Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IOD Wrapup: "Analytics is not a spectator sport"

As I head home from a great Information on Demand conference and start to synthesize all of the sessions, announcements and conversations I had there, there are two thoughts that I keep coming back to:

The first is what still stands out for me as the overall headline for the week.  It was a comment that Fred Balboni shared during the Day 1 General Session: "Analytics is not a spectator sport."

The second come from the speaker from Best Buy at Tuesday's general session.  He asserted that we're moving from a culture of scarcity to a culture of abundance in data, and that while historically the rate-limiting step was analysis, now it's how quickly we can ask questions.  

When you combine these statements, they point to a significant inflection points that just about every company will find themselves passing through in the very near future, and it will be the key reason that the winners in the marketplace will pull away from the losers.  Those that are able to capture and manage their information and that are not only able to turn that into insight but act on it - they will be the ones to watch.

Other key takeaways:

  • We're quickly going from Big Data being a "future" thought to being a "here today" thought.  
  • I can't remember when we had more "brand-name" companies sharing stories of how they are using technology to change their business:  Visa, Hertz, Nestle, Nationwide, Boeing, Best Buy, not to mention many, many more that spoke in breakout sessions or that may not be household names but are seeing incredibly dramatic results.
  • There was an overall sense of excitement around the conference (especially notable in the analytics keynotes).  The expo floor was always busy whenever I walked around, and the overall mood throughout the conference was very positive and encouraging.

I also couldn't end a wrap-up post without expressing my appreciation for my colleagues who helped me with the what I needed to do my job for the conference, for the IBM customers who joined us to share their stories, and especially my admiration and gratitude for the conference and production teams who made everything look so easy and made us look so good.   (And of course my gratitude and love for my family, who had to make do without me in the weeks leading up to and during the conference.)