Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware business_analytics iod11 | 0 Comments | 1,729 Visits
We're heading into the home stretch before Information On Demand (you have registered, right?), so I'm sharing a few of my favorite blog posts to help frame the discussions at the premier conference for IT and business professionals. Feel free to bookmark, read and add to your own social media reading list. Also, feel free to comment on or disagree with these posts right here, as each is bound to raise a hackle or two.
1. GOOD Magazine: The Data Issue: GOOD calls itself an "integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good" and "a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward." Its latest issue looks at areas of our lives that aren't typically associated with (or driven by) data and finds some surprising insights. Yes, data is everywhere and facts can be comforting, but when it comes to our own lives, it's the questions we ask ourselves that lead to true wisdom. As illustrator Andrew Kuo writes: When we search the numbers, we find reflections of ourselves, glimmers of the world we live in and the lives we lead. We may learn immense amounts from this data, but make no mistake: Our search is what gives it meaning. In The Information Arms Race, William Wheeler explores the increasingly effective use of microtargeting in political campaigns, as well as the repercussions for democratic debate. The issue is also chock full of of cheeky infographics and gets meta on data with a chart entitled "Which kinds of people like which charts?"
2. Numerati Baseball = Rope-a-dope, by Stephen Baker: Is winning boring? I suppose entertaining the fans is a secondary concern when you're buried beneath "fifty feet of crap," as Oakland As' manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) observes in the movie trailer below. Still, Baker (author of The Numerati, chronicler of the Watson story and a baseball fan himself) considers the implications of the analytical approach on the length of the average baseball game and its effect on the effect on viewer patience: I love baseball, and I defend it stoutly against all those who complain that it's boring. But anyone who can sit through a Yankees-Red Sox game without a fast-forward button deserves some kind of medal ... For someone who is not passionate about the Yankees or the Red Sox, it was torturous. The game dragged on for 4 hours and 21 minutes. What's your take on taking a lot more walks? Moneyball pioneer Billy Beane and Moneyball author Michael Lewis will share share their take on the analytical approach to wining an unfair game when they share the stage as our keynote speakers.
3. Desert Island Datasets: Over on The Guardian's Datablog, Charles Arthur plays with the "Desert Island Album" concept to datasets by asking, "Which set of open data would you like to get from the UK government so as to have the maximum impact on the open data movement?" Arthur's goal is twofold: first, to protect and advance the open data movement overall, and second, to focus on those datasets that can make the biggest improvement in public policy: I recently met some people inside government who are trying to push the open data idea, of getting anonymised, publicly-collected data out there for developers to be able to build applications which will have both financial and societal benefits. It is taken seriously at the top levels of government; they aren't just paying it lip service. The problem though is that there's only so much time available to anyone to push the agenda through.
Bonus feature: IOD Housekeeping Details
A few details to keep in mind as you prep your week and pack your bags:
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  iod11 business_analytics | 0 Comments | 542 Visits
Business analytics, meet the blogosphere.
Blogosphere, meet business analytics.
I’m sure you’ll have lots to talk about.
It's a conversation that's long overdue and if you’re at all interested in getting in on it, I strongly suggest adding a few sessions from the Social Media & Customer Analytics track at Business Analytics Forum. It’s a new track this year, and – full disclosure here – the one I’m most interested in covering. Social media activity is driving explosive growth rates in unstructured data. And whether you’re working for a restaurant chain, a fashion brand or global technology vendor - you need to make sense of it all if you're going to stay in the game. These largely technical sessions will help IT professionals understand our current offerings (including IBM Cognos Consumer Insight, IBM SPSS Modeler and IBM Coremetrics) and how business professionals can use them to create more targeted marketing strategies, build predictive models that reduce churn and that ultimately transform all that unruly data into actionable insights.
Like business intelligence, all over again
Your reasons for pursuing a social analytics strategy should be a lot like the ones you used to pursue business intelligence in the first place: too much data in too many places that take too long to report on, for too little insight. The only difference is that now, all the data lies on the other side of the firewall. And much like your first business intelligence deployment revealed opportunities to cut costs, boost revenue and manage risk, your social analytics deployment will help you build a strategy to analyze sentiment, identify influencers and turn customers' frowns upside down.
The full track session listing starts on page 46 of your Business Analytics Forum Guide, but I’ve provided a few highlights below. Feel free to add them to your SmartSite Agenda Builder today:
While we're on the topic of social networks, don't forget to expand your own network in person while you're there:
if you can’t wait until October and would like a head start, why not sign up for our August 25 Webcast? It’s called “Making Chatter Matter: Monetizing Social Media Through Analytics.” It features Don Pepper and Graham Mackintosh and it will show you how to move from seeing social media as a “shiny object” toward an integrated element of your customer interaction strategy.
We’re less than two weeks away from the IOD Early Bird deadline of Aug. 31. Ready to register? Click here.
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  iod11 business_analytics | 0 Comments | 917 Visits
You can learn by listening, learn by watching or learn by doing.
Or, you can go to Information On Demand 2011 and do all three.
Once again, IOD offers an abundance of learning opportunities to help you increase your product knowledge, sharpen your professional skills and get the information you need to solve problems or move your project forward. I've scanned the Business Analytics Forum Guide (BA Forum being a major component of IOD 2011) to highlight 10 ways you can come back from Vegas much better equipped to turn insight into action. Some of the opportunities are located in the EXPO, others are breakout sessions that you'll need to schedule in your Agenda Builder.
1. Play in the Usability Sandbox: Share your experience to shape product direction. Test-drive new prototypes and meet with our usability experts in small-group design review and feedback sessions. You'll also have the chance to vote on and prioritize use requirements. This year's sessions include Dashboarding (BGN-1545), Mobile BI (BGN-1549). Advanced Data Modeling (BGN-1550) and Social Networking Analytics (BGN-1554). See page 67 of the Business Analytics Forum Guide for a full list.
2. Learn to better navigate IBM Support: New this year, our "Navigating IBM" drop-in area lets you talk one-on-one with subject matter experts who can guide you through the programs, processes, policies and systems you need to use for Support and Training. We've geared these sessions to focus on increasing your satisfaction with demonstrations and discussions focused on online support and knowledge resources, searching and enrolling in training, Web IDs and IBM Customer Numbers (ICNs) and using the support request tool. You'll find it in the EXPO.
3. Drop in on our Demo Theaters: These 30-minute sessions help you lean more about topics that might not be covered in full breakout sessions. Join our product managers as they guide you through new solutions and little-known product features in IBM Cognos 10, IBM Cognos TM1, IBM SPSS Decision Management and more.
4. Labs! Labs! Labs!
Our Hands-on Labs feature experienced professional instructors providing classroom-quality training. Each three-hour session takes you on a deep dive directly into a specific product to give you a greater understanding of its features and potential. Many of the nearly 20 sessions at this year's event were suggested by last year's attendees. Titles include Foundations of Predictive Analytics: IBM SPSS Statistics (BGN-3469), New Self-Serve Reporting Capabilities in IBM Cognos BI (BGN-3632) and Advanced Generated SQL Concepts and Complex Queries (BGN-3696). See page 63 of your Business Analytics Forum Guide for the full list and be sure to add these sessions to your Agenda Builder.
Our Products Lab lets you test drive our products at your own pace and on your own schedule with step-by-step instructions and direct input from product experts who are always on-hand. You'll find it in the EXPO and you can drop in any time.
Also in the EXPO, our Services and Education Lab lets you explore our training options, discover our new new approaches and work one-on-one with our consulting services team. Discover how to share your knowledge with your team back home with Web-based training courses, self-paced virtual classroom options, IBM Cognos embedded learning videos and instructor-led online training. Drop in whenever, no need to book.
5. Take advantage of pre-conference training: Get a head start on the conference with two full days of hands-on training specially priced for Forum attendees. This year's sessions include Professional Report Authoring (B51C9), Automated Data Mining (0ACG2), Data Management and Manipulation (0G5C9) and Authoring Reports with Multidimensional Data (B51C1). See page 18 of your Forum Guide for more.
6. Get certified for free: Save up to $600 by taking three IBM Software Certification exams at no charge, and take as many more as you'd like for 50 percent off the normal fee. Certification exams are available throughout the conference and a full list of certification exams is available here.
7. Boost your business leadership skills in our Business Leadership Forum: An industry-specific program for executives, managers and decision-makers. We've put together a rich curriculum of customer case studies, panel discussions and industry solution overviews focused on resolving key business challenges. Choose from 34 sessions exploring operational efficiency, customer and financial analytics, risk and compliance. Session titles include "How Banks Can Improve Customer-Centricity with Advanced Customer Customer Profitability Analytics" (LFM-2609), "Driving B2B Sales with Predictive Analytics" (LSA-2268), "Fighting Fraud in Government Services" (LGV-1999) and "Getting Business Value from IBM Watson" (LSA-3008). See page 54 of your Forum Guide for a full list.
8. Have lunch with your peers: Our "Birds of a Feather" lunches let you discuss your challenges, strategies and successes with people just like you in a relaxed and informal setting. This year's topics include BI and Cloud Computing, Professional Report Authoring, Predictive Analytics, Statistics and Support. Our Industry Lunches let you discuss the challenges you're facing and the strategies you're using to resolve them. Whether you're in Banking, Retail, Healthcare or Manufacturing, these lunches are also a great way to reconnect with friends and expand your network with new contacts.
9. Talk to Support: Schedule time with an IBM Cognos or SPSS technical product expert for 30 minutes of one-on-one attention to resolve your toughest technical challenges. These experts have deep expertise within and across our Business Analytics product portfolio, so nothing is off-limits. Just be sure to indicate the issue and/or product you'd like to discuss. Previous topics have included Integrating BI with Active Directory authentication, Recommendations for fail-over while building cubes and Predictive modeling tips, techniques and best practices.
10. Schedule a workshop: This year's event offers a wide range of in-person and interactive workshops. You'll work in small groups with experienced IBM subject matter experts to boost your Analytics Quotient (BAW-3805), explore a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BAW-3808), or become a Value Integrator in Finance (BAW-3807). A full list is on page 60 of your Forum Guide.
In my next post, I'll be looking at the Social Media and Customer Analytics Track - the newest addition to the Business Analytics Forum curriculum. For more information about IOD overall, click here. To register with the $300 Early Bird discount, click here.
Delaney Turner 270003RQ8K Delaney.Turner@ca.ibm.com | | Tags:  ibmsoftware business_analytics iod11 | 1 Comments | 749 Visits
1. If you write a book about analytics, they’ll make a movie about you. It may even star Brad Pitt: For the second year in a row, the event’s keynote speakers are co-authors of a famous book about analytics. Last year, the unlikely duo of “Dubner and Levitt” recounted their insights from the world of Freakonomics. Hollywood made that book into a documentary. This year, IOD welcomes Billy Beane and Michael Lewis of Moneyball fame. Beane, you may recall, was the general manager of the perennially cash-strapped Oakland A’s baseball team who found a new (and controversial) way to win by analyzing player statistics that other teams both overlooked and undervalued. A bestselling author, Lewis transforms a discussion about sports stats into an exploration of the nature of talent and how to identify it to maintain your competitive edge. Hollywood made Moneyball into a movie, too. Here's the preview:
2. You’ll find ways to boost your AQ, guaranteed: This year we’re offering 200 breakout sessions across five distinct tracks covering business intelligence, delivering customer success, financial and risk analytics, predictive and advanced analytics and new this year, social media and customer analytics. Many of the breakout sessions are led by our customers who are eager talk about their own journeys to better business outcomes. Listen, learn and take your next steps toward a higher level of analytics maturity. Not sure about your AQ? Take our quiz before you leave for Vegas.
3. There are precisely 46 days left to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount: Actually, it’s less than that. Take away the 12 weekend days when you’re unlikely to be at your desk, there are in fact 34 days. Of course, you can register after Aug. 31, but why pay more? Click here for registration info.
4. You can save another $100 off your registration with a single tweet: Yes, it is just that simple. Follow @IODGC2011 and tweet with the hashtag #IOD11 and we’ll send you a code through direct Twitter message (That is, if you’re OK with us following you as well).
5. You can get IBM-certified for free: Take up to three IBM software certification exams at no charge and take as many more as you’d like at half-price. You’ll save $100 per exam and come home with certificates suitable for framing.
6. Information On Demand boasts IBM’s largest EXPO. Explore more than 300 exhibitors, meet with IBM experts and see hands-on demonstrations to see what’s possible with our software, get answers to your toughest questions and try the latest products that until now you’ve only heard about. There's lots more about the EXPO here.
7. It’s not just for Business Analytics: Information on Demand 2011 is also home to Information Management and Enterprise Content Management Forums, with in-depth introductions to IBM solutions for data management, enterprise content management, information integration, master data management and data warehousing. These capabilities are fundamental to successful analytics deployment, so be sure to attend some of their breakout sessions or demo peds as well.
8. It’s even better when you bring your team: Attend with your colleagues to maximize your learning and professional networks. Divide and conquer when you can’t decide between sessions. See more of the EXPO and get more of your team excited about what’s possible with IBM solutions. Collaborate on alibis if necessary. Plus, sign up six of your colleagues and the seventh conference pass is on us! Contact the IOD 2011 Event Team for more information on our company pass discounts.