Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 3 Highlights - Conference Wrap Up

Well, DIG 2008 wrapped up yesterday. I just got back from Vegas and have finally recovered from the long flight back to Boston. It was a great event and some of the informal feedback from attendees confirmed that feeling. It would be great to get some comments from attendees on what people thought was valuable and where we could improve for next year.

Day 3 was focused on Enterprise 2.0. If you aren't familiar with E2.0, our keynote for the day was able to level set the group on the definition, usage and benefits. Andrew McAfee from Harvard Business School, who coined the term Enterprise 2.0, provided his perspective on E2.0. From his presentation he provided the following definition:

"Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within
companies, or between companies and their partners or customers."

He also identified a list of representative technologies below this definition: wikis, blogs, prediction markets, social networking software, RSS, links, search, tags.

After Andrew's keynote, we then moved into our case study presentations with R. Todd Stephens, Mat Fogarty and Euan Semple. We followed up the case study presentations with Q&A. I was happy to see that we got a lot questions from the group, since prior to the conference a large majority of the attendees (70%) had no plans in their organizations to adopt E2.0 technologies.

We concluded the DIG conference with an entertaining talk from Jeff Ma. If you aren't familiar with Jeff, he is the real life character from the book "Bringing Down the House" and subsequent movie "21". Aside from the challenge of being the final presenter at 4 pm, Jeff kept the crowd entertained and was peppered with questions by the group at the end.

I haven't had a chance to step back and try to put the different presentations and dialogs over the week into something coherent. I took a ton of notes during the 3 days and we have the audio recorded, so it will be good to go back and listen to the presentations and discussions. We are hoping to make some of these great assets available through the blog. Stay tuned.

I want to finally thank everyone that attended the conference: the speakers, delegates and sponsors I was happy to see that even with all the distractions of Las Vegas, everyone stayed engaged throughout the entire week.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 2 Highlights from the Conference

We had a great second day at DIG. We covered our first two themes of the conference built around "Creating one version of the truth" and "Insights from advanced analytics".
The Boston Globe and Central Intelligence Agency discussed data management topics for their respective organizations. There was a lot of great discussion with the attendees on governance, which seems to be a hot topic for many organizations. Dan Power from Hub Design also spoke on the topic of Master Data Management.

Infosys, Reliant Energy and Kelley Blue Book each presented for the second theme. It was interesting to see that both Infosys and Reliant use the Balanced Scorecard to frame their dashboard and operational reporting. Most of the panel discussion questions were on the topic of ROI, which was interesting. Bruce Hoffman from Kelley Blue Book didn't need to answer that question since the KBB business model is based on selling the data and analysis on the automotive industry!
We also video taped our megavendor panel discussion with our platinum sponsors SAP, Microsoft and Oracle. We will be posting that discussion once we have a production copy available. Stay tuned.

One last comment. Jevon MacDonald put a nice post on his blog on the conference thus far.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 1 is in the books!

Just finishing up day 1 of DIG. We had a great first day with the clinics and a cocktail reception to welcome the conference attendees. I have a couple of observations from the day I wanted to quickly share:

1. Glyn Heatley delivered his CPM overview clinic in the morning. He had a pretty diverse group of IT and business functions in the room, which was great. There were a couple of observations from the group that I found interesting. One was the lack of statistical capabilities in a majority of the BI vendor platforms. I found this interesting and is something that I would like to research a bit to see where the gaps are. I am not in anyway knowledgeable in the area of statistical packages like SAS, so it would be interesting to see how big of a functional gap exists.

2. I sat in the Enterprise 2.0 clinic with Jevon and Thomas in the afternoon. This was a great session with a ton of learning. It was a bit like drinking from the fire hose. There were a couple of things that came up that we discussed in the session. The first was the concerns around privacy and sharing of certain types of data. I was surprised to hear that there are some E2.0 software vendors that are focused on becoming SOX compliant. The second interesting discussion was the differences between business taxonomy and folksonomy. Business taxonomy is the practice of establishing structure around things like enterprise data, while folksonomy is the practice of allowing the collective group to describe "objects" as they see them. An example would be tagging of content, like this blog post. The two worlds are very different but when done correctly, specifically creating the appropriate linkages between taxonomy and folksonomy, will enhance an organizations collective ability to describe information.

3. The reception was a great informal setting to meet and great with attendees. I had an opportunity to spend some time with our platinum sponsors Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. They will be participating in our "megavendor" panel tomorrow. Looking forward to the discusson.

That's it for me. It's been a long first day. The good news is that I am even at the tables thus far. The same can't be said for a couple of other folks who will go unmentioned.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Heading to Vegas for DIG

Well, the week of the DIG conference is finally here. Looking forward to the three days. My guess is that the week will go by quickly. Here are some random thoughts and things to look forward to:

1. The clinics on Tuesday should be a good opportunity to roll the sleeves up on some great topics. I will be helping out Glyn Heatley during his clinic on CPM and BI architecture. I took a look at the content this afternoon and there is a lot to cover in the 3.5 hours, but it should provide people with some follow up actions for their organizations! Mark Lorence's talk on analytics is great, especially if you are struggling with what are the right measures for your organization (one thing to note, Mark's clinic will be in the afternoon on Tuesday, not the morning). I am very interested and will be attending Jevon MacDonald's and Thomas Vander Wal's clinic on Enterprise 2.0. If you aren't currently signed up for a clinic, there is still time to register!

2. If you didn't notice the Twitter update box on the right side of the blog, take a look at the talkdig Twitter user. If you aren't familiar with Twitter, it is a "micro-blogging" technology that uses text messaging to make posts. I have been using Twitter for about 3 months and it is a fun way to communicate with friends and colleagues. We are hoping that DIG attendees sign up and use it as a way to receive conference updates, ask questions during the Q&A, or simply try to informally organize with colleagues while at the DIG conference. It will also be a way to stay connected after the conference ends. Signing up is free and all you need to do is start "following" the talkdig user once you are setup.

3. We have one speaker change for Thursday. Bo Cowgill from Google will unfortunately not be able to join us, but instead we will have Mat Fogarty presenting on the topic of prediction markets. Mat is the founder of Xpree, which focuses on providing enterprise prediction market solutions. Prior to starting Xpree, Mat was the Director of Financial Planning on Electronic Arts where he was responsible for running prediction markets forecasting key metrics. Mat's session will be titled "Using prediction markets to tap employee wisdom". We are excited to have Mat speak at DIG!

4. On Wednesday, we have a "mega vendor" panel planned with our three platinum event sponsors Oracle, Microsoft and SAP/Business Objects. I am looking forward to have all three vendors on stage together in a moderated discussion on future technology trends. Since this is a bit of a unique opportunity to have them all together on stage at once, we are going to video tape the discussion and make it available in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

5. Go Celtics - could you at least win one road game during the playoffs!!!

That's it for now. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for updates during the week. We plan on blogging at the end of the day and hopefully get some pictures posted.