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Dear Annie Analytics: How can I keep up with analytics innovation?

Analytics Advisor, IBM

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/dearannie_analytics_blog.jpgDear Annie Analytics,

Lately I’ve become interested in analytics. I followed Dave Haase in the Race Across America, and read all of the content about his journey with IBM Analytics. After discovering how analytics is also providing businesses with a competitive advantage, I knew that I had to learn more. On the advice of several of my smart friends, I’ve been following the @IBMAnalytics Twitter handle to learn more about this fascinating area. But I must admit that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Although I’m sure analytics can help me in my business, analytics solutions seem to be available in more areas than ever. Who knew that there are comprehensive solutions for everything from sales performance management to insurance business intelligence? Besides following this Twitter handle, how can I learn more about what’s going on?

—Overwhelmed in Omaha
 

Dear Overwhelmed,

First of all, feeling overwhelmed by this topic is totally understandable. Innovation in analytics is moving at superfast speeds, and keeping up with everything can be quite challenging. Today, data volumes are increasing at an exponential rate—many refer to these volumes as big data—thanks to social media and other forms of unstructured data, not to mention machine data. Given all this data, the need for top-notch analytics tools has never been stronger. Really, why capture and store all this data if it isn’t being used to help you make wiser decisions?

While IBM isn’t the only game in town, IBM is demonstrating a leading role in the analytics race. For example, IBM Watson Analytics blazed new ground in bringing easy-to-use analytics to a wider population than ever before. For the first time, you don’t need to be a data scientist or have advanced training to benefit from advanced analytics. Of course, you don’t need to be Dave Haase to see how analytics is transforming daily life. Retail, banking, insurance—even weather forecasting—all are being transformed by analytics.

If you want to learn more, why not take a break and check out the upcoming IBM Insight 2015 conference, 25–29 October 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada? It offers tremendous opportunities to hear business and technology leaders—even stars such as Ron Howard and Brian Grazer—talk about how analytics has enhanced their work and success.

Regardless of the business you are in, you’ll find a track of sessions at Insight 2015 that will match your interests. In each of the tracks, you’ll be able to choose from a number of sessions that take a deeper dive into a solution. You may be especially interested in the live demonstrations that will show how easy it is to gain the insights necessary to make wise decisions. You’ll even be able to take part in hands-on labs, where you can try the solutions yourself to see if the claims are real or hype.

And the best part of Insight 2015 is the opportunity to network with people in your industry who may have faced similar challenges and issues. You can connect with other businesspeople and analytics experts in many different areas. Register for this annual Insight 2015 event. It will keep you inspired throughout the coming year. Also, follow daily blog posts about the upcoming event and #IBMInsight on Twitter. These social media sites are a great way to join the conversation surrounding analytics of all kinds.

—Annie