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 engaged in your industry.
Big data conferences
These events encourage networking and skill building with other members of the big data community. There are lots of big data events, both in the United States and internationally, so I found the biggest and best-attended.
If you want to give your career a boost, consider attending one of these events. They are arranged alphabetically.
April 30-May 3, 2018; New Orleans, Louisiana
These are early bird prices; it does not specify when these rates will expire
Exhibition floor only: $700
Full attendee: $745
Collision 2018 bills itself as “America’s fastest growing tech conference.” While speakers haven’t been announced yet for 2018, 2017’s speaker list lived up to Collision’s self-billing. Stan Chudnovsky of Facebook, Miguel McKelvey of WeWork, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, were three of the more than 250 speakers. They weren’t the only ones involved in data, however: Suzy Deering of eBay, Alan Schaaf of Imgur, and Max Mullen of Instacart were also in attendance.
Collision 2018 will also feature ALPHA, a startup showcase that includes conference sessions, roundtables, and workshops with access to industry insiders. If you make it into Alpha 2018, you’ll get three tickets, along with the above benefits, for $895.
- May 3-4, 2018; Chicago, Illinois
- September 20-21, 2018; Chicago, Illinois
Prices below are in effect until February 1, 2018
Single pass: $1,150
Discount pass (2 attendees): $1,050
Discount pass (3 attendees): $950
If you’d prefer to avoid the corporate character of many 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 big companies. While speakers for 2018 haven’t been announced, last year brought speakers such as Alessandro Panella of Facebook and David Smith of Microsoft. The sessions covered a broad range of topics, from “User Centered Design in Data Science” to “Making AI Easy with Cognitive Models and Intelligent Bots.”
If you’re interested in being a speaker this year, check out the guidelines, and be aware that they finish booking three to four months out. And if you’re prepping, keep it short— the Data Science Conference prefers 20-minute presentations.
Date TBA; Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cost is TBA for 2018, but last year’s prices are below:
Early bird: $1,895
Groups (3+): $1,695 per person
Regular admission: $2,395 per person
Keynote speakers haven’t been announced for 2018 yet, but 2017 drew the sort of big names you’d expect Disney to get, such as Apple’s Steve Wozniak, Wounded Warrior Project CEO Michael Linnington, and Salesforce’s Arijit Sengupta.
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 this coming year. Odds are good that 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 use the font from the Haunted Mansion ride, and if that’s not a draw, you must not like happiness.
- April 16-19, 2018; Berlin, Germany
- June 17-21, 2018; San Jose, California
Prices are TBA for 2018, but last year’s prices are below:
Early bird: from $1,390 to $3,190
Standard: from $1,500 to $3,300
Onsite: from $1,750 to $3,350
The 2018 DataWorks Summits will feature recruitment sessions, a daily community showcase, and breakout sessions and crash courses every day.
Breakout sessions are divided into eight tracks: Data Warehousing and Operational Data Stores, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, Big Compute and Storage, Cloud and Operations, Governance and Security, Cyber Security, IoT and Streaming, and Enterprise Adoption. These breakouts will give conference-goers a new vantage point on any of the eight tracks, offering case studies, speakers, success stories, and more.
March 5-8, 2018; Grapevine, Texas
Early bird price (ends Jan. 13, 2018): $3,250
Regular price: $3,575
Public sector rate: $2,900
Why attend a Gartner summit? For one, if you speak data, you’re probably speaking Gartner’s dialect. The term “big data,” and its definition, were coined by the research firm. If you’ve recently heard the term “infonomics,” that’s also a concept that came from a Gartner analyst. In other words, attend a Gartner Summit if you’re interested in understanding how we understand data. As a disclaimer, I should mention that Capterra is owned by Gartner, but that doesn’t change the quality of the info you’ll get at the summit.
Featured speakers for the Gartner 2018 Summit include Gartner analysts such as Rita Sallam and Donald Feinberg. If you want a taste of the sort of expertise you’ll get from a Gartner speaker, take a look at the Q and A page with Gartner analyst Ted Friedman, another featured speaker at the 2018 conference.
March 19-22, 2018; Las Vegas, Nevada
Standard rate: $2,295
On-site rate: $2,395
One-day pass: $895
IBM’s World of Watson is now IBM Think. The conference covers five major topics—not just Watson, but also Cloud, Data, Security, and IoT.
2018’s speakers will include big names from IBM such as CEO Ginny Rometty and IBM director of research Arvind Krishna. There are more recognizable names, too, such as astronaut Mae Jemison and Khan Academy founder Sal Khan.
To give you some idea of the variety of subjects covered within those five main topics, consider how many issues are dealt with in the Data and Analytics track alone: business analytics and visualization, data science and advanced analytics, enterprise content management, enterprise performance management, and hybrid data management. There are four more beyond that (including one on Watson), but you get the idea.
Innovation Enterprise puts on many conferences every year—they hold overall Big Data & Analytics summits, and also have specialized summits on big data and analytics in banking, marketing, pharma, and retail.
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; March 6-7, 2018; Melbourne, Australia
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; March 7-8, 2018; Singapore
- Big Data Innovation Summit; March 7-8, 2018; Las Vegas, Nevada
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; March 21-22, 2018; London, UK
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; April 18-19, 2018; Hong Kong, China
- Big Data Innovation Summit; April 19-20, 2018; San Francisco, California
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; September 5-6, 2018; Shanghai, China
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; September 20-21, 2018; Sydney, Australia
- Big Data and Analytics Innovation Summit; November 1-2, 2018; London, UK
I’ve only listed links to Innovation Enterprise’s big data summits. They host a number of related conferences on everything from predictive analytics to data management. They also have big data conferences for specific industries such as finance and health care. If you’re interested in the other options, check out this complete list.
Cost for passes differs by conference, but most run from around $1,500 on the lower end, to roughly $2,400 for all-access passes.
Innovation Enterprise summits field some of the biggest names in data and analytics. Here are some of the speakers for March’s Las Vegas Big Data Summit alone:
- Sheridan Hitchens, VP at Ten-X.com
- Reza Rahimi, senior software architect, Huawei
- Yves Bergquist, project director of data and analytics, Entertainment Center, USC
- James McCaffrey, senior research scientist, Microsoft
- Alex Pudlin, Innovation Team, City of Los Angeles
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 need to make a case to your business for why you should attend, check out each conference’s “Why Attend” page.
TBA 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana
Registration info not yet available
The ICDM is a premiere event for anyone involved in data mining. The keynote speakers for 2017, a trio of academic heavyweights and an international global public health expert, delivered a wealth of knowledge and experience about getting information out of data.
The deadline for paper proposals for next year hasn’t been published yet (as of this writing, the 2017 conference was on its last day), but heads up: submissions need to be no more than ten pages, and conform to IEEE publication standards (found here).
- June 3-7, 2018; Las Vegas, Nevada (Business, Financial, Healthcare, Workforce, Manufacturing)
- June 12-13, 2018; Munich, Germany (Manufacturing)
- October 2018; London, U.K. (Business)
- October 2018; Berlin, Germany (Business)
- Spring 2018 (date TBA); Washington, D.C. (PAW Government)
All conference prices are TBA; watch individual conference pages for pricing.
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.
- December 4-7, 2017; Singapore
- March 5-8, 2018; San Jose, California
- May 21-24, 2018; London, U.K.
- September 11-14, 2018; New York City, New York
- Sinagpore: Gold pass $2,245; Silver pass $1,845; Bronze pass $1,495
- San Jose: Gold pass $2,195; Silver pass $1,795; Bronze pass $1,395 (prices end December 8, 2017)
- London: Registration opens January 2018
- New York: Registration not yet open
The theme for this round of conferences, “Make Data Work,” might as well be the slogan for anyone currently working with data. The speakers page for San Jose alone shows a dizzying number of experts. There are big names from Google, Cloudera and MapR, as well as a range of other options, such as speakers from Microsoft and Weight Watchers.
Registration isn’t open yet for London or New York. You can sign up at those conference pages to be alerted when registration opens, or when the call for papers is announced.
December 3-8, 2017; TDWI Orlando Conference/Leadership Summit
February 11-16, 2018; TDWI Las Vegas Conference
May 6-11, 2018; TDWI Chicago Conference
August 5-10, 2018; TDWI Anaheim Conference
November 11-16, 2018; TDWI Orlando Conference
Prices for TDWI conferences range from $1,460 to $3,645 (if you register before December 15, 2017).
TDWI (The Data Warehousing Institute, or “Transforming Data With Intelligence,” as their website now calls it) holds several major events a year, divided into conferences, leadership summits, seminars, and solution spotlights. I’m focusing just on the conferences.
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 on topics such as “A Roadmap To Agile Data Integration” and “Dimensional Modeling from a Business Perspective: A Model the Business Can Understand.”
Did I miss any top big data conferences?
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.
Still interested in big data? Check out one of these other great Capterra articles about big data.
Looking for Business Intelligence software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Business Intelligence software solutions.