Keynote: Pay no Attention to the Man behind the Curtain: The Unseen Work behind Data Science

April 4, 2017

Prerequisite: None

Mark Madsen

Global Head of Architecture


It seems as if every organization wants to enable analytical-decision making and embed AI into operational processes. What can you do with analytics? It looks like anything is possible. What can you really do? Probably a lot less than you expect. Vendors promise easy-to-use analytics tools and services but they rarely deliver. The products may be easy but the work is still hard. Why is this?

Using analytics to solve problems depends on many factors beyond the math: people, processes, the skills of the analyst, the technology used, the data. Technology is the easy part. Deciding what to do and how to do it is more difficult. Despite this, fancy new tools get all the attention and budget.

People and data are the truly hard parts. People, because many believe that data is absolute rather than relative, and that analytic models produce an answer rather than a range of answers with varying degrees of truth, accuracy and applicability. Data, because managing data for analytics is a nuanced, detail-oriented and seemingly dull task left to back-office IT.

If your goal is to build a repeatable analytics capability rather than a one-off analytics project then you will need to address the parts that are rarely mentioned. This talk will explain some of the unseen and little-discussed aspects involved when building and deploying analytics so that you can better understand the work and what you can do to support it.

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The Boston Marriott® Copley Place
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April 3–5


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