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May 28, 2014

First Day at Predictive Analytics World in San Francisco

Wow! Attendance is up to more than 500 at Predictive Analytics World (PAW) — and Predictive Analytics Summit, a new predictive analytics conference, was just held in San Diego a few weeks ago. Such growing interest in predictive analytics (a topic that is really all about value creation) is great to see. PAW is co-located with eMetrics and Marketing Optimization with overall attendance somewhere around 1,500. The number of sponsors has increased as well; many of them are SAS partners, which is also nice to see.

Highlights from the day:

  • It's always good to see how Eric Siegel sets the tone for PAW with his keynote — very nice.
  • John Elder’s talk had the expected level of wisdom and good humor.
  • While I didn’t get to attend many talks, the interactions with partners (INFORMS, Teradata, Deloitte, International Institute of Analytics and others) and the many conference attendees was interesting and enjoyable.
  • It has been many years since I’ve seen Arnie Goodman, who co-founded the journal Statistical Analysis and Data Mining, now in its fourth year. It is truly inspiring to see such a long and active career!
  • I had the pleasure of meeting Kaiser Fung, author of Numbers Rule Your World (great book!), Senior Director of Strategic Analytics at Sirius Satellite Radio and a keynote speaker at last year's JMP Discovery Summit. He has a workshop today that I am looking forward to attending.
  • The practitioners at PAW have a challenge to do all that they do and keep up with the changes affecting them on all fronts: people, process, technology. In past talks and writings, I’ve made the point that technology is relatively fast-changing while we people are often not. We are delighted when we can update old perceptions and show the art of the possible in a way that excites these many talented practitioners. New things that are especially well-received are some of the fraud capabilities including social network analysis as well as some of the exposure to JMP Pro, which is relatively new from the JMP division and also part of the SAS Predictive Analytics Suite. Of course, some of the not-so-new things they didn’t know about are also well-received!

    Most attendees use or have used several languages and analysis products; multiple paradigms are needed to solve problems and reveal opportunities efficiently and effectively in our increasingly complex world. There are many R users here who have been pleased to see that JMP integrates with R — the interactive visualization and analysis along with the speed of in-memory 64-bit computing is a nice extension to what many already do with R.

    Things I am looking forward to today: Of course, the keynotes from Andreas Weigend and Tom Davenport, the panel, Kaiser’s workshop and more interactions. I hope to get to some of the talks as well, but as usual with concurrent tracks, deciding which ones is tough with so many good choices!