An interview with Dave Mathias

Dave Mathias talks about the conference and moving the analytics community forward

As FAR Con approaches fast, we talked to Event Co-chair Dave Mathias about why he devoted so much of his time to planning this MinneAnalytics event. Dave is AVP – U.S. Bank Information Security Manager and creator of

You played a large role in organizing FAR Con. Why do you believe these events are necessary to the community and Minnesota businesses?

The Minnesota analytics community becomes stronger together rather than in silos. This is not only true about sharing analytics knowledge within the same industry but also across industries and applications. Further, each company that participates demonstrates its strength and attractiveness to potential employees.

What excites you most about the current state of analytics in the finance and retail industries?

Both the retail and financial industries are still in the early stages of analytics. For example, the promise of things like true customer understanding and personalization across channels still falls short.

What are some of the challenges facing the industries?

I think one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is finding well trained people that can solve the many challenges. One of the biggest reasons that the we took on FAR Con, just like other MinneAnalytics events, is to help with this problem. Hopefully events like FAR Con will not only inspire young people to get more into analytics but also push the knowledge of the Minnesota analytics community forward.

Further, both the financial and retail industries face many disruptive forces and analytics is key for traditional companies to stay relevant. The challenge the traditional companies have is moving fast with focus. That is, they need to move fast to not be disrupted, but need to be focused or they will not succeed in their efforts.

Anything else would you like to say to our community?

Take time out of your schedule to attend events like FAR Con and other great events put on via the Minnesota community. Community events not only help you further your knowledge and connections but you will also help others in their efforts. Make sure to share these events with others and lets get the entire analytics community attending events like FAR Con.

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FAR Con event page