For a couple of decades, the field of analytics understood its place. It sat in a back room, cared for by technogeeks who built models, crunched numbers, and packaged some bottom-line report for an executive. That executive might have used it or ignored it, may have never met the analyst.
As we have documented on All Analytics over the past five years, analytics are breaking out of that comfortable niche. The technogeeks are learning how to solve real business problems. The executives increasingly understand that all those numbers tell a story. Analytics doesn't have a place, it's everywhere.
That trend is why the upcoming Analytics Experience is a sign of where we are heading. Analytics Experience, presented by SAS, September 12-14 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, blends what used to be two very separate conferences into a common program.
In the past, SAS offered the annual Analytics conference and the Premier Business Leadership Series during the same week in the same venue but with separate registrations and agendas. In essence, the Analytics conference was for the more technical types and PBLS was for the executive level, the people who had to put data into action.
What SAS recognized and announced last year is that sometimes the number crunchers and data guardians have to step out and learn more about how data impacts business decisions, and sometimes executives need to learn a bit about what goes on behind all those blinking status lights on servers.
SAS event organizer Kelly Check said in a recent blog, "Former attendees shared feedback that they wanted more choices; they didn’t want to be limited by their title or organization. They wanted to network with analytics gurus of different backgrounds. So while executives can listen to detailed case studies, students and practitioners can hear big ideas from thought leaders. Every attendee can still customize their agenda for the most beneficial insights."
The agenda, open to all attendees, will feature presentations by companies of all sizes, across industries, on how they are finding business benefits from using analytics for different purposes. Those organizations, according to Check, are "gleaning insights from their data to fight fraud, save lives, save money, understand digital consumption, connect with customers." In addition to the session presentations and training/certification programs, there will be networking opportunities, including a meeting center for face-to-face appointments and a new mobile app that makes socializing fun and easy.
Plus, there will be mainstage keynote presentations by speakers -- to inform and entertain -- including Jared Cohen, president of Jigsaw and chief advisor to the executive chairman of Alphabet; Paul Ballew, global chief data and analytics officer, Ford Motor Co.; Amber MacArthur, president, Konnekt; Jeremiah Owyang, founder, Crowd Companies; Jake Porway, founder and executive director, DataKind; Erik Qualman, social media and technology expert, and author of Socialnomics; and R. Ray Wang, principal analyst, founder and chairman, Constellation Research.
Keynote speakers also include SAS executives such as founder and CEO Jim Goodnight and Jill Dyché, vice president, SAS Best Practices.
Of course, All Analytics will be onsite posting blogs and highlighting the activity on social media. Watch the A2 site for links to video presentations of many of the addresses. And, for more information about Analytics Experience, check out the SAS website.