Information on Demand 2011: Big Data, Bigger Insights
Greetings from Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.
The CNN Republican debate is long over, the media circus is over, and the information gatherers for IBM Information on Demand 2011 are arriving en masse.
My Webcasting partner-in-crime, Scott Laningham, and I arrived here yesterday mostly without incident. We scoped out the situation, and decided that the Mandalay Bay Race and Sports Book was the perfect venue to sit down, have a burger, and watch the third game of the World Series.
Since baseball and data are going to be an underlying theme in Michael Lewis and Billy Beanes’ keynote about Moneyball later this week, it only seemed appropriate.
And though my Texas Rangers ended up taking a beating, we did witness some new data added to the baseball history books: The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols tied Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson for the most home runs struck in one game of a World Series, the magic number three (to be precise, the Babe did it twice).
And though you may never be able to fully predict the specific outcome of a single baseball game, Billy Beane and his Oakland A’s team proved that you can use past player performance statistics to help build a better team, one that could compete with the “big money” teams.
Okay, so if past prediction can help prove future performance, where does that leave we Information On Demanders for this 2011 event?
Let’s start with the business benefit, which in these tough times are necessary for even the most profitable of enterprises.
IBM studies have demonstrated that the performance gap between those leaders and the laggards and followers is widening: Organizations that apply advanced analytics have 33% more revenue growth and 12X more profit growth.
That ought to get some executive attention.
But we’re also seeing some major shifts in the external environment. Information is exploding. We’ve now got over 1 trillion devices connected to the Internet, and we’re expecting 44X digital data growth through 2020.
And yet we’re also finding that business change is outpacing our ability to keep up with it all: 60% of CEOs agree they have more data than they can use effectively, and yet 4 out of 5 business leaders see information as a vital source of competitive advantage.
So what’s the remedy? Well, those flying in to Vegas have taken the first step, admitting they have a problem (No, not “The Hangover” type problems — you’ll have to talk to Mike Tyson about those).
No, successful organizations are turning all that data into actionable insight by taking a more structured approach through business analytics and optimization (BAO).
They’re embracing it as a transformational imperative, and demonstrating that they can improve visibility throughout the enterprise, enhance their understanding of their customers, and fostering collaborative decision-making while providing those key predictive insights and optimizing real-time decision making.
So, like a good baseball player, or manager, your job over the next several days here in Vegas is to do a few key things, and do them well.
Focus, keep your eye on the ball and on the topics most important and relevant to you.
Listen, including both in the general sessions and individual tracks, but also in those all important hallway conversations — you never know what you might learn.
Participate, particularly in the social media. We IBMers and our key partners want to hear from you, and we’re only a Tweet away. Use conference hashtag #iodgc2011 to speak up, as we’re listening in return.
Commit, to the actions coming out of the event that you think will be helpful to you and your organization, and to bring those business and technology goals into becoming a reality.
And one other thing…have fun! Whatever happens in Vegas may not stay in Vegas…it may even end up on Facebook…but that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time and learning a lot this week.
As for Scott Laningham and myself, we’ll be blogging and covering key sessions, and “livestreaming” from the Expo floor. Stop by and say hello.