones from last year.

Mastering Security in Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT® – Bill Connors

No session list would be complete without Bill Connors. Bill wrote the book on Raiser’s Edge (literally). It will be great to see a session looking at NXT security. While the database view is somewhat of a known entity, the new NXT modules are, for me at least, somewhat of a mystery. How you link that functionality with good organisation policies will be essential viewing for anybody managing a database.

Nothing takes your fancy? Well here are some of our favourites from past years: