In the market-based world in which we live, it's flattering when companies try to sell you new goods and services -- you know you're important enough for them to target. And it becomes downright cool when more and more companies join the competition for your business.
That's the analytics professionals's experience when it comes to conferences. Event organizers are virtually falling over themselves to schedule educational and promotional opportunities. On one schedule I recently browsed, you can find a handful of events in the US and in Europe every month through the first half of the year.
And that calendar didn't include many of my top events below.
Below, I've identified some of the top analytics-related educational content for the first six months of the coming year. Here you go:
MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
Boston This conference puts sports analytics on the big brain map, recognizing the connection between very smart people and the business of sports. Founded in 2006, the conference is co-chaired by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, an MIT MBA, and Harvard MBA Jessica Gelman. Student-run, the conference focuses on growth and innovation in arenas and stadiums everywhere.
HIMSS13 Annual Conference & Exhibition
The Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society, or HIMSS, is a not-for-profit organization that has focused for 52 years on the optimal use of information technology and management systems for healthcare. Its annual conference is broad and long, but features numerous ways to learn about the intersection between healthcare and data.
Predictive Analytics World
Perhaps one of the more popular analytics shows out there, Predictive Analytics World (PAW) prides itself on looking at real-world examples of the deployment of predictive analytics. Corporate practitioners talk impact. The Toronto event will feature two tracks -- "all audiences," and expert/practitioner -- and will delve into topics ranging from insurance to military, recruitment to branding.
The Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit 2013
Consultants and vendors have their share of conferences throughout the year. The Gartner BI & Analytics Summit provides a robust schedule of 54 sessions, divided between analyst sessions, roundtables, case studies, workshops -- and of course, the usual conference fun and networking.
2013 INFORMS Conference on Business Analytics & Operations Research
Talk to academics and expert practitioners, and they'll tell you that if you can only make it to one analytics conference next year, make it this one. The event's slogan is "Apply Science to the Art of Business.” Highlights include a competition for excellence in applied and advanced analytics, tutorials, case studies, and a job fair.
Predictive Analytics World
PAW goes next to San Francisco, where topics on the schedule include black-box trading, crowd sourcing predictive analytics, data visualization, e-commerce analytics, lead management, search engine marketing, social data, and telecom applications. PAW convenes elsewhere, like Chicago and Boston, later in the year.
SAS Analytics 2013 Conference Series
One of the top vendors (and this site's sponsor) in the business offers one of the top conferences. Its first conference of 2013 occurs in Europe. SAS brings in big names for keynotes, but packs the practitioner punch with sessions and case studies on the latest trends and methodologies, high-performance analytics, data mining, text mining, forecasting, optimization, visualization, and predictive modeling. SAS Analytics 2013 comes to the US -- Orlando -- in the fall.
Are any of these conferences on your 2013 agenda? Any others?
@Beth, a story from my college days that is funny now that it is 15 years old or so (and funny, too, because I was merely a witness and not a participant). Long story short, a few of my buddies did something very stupid and perhaps criminal ... and photographed it. Another buddy of mine -- or was president of the fraternity at the time and this "responsible" -- got wind of the event and the photo, and promptly drove two hours into the far reaches of Upstate New York to burn and bury said photo. Can't do that with Instagram, that's for sure!
@Beth, I have seen way too many grown adults act like college kids on spring break. Though I shouldn't talk. I think there are pics out there of me doing the same thing at unmentionable insurance conferences...
@Beth, I have to agree: you need to be in the mood for a keynote, and have nothing else pressing. Then you can sit back and let yourself be motivated by the speaker. However, no matter how free my time or positive attitude, any keynoter who makes me get out of my seat and stretch/do calisthenics is a big NO in my book!
@Noreen -- I'll weigh in: networking and education. Keynotes can be informative or entertaining, depending on speaker, but a nonessential part of an event, IMO. That said, one of my all-time conference highlights was the keynote address at SAS' Premiere Business Leadership Series in 2011. Colin Powell gave a fantastic talk.