Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam

Navigate Change With the
Analytics Leader

October 16-18, 2017 | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Analytics Experience takes over Amsterdam

Analytics Experience 2017 in Amsterdam revealed that conversations about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things no longer revolve around their future roles, but instead their reality as part of our present-day personal and business lives. We have entered the era of the Analytics Economy — a finding supported by a truly global group of over 1,400 attendees from all major countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Analytics Experience 2017 Amsterdam - Navigating change in the Analytics Economy - Jim Goodnight, Oliver Schabenberger, Giels Brouwer

The Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam, a popular port of call for cruise ships, served as the impressive backdrop for Analytics Experience 2017. With 5,214 mentions of #AnalyticsX, 71,833 impressions and reach on Twitter, and 28,412 impressions and reach on LinkedIn, SAS Analytics Experience has proven once again to be the most important analytics event series around the world.

Professionals, customers, partners and media representatives from all over the world came to learn and talk about digital transformation and analytics. Everyone felt right at home as they were guided through the conference by our host Jon Briggs, the first male voice of Siri in the UK.

On Tuesday the 17th, the plenary started with SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight, founder of SciSports Giels Brouwer, and SAS CTO Oliver Schabenberger. As Dr. Goodnight stated, we live in a new democracy of analytics where the power of data is available to all. The era of analytics will usher in change, and the new capabilities in SAS® ViyaTM will help organizations make better decisions faster than ever before. 

It’s all about real time

SciSports focuses on soccer analytics and partners with SAS because it wants to work with the brightest products and minds. “There was an immediate connection with SAS on how we want to solve problems,” Brouwer said. Real time is essential to SciSports as they want to provide the audience and coaches alike with information about the specific elements of the game, such as the speed of a successful shot on goal, while it is happening on the field. SciSports has developed deep learning models in SAS Viya; deploying these in real time is groundbreaking because it enables SciSports to measure player foot speed and more. Brouwer said: “Our ambition is to bring real time data analytics to billions of soccer fans all over the world. By partnering with SAS, we can make that happen.”

Analytics Experience 2017 Amsterdam - Prince Pieter Christiaan van Oranje-Nassau van Vollenhoven

AX goes royal

Another highlight from the plenary was having a Dutch royal present. His Royal Highness Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje Nassau van Vollenhoven spoke on behalf of 510 Global, an initiative of the Red Cross. He stated that big data in itself is not relevant: it only becomes valuable when you analyze it and reap the benefits. This is what 510 Global does by leveraging data and analytics to improve humanitarian aid. The Prince referred to this as ‘smart aid.’ By using data and analytics, 510 Global was able to determine where help was needed most after hurricane Irma hit the island of St. Maarten.

Saving lives with data 

For the last 10 years, the UN has been working with SAS to help save lives with data. Leonard Doyle, Head of Media and Communications for the UN Migration Agency (IOM), talked about how the organization has developed a feedback tool where helpers in the field can collect valuable data about refugees and the help needed, so they can be more efficient and effective.

Human judgement still matters with AI

“With AI, the cost of predictions has dropped tremendously,” said Ajay Agrawal at the beginning of his presentation. He went on to discuss the economics of AI. Agrawal also asserted that human judgement will continue to play a key role. Instead of fearing machines will take over, we can rest assured that human decisions will always be needed in the end.

Randy Guard presenting on stage at Analytics Experience

Living on the edge with analytics

CMO Randy Guard made the compelling argument that decisions are best made right where the data are. It’s similar to how decisions are made in our brains, right where the information is stored. This is why edge analytics is proving to be so powerful. 

The next frontier of analytics

Adding analytics to the IoT is the next frontier. This is exactly what GE Transportation is doing in cooperation with SAS. Garret Fitzgerald, GE’s General Manager of Transport Intelligence, talked about how a 100-year-old business is now on the front lines of using state-of-the-art technology. With event stream processing from SAS, GE can get the insights that are needed to drive actions right away. By adding sensors to its 26,000 locomotives, they have dynamic assets that help them gain insights, which then enable smarter management and asset maintenance.

Analytics Experience 2017 Amsterdam - Being Human - Hannah Fry

Love is the message

Who would ever think that an audience at an analytics conference would listen in awe to a love story? Ok, not quite a love story, but Hannah Fry, lecturer in the Mathematics of Cities at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL, talked about how mathematics can uncover the secret of a successful relationship. Looking at couples having an argument in a mathematical way can even help predict divorce with 90% accuracy. But it wasn’t all love and roses. Hannah also showed the power of data visualization by recounting how it helped uncover a serial killer. The main message was, if you let the data lead you to the insights, there is no telling what you might discover.

Life’s a game of inches  

Whatever your message is, Fritz Lehman, Chief Customer Officer, is certain about one thing: it has to be consistent. This is how organizations should be thinking if they want to thrive in a data-driven world. Customers want a coherent experience with brands whether they’re placing a call to customer service or visiting a company’s website. Data and analytics are essential in achieving this.

Best practices and emerging topics

In addition to great keynotes, Analytics Experience 2017 hosted 55 presentations with nearly 100 presenters and 23 demos, some of which were sponsored by our partners Accenture, Amsio, IBM, and Intel. There were six training sessions designed to help attendees gain a better understanding of the most critical issues and emerging trends in analytics and see them in action. International market leaders, such as Adidas, Danske Bank, HSBC, and Interamerican, to name a few, demonstrated their real-world experience in applying analytics to everyday business.

Analytics Experience could also be followed on Social Media. Keep on following the conversation about #AnalyticsX or read commentary from well-known influencers who attended the event such as Top 3 Takeaways From AnalyticsX by Yves Mulkers.

Analytics Inspires Action

Explore the powerful new features added to SAS® Visual Analytics and SAS® Visual Statistics running on SAS® Viya™.

SAS Visual Analytics demo enrichment shown on desktop monitor

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