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From big data emerges clarity

My experience at Predictive Analytics World so far has proved to be one of the most fascinating conferences I’ve attended, and a ton of fun to boot. The SAS “storyboard” booth continues to fill up with graphics depicting so many views of analytics that it’s hard to keep up. After attending a presentation – Conference Organizer Eric Siegel’s keynote on uplift modeling, for example – I find myself coming back to several more boards to view, all showing different ways to take advantage of organizations’ greatest asset: data.

What’s just as interesting as seeing the boards come to life, is watching attendees’ reactions to them. People wander through, stare at the artwork and get lost in their thoughts and interpretations – almost as if they were in a museum, a museum of analytics.

Not only are the booth conversations “scribed,” or drawn, on the boards, but the artists also attend and scribe presentations. Then they wheel the finished boards back to the booth, allowing the takeaways to be shared with those who weren’t able to attend the session.

I had the opportunity to interview several experts about their stories with analytics, which were illustrated on the boards in real-time as well. I will post all of those videos soon but to give you an idea, I heard about an Analytics Superheroes contest from Teradata’s Bill Franks, which is fitting because taking advantage of big data can seem like a super-heroic feat. Dean Abbott, Abbott Analytics, Inc., explained how analysts oftentimes limit the amount of data they analyze, simply because it is too big (from a volume, variety and velocity perspective). I also heard James Taylor, Decision Management Solutions, give a few growth scenarios for predictive analytics in the cloud and John Elder of Elder Research describe the effect of big data on the data mining lifecycle.

I look forward to more conversations and interviews today – I’ll speak with Piyanka Jain of Aryng.com and Shawn Hushman of Kelley Blue Book. If you have a story to share and are at the conference, come by the booth and we’ll talk! If you’re not attending, share your story by posting a comment.

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