Innovation, inspiration and practical intelligence: IBM Vision 2016

Director, Portfolio Marketing, IBM Analytics

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already heard about IBM Vision 2016—the premier global conference for finance, risk and sales performance management.

It starts with “why”…

What you may not know is why IBM Vision 2016 was created. The conference began more than five years ago as a focused event for finance, incentive compensation and risk professionals worldwide, enabling networking and sharing insights into today’s business challenges and solutions. At IBM Vision 2016, attendees meet with peers, solution experts and thought leaders over three information-packed days of presentations, interactive product demos and networking events. Together, we learn new ways to transform our professions and our companies, and outthink challenges both new and old.

…And builds with the “wow” and the “how”

When 96 percent of 2015 delegates surveyed say they would recommend Vision to their colleagues, they aren’t talking about eye care. Instead, it’s a sure bet that we’re doing something valuable. It’s something we love. We are also searching for that 4 percent that want to keep it a secret.

IBM Vision 2016 builds on this legacy of success, extending it into the new cognitive era. IBM Vision 2016 is about inspiration, innovation and sharing practical intelligence with your functional peers and business leaders.


At IBM Vision 2014, we were all inspired by Olympic athlete and double-amputee Aimee Mullins (@AimeeMullins), who shared with us her insights into achieving the impossible. Mullins’ talk about finding opportunity in adversity, insight into the way we label our challenges and how we can habituate adaptation and continuous innovation was breathtaking.

Aimee Mullins, OIympian, with the author at IBM Vision 2014 

IBM Vision 2016 continues that inspiration. Guest speaker, Lisa Bodell (@LisaBodell), award-winning futurist and best-selling author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution (Bibliomotion, 2012), shares her insights into driving change and innovation in business today.

Lisa Bodell, futurist and guest speaker at IBM Vision 2016


Innovation was a key theme last year at IBM Vision 2015, where Jordan Ellenberg (@JSEllenberg) delivered one of the most high-energy talks by a math professor and best-selling author I’ve ever seen. Ellenberg shared his innovative rationale on mathematical thinking as a super power for business management. He argued that despite the popular cultural allure of “daring greatly” and “it is not the critic who counts” (Theodore Roosevelt, 1910), we can quantify what we do know, and the precise amount by which we don’t know, through mathematics. We can all be critics that count. Ellenberg also invited us to consider that “math and analysis have to take uncertainty and not to shrug but to make uncertainty powerful. Something we can use. Not yes, not no, but I don’t know…and this is the precise numerical extent to which neither of us knows.” 

Indeed. We don’t all have to be critics, but when we are, we should be critics who count.

Jordan Ellenberg, thought leader at IBM Vision 2015 

At IBM Vision 2016, we are extending this legacy of innovation with a range of sessions that examine in detail how advanced analytics and cognitive computing are helping to transform and drive business growth:

  • General session: Outthink Limits—watch it live on IBMGO
  • A Cognitive Approach to Regulatory Compliance, in collaboration with Deloitte
  • New Strategies to Boost Sales Performance with IBM Watson Analytics and IBM Incentive Compensation Management

Practical intelligence

IBM Vision 2016 is not only about inspiration and the latest innovations in information technology. It is also focused on the practical intelligence in applying these new analytics to drive business performance for financial, incentive compensation and risk professionals. 

At IBM Vision 2015, we saw an amazing presentation into how analytics, real-time analytics from embedded sensors and micro-weather forecasts can optimize performance outcomes with the story of ultracyclist Dave Haase’s use of IBM analytics to drive his success in the 3,000-mile, nonstop bike race known as Race Across America.

Dave Haase, elite endurance athlete at IBM Vision 2015

IBM Vision 2016 continues our commitment to sharing practical intelligence into the application of advanced analytics on your cognitive journey—which is a lot easier than riding a bike for nearly nine days straight on just 14 hours of sleep: 

I have so many more happy memories from IBM Vision of authors, luminaries and mentors, including Michael Mauboussin (@mjmauboussin), Harry Kraemer Jr. (@HarryKraemerJr) and Mark Broadie (@MarkBroadie). I hope you will indulge me as I continue to share memories from times past on my social channels (you can follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter using the links in my byline above).

Expect IBM Vision 2016 to be the best yet

Vision 2016 builds on the Vision tradition…and takes things up a notch. It offers more than 150 elective sessions and workshops covering everything from the future of cloud and the cognitive era to the nuts and bolts of deploying IBM solutions. I am especially looking forward to our client panels. On the IBM Vision 2016 main stage, hear a lively panel discussion with these three IBM clients, who describe the real-world benefits that analytics have delivered to their organizations: 

  • John Hershberger, vice president, Enterprise Analytics Office, at USAA
  • Brian Stewart, vice president of global compensation, at Elavon
  • Cordell Sweeney, CFO at Pabst Brewing Company 

At this year's event, learn how to do things you didn’t know were possible. Whatever your level of familiarity with IBM software, you’ll find introductory, intermediate and advanced sessions to meet your needs.

Don’t wait—join us and see for yourself what IBM Vision 2016 has to offer. Only a few days remain before the start of IBM Vision 2016, so register today. You can also follow along throughout the duration of the conference by visiting IBMGO.