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.
Diego Klabjan, chair of the INFORMS University Analytics Program Committee and program director for Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics program, gives his advice for figuring out where to get an advanced analytics degree.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- Cary, NCThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SAS® Data Management and SAS® Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SAS® Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
Essential Practice Skills for Analytics Professionals Drawing on best practices from the field, this INFORMS course helps analytics professionals add value from beginning to end: listening to clients, framing the central problem, scoping a project, defining metrics for success, creating a work plan, assembling data and expert sources, selecting modeling approaches, validating and verifying analytical results, communicating and presenting results to clients, driving organizational change, and assessing impact.
Analytics 2014 The Analytics 2014 Conference is a two-day, educational event for anyone who is serious about analytics. This annual event brings together hundreds of professionals, industry experts and leading researchers in the field of analytics. All Analytics members save $500 on conference fees by using promo code ACAA.
Premier Business Leadership Series 2014 The Premier Business Leadership Series is an exclusive event for senior executives and decision makers that focuses on solving the current issues that affect governments and businesses globally. The Series is a unique learning and networking experience focused on the most innovative leadership strategies and analytic solutions for competing in todayâ€™s global economy.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- BostonThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SAS® Data Management and SAS® Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SAS® Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
Data Exploration & Visualization Get hands-on training that focuses on the critical steps in the process of analyzing data: accessing and extracting data, cleaning and preparing data, exploring and visualizing data. This INFORMS course will use several of the most popular software tools intensively, and provide an overview of the range of software options.
Foundations of Modern Predictive Analytics In this INFORMS course, learn about modern predictive analytics, the science of discovering and exploiting complex data relationships. This course will give participants hands-on practice in handling real data types, real business problems and practical methods for delivering business-useful results.
2014 VA Interactive Roadshow -- AtlantaThe 2014 VA Interactive Roadshow will feature SAS® Data Management and SAS® Visual Analytics experts covering topics like prepping data for VA and VA integration with SAS® Office Analytics. This year's events will keep presentations at a minimum and focus on giving attendees hands-on exposure to the latest version of VA.
LEADERS FROM THE BUSINESS AND IT COMMUNITIES DUEL OVER CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
The Current Discussion
Visual Analytics: Who Carries the Onus? The Issue: Data visualization is an up-and-coming technology for businesses that want to deliver analytical results in a visual way, enabling analysts the ability to spot patterns more easily and business users to absorb the insight at a glance and better understand what questions to ask of the data. But does it make more sense to train everybody to handle the visualization mandate or bring on visualization expertise? Our experts are divided on the question. The Speakers: Hyoun Park, Principal Analyst, Nucleus Research; Jonathan Schwabish, US Economist & Data Visualizer
The hospitality industry gathers massive amounts of customer data, and mining that data effectively can yield tremendous results in terms of improved CRM, better-targeted marketing spend, and more efficient back-end processes. Roger Ares, vice president of analytics at Hyatt Corp., discusses the ways he and his staff use big data.
Charged with keeping track of travel assets, including employees, iJET International relies on data management best-practices and advanced analytics to keep its clients in the know on current and potential world events affecting travel, Rich Murnane, Director of Enterprise Data Operations & Data Architect, told All Analytics in an interview from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer for the Center for Generational Kinetics and keynote speaker at last month's SAS Global Forum 2014, describes how Gen Y professionals are enhancing the makeup of multigenerational analytics organizations.
From analytics talent development to the power of visual analytics, All Analytics found a variety of common themes circulating throughout the exhibition floor and session discussions at the 2014 SAS Global Forum and SAS Global Forum Executive Conference events held last month in Washington, DC.
Talking with All Analytics live from the 2014 SAS Global Forum Executive Conference, Eric Helmer, senior manager of campaign design and execution for T-Mobile, discussed the importance of customer data -- starting internally -- in devising the mobile operator's marketing plans.
The big-data analytics market can be a confusing place. Among the vendors vying for your dollars are traditional database management providers, Hadoop startup services, and IT giants. In this video, All Analytics editors Beth Schultz and Michael Steinhart sit down in a Google+ Hangout on Air with Doug Henschen, executive editor of InformationWeek. Henschen discusses use cases for big-data analytics, purchase considerations, and his recent roundup of the top 16 big-data analytics platforms.
At the National Retail Federation BIG Show last month, All Analytics executive editor Michael Steinhart noted a host of solutions for tracking and analyzing customer activity in retail stores. From Bluetooth beacons to RFID tags to NFC connections to video analytics, retailers must find the right combination of tools to help optimize the shopper experience, streamline operations, and boost revenues.
The days when historical shipment trends and gut feelings were enough to forecast retail demand accurately are long over. SAS chief industry consultant Charles Chase outlines the benefits of pulling real-time sales information from point-of-sale and product scanner systems, then flowing that data into dynamic forecasting tools from SAS.
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Dynamic data visualizations let analysts and business users interact with the data, changing variables or drilling down into data points, and see results in a flash. Advance your use of data visualization with tools that support features like auto-charting, explanatory pop-ups, and mobile sharing.
No doubt your enterprise is amassing loads of data for fact-based decision-making. Hand in hand with all that data comes big computational requirements. Can traditional IT infrastructure handle the increasing number and complexity of your analytical work? Probably not, which is why you need a backend rethink. Big data calls for a high-performance analytics infrastructure, as Fern Halper, a partner at the IT consulting and research firm, Hurwitz & Associates, discusses here.
Redbox's bright-red DVD kiosks are all but ubiquitous these days, located in more than 28,000 spots across the country. Jayson Tipp, Redbox VP of Analytics and CRM, provides an insider's look at how the company has accomplished its phenomenal nine-year growth.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), a seven-brand global hotelier, has woven analytics into the fabric of its operations. David Schmitt, director of performance strategy and planning, shares IHG's analytics story and his lessons learned.