Big Data & Analytics Summit

The second annual “Big Data & Analytics Summit Canada” recently took place in Toronto. The event showcased many interesting presentations on real world examples of analytics in organizations today as well as insights into new trends from academia and vendors.

During the summit, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on Agile Analytics. The panel consisted of internal IT representatives, integrators and solution vendors and provided a great 360 degree view of the topic.

We started the panel with a quick show of hands and found that although all attendees were involved in analytics (and about half are using Big Data tools for analytics) only a handful were using Agile.

Some great takeaways from the panel:

  • Agile and Analytics are a great match. The Agile methods lend themselves well to the iterative nature of the analytics process, and to the expectation of decision makers to get results quickly.
  • Agile Analytics allow Data Scientists to get feedback early – as Steve Holder from SAS put it “Fail Early, Fail often so you do not spend too much time on dead ends”
  • Agile methods are a catalyst for bringing Business and IT together. Agile allows IT to deliver what the Business needs sooner, build trust, and lay the groundwork for a collaborative engagement. This speaks directly to a recurring theme of the conference that it is imperative of IT and Business to work together closely to produce meaningful analytics that will deliver business value.

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