1. So this is happening! It’s a conference, it’s in San Diego in March, it’s being chaired by me and I also came up with the, I guess, vision for it.

    I’m going to write a lot about this, it’s fair to warn you. I might get another blog to do it on. The conference will, I hope, be great. The idea is to do a conference where researchers and analysts and big data people flirt and fight and have fun. We are looking for papers - you can find out how to submit one at the link. We’re also looking for exhibitors etc. but the fantastic people at the American Marketing Association are handling that.

    Many more details to come, but here’s something I wrote when I initially got the ‘brief’, so to speak.

    A lot of conferences work by giving the visitor an insanely wide choice of things to do – one of the ones you sent me had something like THIRTEEN TRACKS! – and essentially hoping some of it will stick. Others work by having a vision and making sure people leave energised and excited by it.

    I’d hope we’d be in the vision camp. Not least because this is something of a metaphor for how data and analytics work in the big data era: you can set your filters to open and drown in stuff or you can work to get at the story.

    So what’s our vision? I’d suggest “the human edge of analytics”.

    Why? Because the word “analytics” has quite comforting, technocratic overtones – “trust the numbers” and so on. For all the lunatic scale of big data, its manifestation in our world tends to be a dashboard – something familiar and rational.

    So it makes sense that the edge of analytics – the slightly uncomfortable part where the interesting things happen - isn’t just the latest technical frontier but also the places where this stuff meets more human areas.

     
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