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11 Must-Attend Big Data Conferences For Data Analysts

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You could spend your time holed up in your office, reading endless blog posts and articles about business intelligence software and big data.

But that would be boring.

And while it’s one thing to be friendly to night janitors, they get a little creeped out when you’re there every night.

That’s why big data conferences, like the 11 listed below, are a great option to get you out of the office and into your industry.

Big Data Conferences

These events encourage networking and skill building with other members of the big data community. There are a ton of big data events, both in the United States and internationally, so I looked through the most popular to find the best ones.

If you want to give your career a boost, consider attending one of these events. They are arranged alphabetically.

1. Collision 2017

Location/Date:

New Orleans, May 2-4, 2017

Cost:

Tech Startup: $227

General Attendee: $680

Premium: $2,680

Platinum: $4,680

Collision 2017 bills itself as “America’s fastest growing tech conference.” Their speaker list certainly includes up-and-coming companies and people that mirror that dynamic claim. Stan Chudnovsky of Facebook, Miguel McKelvey of WeWork, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, are three of the more than 250 speakers.

Collision 2017 will also feature ALPHA, a startup showcase that also includes conference sessions, roundtables, and workshops with access to industry insiders. Applications for Alpha 2017 are closed, but the 2018 opportunity is definitely worth a look.

2. The Data Science Conference

Location/Date:

April 20-21, 2017, Chicago

September 20-21, 2017, Seattle

May 3-4, 2018, Chicago

Cost:

Single Pass: $1,350

Discount Pass (2 Attendees): $1,200

Discount Pass (3 Attendees): $1,100

Discount Pass (Single-Other): $1,000

If you’d prefer to avoid the corporate character of a lot of conferences, The Data Science Conference is for you. There are no vendors, sponsors, or recruiters allowed. There are, however, a fantastic range of speakers from some of those big companies, like Alessandro Panella of Facebook and David Smith of Microsoft. The sessions cover a broad range of topics, from “User Centered Design in Data Science” to “Making AI Easy with Cognitive Models and Intelligent Bots.”

3. Disney Data And Analytics Conference

Location/Date:

August 23-24, 2017, Disney World, Orlando

Cost:

Early Bird: $1,895 through July 3, 2017

Groups (3+): $1,695 per person

Regular admission: $2,395 per person

Keynote speakers haven’t been announced yet, but the conference itself draws “over 1,300 executives, managers, and analysts representing over 135 companies and universities,” so they probably won’t have a problem landing decent speakers. A number of the speakers will be from Disney itself, and given how much data pours into the company, it’s hard not to be curious about what they’re doing with it.

Also, they’re using the font from the Haunted Mansion ride, and if that’s not a draw, you must not like happiness.

4. DataWorks Summit

Location/Date:

San Jose, June 13-15, 2017

Sydney, Australia, September 20-21, 2017

Cost:

Early Bird: from $1,390 to $3,190

Standard: from $1,500 to $3,300

Onsite: from $1,750 to $3,350

If you’re saddened by the rebranding of Strata+Hadoop World to Strata Data Conference, perk up: Hadoop’s got two shindigs of its own. There are DataWorks Summits being held in San Jose and Sydney, Australia later this year, on June 13-15 and September 20-21, respectively. The conferences will feature recruitment sessions, a daily community showcase, and breakout sessions and crash courses every day.

Breakout sessions are divided into eight tracks: Applications, Enterprise Adoption, Data Processing and Warehousing, Apache Hadoop (of course), Governance and Security, IoT and Streaming, Cloud and Operations, and Apache Spark and Data Science. These breakouts will give conference-goers a new vantage point on any of the eight tracks, offering case studies, speakers, success stories and more.

5. IBM World of Watson

Location/Date:

Las Vegas, October 29-November 2, 2017

Cost:

Registration info not yet available

IBM World of Watson hasn’t announced their 2017 speakers yet, but last year’s lineup suggests that 2017 won’t disappoint. 2016’s keynote speaker was Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, and other speakers were of similarly impressive backgrounds. Stewart Butterfield (co-founder of Slack and Flickr) spoke on using bots to improve productivity, and Mary Barra (Chairman/CEO of General Motors) spoke on using Watson in her attempts to create consumer-driven products at the automotive giant.

Sessions covered everything from business analytics to enterprise content management. Even in 2016’s Analytics for Business track alone, there were 86 different sessions to choose from, from using IBM Cognos to build applications, to using data to change how compliance departments operate in a regulation-heavy atmosphere.  

6. International Conference On Data Mining

Location/Date:

New Orleans, November 18-21, 2017

Cost:

Registration info not yet available

The ICDM is a premiere event for anyone involved in data mining. The keynote speakers, a trio of academic heavyweights and an international global public health expert, promise to deliver a wealth of knowledge and experience about getting information out of data.

The paper submission deadline is June 5, so if you’ve got an idea, you’ve still got time to polish that proposal. Likewise, the ICDM is still accepting tutorial proposals until July 13. The full schedule isn’t up yet, but you still have the opportunity to help make it.

7. Innovation Enterprise Summits

Innovation Enterprise puts on so many conferences per year, they get their own section. They hold overall Big Data & Analytics summits, and also have specialized summits on big data and analytics in banking, marketing, pharma, and retail.

Location/Date:

Big Data Innovation Summit, April 19-20, San Francisco

Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit, April 26-27, Hong Kong, China

Big Data and Analytics in Healthcare Summit, May 15-16, Philadelphia

Business Analytics Innovation Summit, May 15-16, Chicago

Big Data and Analytics for Retail Summit, June 7-8, Chicago

Big Data and Analytics for Pharma Summit, June 8-9, Philadelphia

Big Data and Analytics for Marketing Summit, June 12-13, London

HR and Workforce Analytics Summit, June 19-20, San Francisco

Big Data and Analytics for Banking Summit, July 11-12, Melbourne, Australia

Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit, September 6-7, Shanghai

Big Data Innovation Summit, September 7-8, Boston

Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit, September 13-14, Sydney, Australia

Big Data and Analytics for Pharma Innovation, October 18-19, San Francisco

Big Data and Analytics for Retail Summit, October 18-19, San Francisco

Big Data and Analytics for Financial Services Summit, October 18-19, San Francisco

Big Data and Analytics for Pharma Summit, November 1-2, Philadelphia

Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit, November 2-3, London

Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit, November 22-23, Beijing

Big Data and Analytics for Banking Summit, December 6-7, New York

Big Data and Analytics for Marketing Summit, December 7-8, New York

Innovation Enterprises summits field some of the biggest names in the business. Here are some of the speakers for April’s Big Data Summit alone:

  • Raghu Ramakrishnan, Microsoft CTO
  • Ritesh Agrawal, Uber, Lead Intelligent Infrastructure Systems
  • Blake Irvine, Manager, Device Analytics, Netflix
  • Beena Ammanath, Executive Leader, Data and Analytics, GE
  • Valentino Tereshko, Big Data Lead, Office of CTO, Google
  • Ashish Bansal, Senior Director, Data Science, Captial One

If you want to get an idea of what the big players in the data and analytics space are up to, any one of the Innovation Enterprises conferences would be a great choice. And if you’re not sure you can get the money for a ticket, check out IE’s “convince your boss” page. Now THAT’S marketing.

8. Predictive Analytics World 2017

Location/Date:

San Francisco (PAW Business and PAW Workforce), May 14-18

Chicago (Business and Manufacturing), June 19-22

London (Business), October 11-12

New York (Business, Financial, Healthcare) October 29-November 2
Berlin (Business) November 13-14

Washington, D.C. (PAW Government), Q1 2018 (dates TBA)

Cost:

PAW Business: from $1,950 to $4,250

PAW Financial: TBA

PAW Healthcare: TBA

PAW Workforce: from $1,950 to $4,250

PAW Manufacturing: from $1,950 to $4,250

PAW Government: TBA

Add image “predictive analytics world logo”

Predictive Analytics runs two types of conferences: PAW Business, which focuses on broader topics like using Hadoop in predictive analytics and overviews of good and bad modeling methods, and market-specific conferences for the government, financial, healthcare, workforce, and manufacturing industries.

This is also the only conference I’ve found that has its own music video, all about predictive analytics. It’s worth watching, if for no other reason than it has the line “who’s your data,” and the fact that the performer can actually do that Michael Jackson leg-sideways-thingy. Also, you’ll feel really uncomfortable.

9. Strata+Hadoop World/Strata Data Conference

Location/Date:

London, May 22-25, 2017

Beijing, July 12-15, 2017

New York, September 25-28, 2017

Singapore, December 4-7, 2017

San Jose, March 5-8, 2018

Cost:

Through May 21, London passes are 1,595, 1,295 and 1,045 pounds.

Through May 5, Beijing passes are 7,379, 6,029, 4,451 and 3,369 Yuan/Reminbi.

Prices not yet available for other conferences.

Since this year’s Strata+Hadoop World just passed, I’d like to tell you to be on the lookout for 2018’s conference. Too bad it technically doesn’t exist anymore.

That’s right, the venerable Strata+Hadoop has been rechristened the Strata Data Conference (hey, it rhymes). What about the Hadoop half? If you’re looking for Hadoop, you’ll have to attend the DataWorks Summit covered above.

There are Strata Data World Conferences in London, Beijing, New York, Singapore and San Jose. The last two, Singapore and San Jose, haven’t even started accepting calls for papers yet. The theme for the upcoming conferences, “Make Data Work,” corresponds to the reason behind the conference’s’ name change. Data’s now bigger than the tool (Hadoop, or whatever else you’re using).

Registration isn’t open yet for New York, Singapore or San Jose. You can sign up at those conference pages to be alerted when registration opens, or when the call for papers is announced.

10. TDWI Big Data And Analytics Events

Location/Date:

Conferences:

TDWI Chicago Conference/Leadership Summit, May 7-12, 2017

TDWI Anaheim Conference/Leadership Summit, August 6-11, 2017

TDWI Seattle Accelerate, October 16-18, 2017

TDWI Orlando Conference/Leadership Summit, December 3-8, 2017

Solution Spotlights:

Developing a Strategy for Advancing Faster with Big Data Analytics, March 23, Seattle

Seminars:

Dimensional Modeling and Data Asset Management, May 22-24, Atlanta

Business Intelligence and Analytics Essentials, June 12-14, Dallas

Data Quality and Governance, Septemer 18-20, Boston

Data Modeling, Data Quality and Governance, October 2-4, Toronto

Dimensional Data Modeling, October 23-25, New York

Cost:

Unless you’re a TDWI member, you can’t see the price yet.

TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute, or “Transforming Data With Intelligence,” as their website now calls them) holds several major events a year, divided into Conferences, Leadership Summits, Seminars, and Solution Spotlights.

This year, there will be conferences in Chicago, Anaheim, Seattle, and Orlando. TDWI’s Conferences are educational opportunities with a diverse range of courses on everything “data science, analytics, data management, governance and more.” The agenda for Chicago looks like a data geek’s dream, with sessions from beginning topics (“Principles of BI Design”) to more advanced subjects (“Data Management Best Practices for Predictive Analytics”).

11. useR

Location/Date:

July 4-7, Brussels, Belgium

Cost:

Industry members: 650

Academics: 375

Students: 125

useR is the international conference for data analysts who use R (a programming language frequently used in big data analytics because of its ability to handle graphs and statistics).

The conference is pretty open about presentation topics, so long as the topics are “R-related” (get it?). Talks are divided into focus/kaleidoscope sessions (15-20 minutes) and lightning talks (5 minutes). The call for abstracts is currently closed, but you can still register to attend useR.

With sessions like “R tools for the analysis of complex heterogenous data” and “Structural equation modeling,” you won’t want to miss useR.

What Top Big Data Conferences Did I Miss?

Are there any upcoming big data conferences that you’re excited about, either listed here or not? Are you planning on sharing a paper, leading a session, or speaking at one of these upcoming conferences? Either way, let me know in the comments below!

Looking for Business Intelligence software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Business Intelligence software solutions.

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About the Author

Geoff Hoppe

Geoff Hoppe writes content for Capterra. His background is in education and higher ed, but he’s interested in pretty much any field you can name. If you’re a company that offers field service management software, feel free to email him or tweet at him @CapterraGeoff. When he’s not reading and writing about field service management, he’s probably reading and writing about history, music and comic books, finding new hikes throughout Virginia, or following the Fighting Irish.

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