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Archive for the ‘information on demand 2010’ Category

Freakonomics @ IOD: Examining Data Ain’t No Monkey Business

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Apologies in advance if you had no incentive to show up at the Freakonomics keynote session earlier this morning at Information on Demand, because it was, without question, the highlight of my week here in Las Vegas (aside from the Bengal tiger I discovered hiding in my hotel bathroom).

Freakonomics co-authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner expound on sex, lies, economics and monkey business in their hilarious Information on Demand 2010 keynote session.

Just as with Malcolm Gladwell last year, author Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt artfully integrated some of the themes of the event into their two-man show, and in the process perhaps nearly stole the whole show.

Dubner spoke first, asking the audience to “raise your hand if you’re a genius,” then recognizing the power of his own incentives, warned us away from stealing Levitt: “Find your own, he’s mine.”

Two best-selling books and a documentary movie later, I can’t say as I blame him.  Dubner kicked the session off explaining how he and Levitt came into one another’s orbit, arguing that he was fascinated Levitt was using data to find out what was going on in “the real world.”

Levitt, on the other hand, explained how he eventually became the accidental economist who was abysmal at math and clueless when it came to different varieties of derivatives, but was still able to muscle through at the encouragement of his father, who had found his own niche as a medical researcher on “intestinal gas.”

“The king of farts,” went the GQ profile headline about his father, joked Levitt, before Dubner returned to the stage and kidded that that made Levitt “the prince of farts.”

All hot air aside, Levitt explained his niche became the study of the nichest, yet fascinating, realms of data, and the people who helped unravel them.  Ultimately, though, Levitt was studying the power of incentives, and how they motivated — or didn’t — people across all walks of life.

Like the guy at the IRS who realized there weren’t really 7 million people named “Fluffy,” and how, almost overnight, 7 million people suddenly disappeared from U.S. tax rolls when the Social Security # started being required by filers in 1987 and they could no longer file their ghostly dependents!

Levitt went on to explain he wanted to become the kind of “real economist” who, when he made a mistake, could throw world markets “into convulsions.”  But of course, to be a real economist, he’d have to be good at math, so instead focused on problem sets that nobody else was interested in.

Dubner returned to the fore to explain one of those scenarios, a Yale researcher named Keith Chen who wanted to understand the impact of money in a monkey economy.

That is to say, how capuchin monkeys would react to having money introduced into their milieu (in this case, a research cage at Yale).

The hilarity of the story that ensued couldn’t possibly be done total justice in my retelling here, but know that it had the makings of a great story which you can read more about here in a New York Times article by the authors.

The long and short of it is that monkeys don’t monkey around with money much, at least not how Chen the researcher thought they might, particularly when said money interferes with what the monkeys really wanted more of (food and sex), but they did find a novel way to fit money into their Yale cage monkey business.

As Dubner explained the lesson, economists are all about measuring preferences (revealed and declared), and that the monkeys started to buy more food when the prices of the things they liked to eat most went up, not unlike people.

Ultimately, it’s all about loss aversion, whether the loss be more food or sex.

Speaking of the latter, Levitt returned at this point to close out the session, using another anecdotal example that demonstrated the power of pricing in that most marginal of markets, prostitution.

Never one to shy away from the fringes, Levitt explained how he became acquainted with a high dollar escort in Chicago through a “mutual acquaintance” and who was interested in helping him with his research on the economics of street level escorts.

Turns out, the escort had a Palm Pilot filled with useful data for his investigation, but also came loaded with a background in computer programming and now street business savvy, and she was ultimately able to one-up Levitt when he asked her to lecture to one of his classes, charging a full $100 more per hour than her standard hourly rate, but apparently giving one of the best lectures at the University of Chicago that his students had had in their entire four year tenure.

Though it may not have said much about he and his colleagues’ teaching abilities, the story did reveal to the global IOD audience that Levitt and Dubner continue to unearth powerful data where seemingly none exist, and to relate the revealing insights behind that data in a way that gives testament to the truths and lies of the human condition.

Written by turbotodd

October 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Steve Mills Keynote: Big Data, Big Picture

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In this morning’s first general session keynote at IBM Information on Demand, IBM Senior VP and Group Executive, Systems and Software, Steve Mills, got right to the bottom line on how organizations can go about implementing a smart information agenda and use business analytics to help them make better decisions.

IBM senior VP Steve Mills addresses the challenges of Big Data in his 2010 Information on Demand keynote.

As always, Mills painted in broad brushstrokes to help his audience see what has become something of a George Seurat “pointillist” painting, a sea of data, a mosaic of million and billions of bits and pixels of information that is piling up around us.

It’s increasingly daunting, both in terms of size and volume and velocity, and yet is an enormous business and knowledge insight opportunity as well.

So, you can either run for the hills, or you can buck up and dive into that sea, finding ways to organize it and make sense of it all…and maybe even learn something valuable for your organization.

The world is becoming more instrumed, interconnected, and more intelligent, but by leveraging this massive amount of new information, you can create a new kind of intelligence for your business, suggested Mills.

But it won’t come without some pain, trials, and tribulations.

Mills joked about the explosion in data and real world events, nodding his head to the ever-growing (but meaningless) Twitter and Facebook stream.

What Happens In Vegas…

“Remember,” he seemed to be warning the parents of teenagers in the audience, “what happens in Vegas…will stay on the Internet for a hundred or more years.”

Of course, with 44X as much data and content being generated over the coming decade, and with 80% of world’s data being unstructured (much of it that flow from the Internet, as my friend Ron ironically observed via Twitter), there’s a huge need for a structured approach to managing all this data.

Customers are clearly wrestling with this issue: 35% of customers will look to replace their current warehouse with a pre-integrated warehouse solution in the next 3 years, and only 14% have today.

And yet 83% of CIOs cited “Business intelligence and analytics” as part of their visionary plans to enhance competitiveness.

So, the IBM approach to mastering information for the purpose of optimizing business results is to build a flexible platform for managing, integrating,  analyzing, and governing information.

This is not a random path, but rather a structured, well thought through approach that takes an holistic look at information management.  Mills acknowledged we’re living in a federated world, one with a disparate set of information sources.

That’s why the Big Data challenge requires a Big Data approach, one that can help organizations deal with and benefit from massive and growing amounts of data, that can handle uncertainty around format variability and velocity of data, that can handle all that unstructured data, and one that can exploit big data in a timely and cost effective fashion.

IBM is offering a comprehensive set of solutions for Big Data, one in which interoperability will be key to addressing the unique challenges of the big data ecosystem.

Mills concluded with a big picture statement about all this Big Data: “We’re at an inflection point where IT is going to change the world in the next decade in ways even greater than that which we witnessed over the last 50 years.”

Written by turbotodd

October 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Dr. Atul Gawande: Use Your Knowledge

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I had very much looked forward to this morning’s keynote from Dr. Atul Gawande, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.

Dr. Gawande is a Harvard-trained surgeon and writer, having been a National Book Award finalist for his book Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes On An Imperfect Science, as well as climbing up the New York Times bestseller list for The Checklist Manifesto.

Dr. Atul Gawande speaks about effective knowledge management and use during his keynote session at Information on Demand 2010.


Gawande started his keynote on a solemn note, highlighting the percentage of war injuries to death from the Revolutionary War (42%) through the First Gulf War (24%).

Only in the most recent Iraq and Afghan Wars has that number begun to drop dramatically, to 10% in these latest conflicts.

What brought about this change?

Well, simply put, it’s not unlike the same relationship between data and progress that has been so pervasive in our conversations this year at Information on Demand 2010.

Gawande explained that as our technology for killing in war progressed over history, so, too, has our technology for healing, and even preventing, traumatic injuries.

It was a curious U.S. military colonel (and surgeon) who, after sifting through historical data from our more recent conflicts, discovered the antidote.

One, rank and file troops had finally taken to actually wearing their Kevlar in the field, which they had been resisting for years.

But also, medicine was moving closer to the troops, and we were able to, through these mobile surgical field units, able to reach soldiers inside the window of that critical “golden hour” which can often decide the fate of a patient after traumatic injury.

Furthermore, those surgical units had deconstructed surgery down to its most critical elements, whereby surgeons did only those most critical path procedures in the field, then “packaged” the patient up for further surgery or procedures in Baghdad or even at a base in Germany, where they had more equipment, personnel, etc.

The field surgeon would essentially put a sign on the patient explaining to the next surgeon: “Here’s what I did.  Please finish.”

Finally, the military introduced the use of checklists to ensure that patients were receiving ample supplies of blood, checking for medical allergies, etc. — common, mundane tasks but which could be lifesavers under specific circumstances.

Those few things were all it took to drive the rate of death from 24% to 10% — so much so, that in fact, the military now speaks to the survival rate, as opposed to the death count we often heard in earlier wars.

That is truly data that matters.

As Gawande more bluntly put it, “The metrics of war are now measured in the wounded, not the dead…The whole picture has changed.”

It’s that bigger picture which was the underlying moral lesson of Gawande’s talk.  What does such a change, he asked, tell us about what we’re doing and where we’re going when it comes to data?

As humans, we lived through milennia in a world of ignorance, where we didn’t understand our physical world, our environment, and the like. Though that has changed dramatically in the last half century, where, with reference to the Iraq and Afghan wars, we can save more and more lives in war, we still often don’t know how to execute on the knowledge (read: data) we already have.

Or, we often have the knowledge to solve major problems, but that knowledge doesn’t always reach the people who need it most and who can most act on it.

Having knowledge is not the same as using it, and using it effectively.

Gawande’s message was quite simple: Our challenge in the 21st century will be to learn how to cope with an increasing amount of complexity, data, and even knowledge, and then to find the right data and act on it and use it to human advantage.

To do anything less would be to leave untreated an open and scathing wound defined by ineptitude and ignorance, and we’ve come far too far for that.

Written by turbotodd

October 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Breaking News: New IBM Analytics Software To Help Organizations Gain Faster Insight For Smarter Business Outcomes

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At the Information on Demand 2010 event today here in Las Vegas, IBM introduced new software that combines the most sophisticated business analytics and optimization capabilities for today’s evolving workforce.

For the first time, the new offerings combine social networking and collaboration capabilities for the burgeoning mobile workforce, expected to reach more than 1.19 billion by 2013.

With this news, IBM is bringing business analytics capabilities to the masses with a new look and feel that more closely mirrors people’s every day use of technology including support for new mobile devices and integrated social networking capabilities for faster, more collaborative decision-making.

The new software takes analytics out of the traditional format of reports and charts to a more interactive design and broader analysis and insight making it easier by providing built-in images and videos to guide business users, and it also reflects the democratization of information we’ve witnessed in recent years through what many have called the “consumerization” of IT.

Business users can now gain instant insight with analytics in an easy to use format anytime, anywhere on their mobile devices.  These new capabilities will have a substantial impact on the way all business users interact with information teams, partners, managers and customers around the globe.

Making Decisions Mobile

Spurred by the growth of mobile transactions, expected to grow by 40 times by 2015,  the increase in the rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around business analytics and optimization.

When combined with the unprecedented growth of the mobile workforce, this presents an opportunity for businesses to embrace the borderless office and extract intelligence to better interact with customers.

A recent IBM study with 1,900 CFOs globally revealed analytics-driven organizations had 33% more revenue growth with 32% more return on capital invested.

To address these changing market dynamics, IBM is announcing a set of new business analytics and information management offerings:

  • Cognos 10: New software that brings together the power of social collaboration and analytics for business users to gain real-time intelligence in a single, user-friendly interface  — online or through mobile devices such as ipad, iphones and blackberries.
  • DB2 10: New database software that helps businesses combine data – from past, present and future, delivering 40% performance improvements.
  • IBM InfoSphere Server: New software that redefines how an organization handles data behind the scenes with faster and more accurate integration of diverse forms of data, and the ability to see the quality of data before it’s used.

A technology preview of  Hadoop-based big data analytics software running on premise and the IBM Test Development cloud.

New Analytics Software: Bringing Speed to Insight with Social Collaboration and Mobile

Today, with the launch of Cognos 10, IBM is delivering the most significant analytics offering since the acquisition of Cognos, one of the largest acquisitions in IBM history.

For the first time, this new software brings together the power of social collaboration with Lotus Connections software and business analytics with Cognos in one unified experience with intuitive navigation capabilities and simplified user experience.

This removes the frustration of having to interrupt user train of thought resulting from the need to switch between views to get the right information. The software supports the natural path of seamless views from browsing to investigation to decision making.

This new software provides business users with an integrated view of historical information with real-time updates to give users a complete picture of their business. Now, business users can benefit from accessing information with a range of views from simple real-time information to advanced predictive “what if” analysis.

The integrated social networking capabilities with analytics allow the employees to interact with each other in real time in communities, wikis and blogs. This combination fuels the exchange of ideas and knowledge that naturally occurs in the decision-making process, but is typically lost in meeting notes, manual processes and emails.

Users can now initiate activities, engage others with their expertise, post messages, files, links, and discuss or review opinions – all in real time for faster, more accurate decision making.

New Database Software Brings Simplicity of Analyzing Past, Present, Future

Developed out of IBM’s Silicon Valley Lab, IBM is introducing new DB2 database software for System z, that simplifies analyzing past, present and future data for faster, more accurate decision making.

Typically, a timely and costly process for database administrators to correlate, access and integrate information from a variety of sources,  new DB2 Time Travel Query enables seamless access to all data for faster analytics.

Because of the explosive growth of data it is more critical now than ever before that businesses have high-performance cost-effective data management systems.  New DB2 10 database software delivers up to 40 percent performance improvements while also providing 10 times more scalability to manage future growth.

This translates into more efficient use of systems resources and cost savings for System z servers, including the recently introduced zEnterprise System. .

As one of the world’s most successful car manufacturers, the BMW Group is at the forefront of automotive innovation. DB2 for z/OS plays a key role in managing the company’s global supply chain from manufacturing to managing third party suppliers and producing custom-ordered parts.

BMW has been evaluating DB2 10 on System z and is already seeing significant performance improvements of many of these critical production workloads. According to BMW, they have measured an almost 40% reduction in processing power required for insert-intensive workloads for their data, which translates directly to lower costs for their IT department.  Also, the reduction in time to process critical supply chain data helps BMW deliver its parts even more efficiently to its customers.

Fueling the Analytics Engine With Trusted Data

The new version of InfoSphere Information Server 8.5 acts as the data backbone for organizations, integrating all relevant data resources and governing the quality and completeness of information.

For instance, new pop-up menus integrate data quality and lineage information directly into business applications so users can monitor the quality of their data before they use it. In addition, new quality capabilities improve how data is standardized and combined, making it easier to integrate diverse sources of information into a single view.

For example, a business with operations in multiple countries can now easily integrate customer data across systems in multiple languages and ensure it adheres to consistent name and address standards.

As part of today’s news, IBM is showcasing a technology preview of its InfoSphere BigInsights portfolio running on IBM’s commercial Development & Test Cloud and launching the beta program for the same software in on premise deployments.

Invented by IBM researchers and software developers and powered by Apache Hadoop, an open source technology designed for analysis of big volumes of data, IBM’s Big Insights portfolio helps organizations analyze and visualize petabyte sized quantities of structured and unstructured data.

The preview highlights the benefits of a test cloud development model including simplicity of set up, straight forward cost structure and lack of infrastructure changes.

Having this software on the IBM Cloud environment makes it simple for an organization to get started with Big Data analytics and determine how they can best use big data before bringing the actual deployment in house for operations on sensitive data. By simply adding their test data to the cloud they can get started with Big Data analytics and show the long term benefits of enterprise Hadoop deployments.

IBM continues to expand its multi-billion dollar investment in the business analytics and optimization market.  Over the past five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in 24 analytics acquisitions. And there are more than 7,000 IBM business consultants dedicated to analytics.

Written by turbotodd

October 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Rodeo Clowning At IOD 2010

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Well, I arrived in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday afternoon for this year’s IBM Information on Demand event, which I can say with some comfort is looking to be the most well attended ever.

Rumor has it that the last couple of weeks floods of new registrants came streaming in (that’s a technical term typically referring to data streaming, but in this case referring to streams of new IOD registrants), but word also has it we’ll be able to accommodate all the latecomers.

As fate would have it, I arrived in Vegas only to discover that the Professional Bull Riders World Finals were being held this past few days, and being from Texas, I’m all about the rodeo.  I even went to rodeo school once upon a time.

But I came to my senses and learned how to make computers work, and, well, here I am.

Consider me your IOD 2010 rodeo clown.  I won’t be wearing any lipstick or rubber noses, and I won’t be hiding out in any barrels.

But it is the rodeo clown’s job to keep the cowboys on the right track and out of harm’s way, so I will do my level best to keep you on the straight and narrow.  Meanwhile, if you’ve never had the opportunity to see a lone mortal ride one of these massive beasts, here’s some video highlights from the PBR finals.

As for today’s schedule, well, let’s get the most important details out there first: Other than the PBR finals starting at 11:30 at the Thomas and Mack Center, IOD lunch is being served at noon.

Our Business Partner forum got underway at 8:30 this morning, and this evening, we’ll be hosting the Business Partner Awards Reception from 7:00-9:30 PM.

For those not in the Partner camp, know that the EXPO Grand Opening is from 6:00-8:00PM, and various Community Receptions from 8:00-10:00PM.  Check your pocket calendar for locations, and keep an eye on the video screens throughout the Mandalay Bay for location and scheduling updates.

Finally, if you want to hang on for the full eight seconds (which is how long the bull rider has to hang on for his ride to be scored), keep an eye on Twitter ID @iodgc2010, where you’ll see the official latest and greatest from the event.

And of course, don’t forget our own IOD Social Media buzz booster, where voices from across the conference will be streamed (there’s that word again) into a single queue you can make some sense out of.

Enjoy your Sunday in Vegas and get plenty of rest tonight — the full IOD and Business Analytic 2010 rodeo kicks off early Monday morning.

PS Scott Laningham and I will be livecasting from the EXPO floor later today from 7-8 PM PST, speaking with IBM customers and partners alike (including IBM VP and CTO Anant Jhingran).  Tune in to www.livestream/ibmsoftware

Written by turbotodd

October 24, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Flying Pigs, Hotel Room Tigers, And IOD 2010 Useful Resources

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I was joking this morning that there are little flying pigs flying across the Austin skyline this morning.

Cute little flying ballerina pigs, with tu-tu’s and all, flying right in front of the Austin downtown skyline.

I say that because of the situation in the American league of Major League Baseball: It’s mid-October, and the Texas Rangers, who have never made it past a division series, much less showed up at a league championship series, are 3-1 against the New York Yankees, the best baseball team that money can buy (you heard me), two of the last three games of which were won in the Bronx.

Mind you, any other time I’d be rooting for the Yankees.  But not this year.  Not when the Texas Rangers actually got their act together and took it on the road.

Game 5 is today, in the Bronx, and it’s the Yankees last chance.  I wish them well.

I also wish I had my act together for the Information on Demand event starting this Sunday in Vegas.

I’ve been studying up, reading through the conference materials and briefing books, as I have the bandwidth. But quite frankly, it’s a whole bunch of stuff to get one’s head around, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So, I share your pain, but help is on its way.  In this blog post, I’m going to attempt to point you to a few tidbits I’ve found very helpful thus far, and expect to prove helpful on the ground in Vegas.

  1. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Website — All roads lead back to this Rome.  Or all roads leave Vegas and go to Rome.  Or something like that.  Anyway, start here, especially if you’re lost.
  2. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Smart Site — This is the Website where you keep your schedule, and, hopefully, your sanity.  For registered attendees only. (Mobile version here).
  3. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Conference Guide — Look, even Columbus had a map.  Well, for at least some of the way.  If you’re a man like me, this guide will take you are.   Not as far as Columbus, but at least through most of the Mandalay Bay.
  4. The IBM Information on Demand 2010 Agenda — Everybody needs an executive summary.  Life’s too short.  In fact, what are you doing reading this blog post, anyways? Okay, if you must. This is a top line “Agenda at a Glance.”  Be brief.
  5. The IBM Information on Demand Social Media Aggregator — This is a shameless plug to make sure you’re monitoring the firehose of information I’ll be contributing to the event. Me and a few thousand of my closest friends and colleagues. Consider this to be the downright virtual soul of IOD 2010.  You can’t be there in person?  Be there in spirit!  It’s all about your information management, soul, baby!  It’s Vegas. Get in the groove!…Okay, wait a minute, now, who took my velvet Elvis painting?!?
  6. IBM Information on Demand 2010 Pre-Conference Classes — My momma always told me, education is the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you.  Of course, that didn’t stop a bunch of punks from stealing my Ho-Ho’s on the playground during recess, but I digress.  These Sunday classes are intended to help you get your IOD experience off to a vigorous start and to keep you out of the casinos. Well, not completely out, because you have to sleep somewhere.  But…oh, go on, just get to class before I take your lunch money.
  7. IBM Information on Demand 2010 NetworkingIt’s okay, you don’t have to make any excuses.  We know this is really why you take a week off work, fly a couple thousand miles, and stay locked inside the Mandalay Bay biosphere day and night: To hang out and meet info management professionals from around the globe and to talk ACID (the DBMS rules, not the stuff from “Fear and Loathing”). For the Cognos-scenti, you have your own slate of networking, but be sure to mix it up with everybody — that’s why we invited you!

Okay.  Well, that’s about as comprehensive a list as I can find for now.  For “Lost and Found,” you’re entirely on your own.

I will say that this year, I, personally, plan on taking all those PDF files (the conference guide, the Expo guide, etc.), dropping them into Dropbox, and having them as resources available via the GoodReader app on my iPad.

So long as my iPad battery stays alive, I’ll never get lost at the Mandalay Bay again!

Finally…and I really don’t want to have to say this one twice…it is NOT NOT NOT appropriate to drug the tiger with “roofies” should you find said tiger in your bathroom after a long night of information management professional networking.

I know it’s tempting, but tigers get hangovers, too, and Mike Tyson ought not be anywhere near the scene, in any case.

Instead, shut the bathroom door, call security, and wait for the animal management professionals to arrive.

You’re an information management professional.  They do tigers, you do databases.

(If you have NO clue whatsoever to what that list bit was in reference to, you need to stop going to conferences (well, all but the IBM ones) and start having more cultural experiences, starting with the movies.

Four days and counting…

Written by turbotodd

October 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Intelligence Unleashed: One Week To IOD

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Speaking of connecting the dots and intelligence, I’m heading out this weekend to my fourth trip to blog and podcast from the IBM Information on Demand event.

Once again this year, the event will be held at the lovely Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, and latest word is we’re expecting over 9,000 people in attendance.

That’s a whole lot of Flying Elvi, and also a whole bunch of dots to connect.

Which is why this year’s theme is so key: Gain Insight, Optimize Results.

And which is also why we’re excited the Cognos Business Analytics forum will be held concurrent with IOD, and why everybody is excited about the pending, long-awaited announcement of Cognos 10.

I was briefed on the new Cognos portfolio last week from some folks in the Cognos know, and I would tell you what they told me, but then they’ll have me thrown off the top of the longtime Cognos HQ in Ottawa, and that’s a long drop, plus it’s cold, and I’m from Texas, so I’m keeping my mouth shut.

For now.

However, I am going to suggest you tune in to the IBM Business Analytics keynote by our business analytics general manager, Rob Ashe, on the morning of October 25.

You can find more details on that and Cognos 10 here.  That morning, you’ll get all the details on Cognos 10 and more.  Mark your calendars now!

As mentioned, I’ll be blogging the main sessions per usual, and developerWorks’ Scott Laningham and I are also going to be doing some live programming from the show floor this year.

We’ll be talking to a number of the featured subject matter experts speaking at IOD, and also generally just making a nuisance of ourselves.

Be sure to tune into the live stream so as not to miss us smacking any egg on our faces!  There’s nothing like the live Interwebs!

We’ll also have a number of subject matter expert colleagues of ours blogging again from the event, including the Energizer Bunny data expert Adam Gartenberg and digital Cognos know-it-all guru Delaney Turner.

Between they, Scott, and Jennifer Sussin, who helps us all maintain our social media scheduling sanity, we should have close to gavel-t0-gavel coverage.

All that, of course, does NOT include all the Tweeting, videocasting and blogging being done by our business partners, customers, analysts, and the major media.

Know that we look forward to it all, and to help you more carefully monitor the IOD 2010 firehouse (Twitter Hashtag: iodgc and baforum), we’ve pulled together the IOD 2010 Social Media Aggregator.

It’s a lot of information to keep it up with, I know, but that’s why Cognos is going to play such a key role on the information agenda moving forward: To help customers around the globe separate the wheat from the chaff, gain new business insights, and share those insights in their organization with the people who matter most.

We look forward to seeing you in Vegas or for hearing from you across cyberspace — I’ll be the one wearing the gold chains.

Written by turbotodd

October 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

The Hidden Side of Everything

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Okay, it’s Monday, and I want to welcome you back to the Turbo Monday edition of “Guess Who’s That Keynoter?”

For this particular edition, we’re going to jump ahead to the Information on Demand event being held in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada, in late October.

All our IBM conferences tend to be smokin’ hot good (and, I’ll even dare say it, fun), but the Information on Demand event holds a special place in my heart.

First, I’ve been attending and blogging at IOD since 2006.  There, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the coolest, smartest speakers and authors from across the landscape.

More importantly, I get to talk to so many of you, our customers.

This year’s not going to be any different.

But before we get to the keynote build up, let me tell you a few things about this year’s event.

First, we’re expecting some 9,000+ attendees.  Yes, IOD has gotten that big, but in this case, bigger is better, because we’re rolling our Business Analytics event (which Cognos once sponsored) under the IOD tent this year.

Second, this year we’ll be looking more holistically at what IBM and its partners bring to the Information on Demand table, including hardware, software, and services.

We also expect to have over 600 tech sessions, 160 Cognos and SPSS sessions, 11 industry-focused business and IT leadership sessions, 128 hands on labs, 300 customer speakers, and IBM’s largest exposition from all its events around the globe.

For 2010, we’ll also have two full days of business partner programs, and we’ll have our regular standard fare that you’ve asked to continue, including networking opportunities and 1-1s with IBM execs.

Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Now, back to the spotlight on our featured speakers.  They not only think out of the box — they don’t even know the box exists.  Because to acknowledge the box would be to acknowledge its limitations.

Like any good business analytics experts, they view the world through a very different lens by pointing out how numbers don’t lie, and, when carefully considered, can speak volumes to actual truths on the ground.

Do you know who they are yet?

If not, know their first unlikely collaboration resulted in an international bestseller. Its premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work…this book will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.


They went on to publish another best seller, and also to produce a podcast series on iTunes as well as a blog on The New York Times.

Okay, I’ll spare you the drum roll.  But I’m talking about Steven and Stephen, of course.

Steven D. Levitt, the professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and Stephen J. Dubner, an author and journalist living and working in New York City.

In their first tome, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economics Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, these two gentlemen delivered story after story that addressed ways to create behavior change and demonstrate what incentives work and what didn’t — with the research and data to back up their often controversial claims.

Hailed by critics and readers alike, the book went on to spend more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list, and has sold more than 4 million copies around the world in more than 30 languages.

Those are the kind of numbers that simply don’t lie.

This past October, they came out with their second book, Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance.

You can hear Steven and Stephen speak at Information on Demand, IBM’s Premier Forum for Information & Analytics, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center this October 24-28 in Las Vegas.  Visit here to get all the details and to register.

Meanwhile, whet your appetite for more from the Freakonomics guys by reading their blog.

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