Tag: Technology

Data Tech 2019 Showcases Advanced Analytic Techniques

Anna Mityushina and Tyler Harpole of Polaris presenting “Leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) to Drive Insight from Consumer Feedback” at Data Tech 2019.

For a fifth consecutive year, the MinneAnalytics community came together at Normandale Partnership Center on May 30 for Data Tech, our practictioner’s field guide to data science and emerging tech. More than 1,900 people registered or joined the waitlist for the conference, which featured 63 unique sessions for participants to choose from.

“If there’s one lesson from the fifth year of Data Tech, it’s that advanced analytic techniques are out of the laboratory and integrated into the critical business workflows at the most successful Minnesota companies,” said Daniel Feldman, a co-chair of the event. “From Polaris, which uses natural language processing to interpret and categorize customer feedback, to Infinite Campus, which predicts drop-out risks for millions of K-12 students, the technologies we’ve seen evolve over the last five years are now ready for prime time.”

According to Feldman, many of these projects are developed in Python, a topic that was featured in several of the day’s sessions. In addition to use cases and technical deep-dives, other sessions focused on sharing these useful tools with business colleagues.

“I particularly liked Evangelizing Python for Business, by Katie Kodes and Chris Moffitt,” said Jake Mason, another co-chair of the event. “The two did a wonderful job walking us through their successes and failures when teaching others new technology.”

The Leadership in Data Science Panel moderated by Jake Mason.

Data Tech also featured higher-level discussions, such as the Leadership in Data Science Panel, as well as a bird’s eye view of where technology is heading during The Pace of Tech is Accelerating with Gene Munster of Loup Ventures.

“This event helps bring together such a diversity of talent from a wide variety of industries, which really helps to keep everyone aware of what’s happening across the data-tech landscape,” said Mason.

The conference put the spotlight on innovative startups in the data and AI space during the morning Startup Showcase session. Seven startups pitched their ideas and took questions from the audience; four from Minneapolis, one from St. Paul, one from Rochester, and one from Provo, UT.

The Startup Alumni Panel discusses how to build a successful data or AI startup in Minnesota.

“The Startup Showcase session again drew excellent attendance, including many investors,” said organizer Graeme Thickins. “We have now featured 101 startups pitching in 13 startup showcase sessions since our very first one in 2013. And most of them, we are proud to say, have gone on to achieve success in many ways.”

During the session, attendees packed the room to hear an Alumni Panel featuring three serial entrepreneurs who had pitched at previous Data Tech events, in 2017 and 2018: Scott Burns of Structural, Dan Mallin of Equals 3, and Daren Klum of Secured2.

“They were a big hit,” said Graeme. “Our sincere thanks to them for sharing their wonderful founder stories.”

Thank you to all of the speakers, participants, and volunteers who made this conference a success, including event chairs Daniel Feldman, John Hogue, Sean Larson, and Jake Mason. Special thanks to our excellent sponsors for making it possible. Many of the conference presentation decks, including startup pitches, can be accessed here.

Get Ready for Big Data Tech!

by Daniel Feldman

The MinneAnalytics Big Data Tech conference is on Tuesday! This is the first time I’ve helped plan a major conference, and along with the rest of the conference committee, I’m incredibly excited to see it happen.

Here are a few things to know if you’re planning to attend the event:

  1. This will be the largest MinneAnalytics event ever with more than 1,200 registrations and 50 sessions. Eighteen sponsors have generously donated in order to keep the event free for everyone!
  2. Many of our speakers are nationally recognized. Sri Ambati is CEO of H2O, one of the fastest growing data science startups. Amy O’Connor of Cloudera was recently listed as one of the nation’s most influential women in data science. Larry Werth founded the early computer vision startup PPT Vision, and is working on a new company that he’ll tell us about. Lisa Schlosser  is CTO of FindLaw, the largest directory of legal resources. Sean Kandel is CEO of Trifacta, a platform for data wrangling for Hadoop.
  3. You may not have heard of our speaker Ben Ortega, but you have probably used his product. GovDelivery sends messages to over 100 million people on behalf of local governments, warning of snow emergencies, road closures, and other critical information.
  4. We’ll have free training in Spark and Python, offered by premier commercial training partners. These classes would cost thousands of dollars on their own! Please bring your own laptop for Python training (the Spark training will be in a computer lab).
  5. Do you want to meet IBM Watson? Watson will be making a special appearance from 10:45 to 1:45 in the 2nd floor atrium area.
  6. MinneAnalytics is a completely volunteer-run organization! Some of us have been planning this event for more than six months. Any extra sponsorship funds are donated to a MinneAnalytics Scholarship Fund.
  7. You can access the schedule on your phone at this link. Also, don’t forget to try myKrowd, our new app that helps you connect with colleagues who are also attending.
  8. Say cheese! We’re offering free professional profile photos at the event.
  9. We’ll have free time at the end of the day for 5-minute Lightning Talks. Just come with an idea! It’s a great way to get the word out about what you’re working on or practice for a longer presentation.
  10. Pat Delaney will be delivering a talk using only the 1000 most common words in the English language! Make time at 3:45 to see how that is possible.
  11. One of our speakers is an actual, real-life dinosaur paleontologist. But you’ll have to read the speaker bios to find out which one.
  12. And last but not least … don’t forget to stay for our Networking Social, with Surly beer for everyone!

Thanks for attending, and I look forward to seeing you there!

DanielFeldmanDaniel Feldman is co-chair of Big Data Tech 2016. This article was originally published on LinkedIn here. Tweet @d_feldman


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