Enterprise Data World 2017 in Atlanta - Trip Report

Highlights and observations from the 2017 EDW event

Joining more than 900 people and more than 50 exhibiting sponsors from around the world, Radiant Advisors attended and presented at Enterprise Data World 2017 in Atlanta. Attendees represented a very strong community of engaged people passionate about data and about learning, which is no surprise given event producers DATAVERSITY and DAMA International are two organizations focused heavily on education. The comradery and sense of community was apparent among attendees, DAMA members and thought leaders, creating sustained excitement throughout this event.

With the machine learning and AI frenzy so apparent in the industry media these days, this conference is a solid reminder that data management is an IT discipline that is still the foundation upon which business value is built. Conference sessions and discussions emphasized that without the foundation of strong data management, data modeling, data quality and data governance you cannot fully embrace newer and emerging opportunities surrounding advanced analytics. Data scientists still spend the majority of their time wrangling data and struggling with data quality, but to truly maximize the potential of data scientists and analytics for the organization, they need to be spending more time in their analysis with high-quality, easily accessible data to fully capitalize on the power of data.

Much of the content represented a modern twist on fundamental concepts with an emphasis on practical application of how to become a data-centric, data-driven company – not just in theory but in practice. Practitioners shared details and experiences, from the high-level steps to create a data strategy, including roles, skills and business goals, down to the details and nuances involved in carrying out data programs.

There continues to be a focus on the long-standing need for strong business value from properly aligning data management efforts with business goals within the context of an overall data strategy, and much of the conference programming targeted CDO programs and roles to coordinate and oversee such efforts. Conference attendees conveyed a sense of duty within that – a responsibility to provide quality data to the business in order to reach those goals and provide value.

Celebrating its 21st year, the conference continues to have a strong, committed following. Repeat attendees and newbies alike anxiously await the release of the new DMBOK 2.0, due in June of this year, and the 2018 Enterprise Data World conference, which will take place in San Diego.

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