Blog > April 2019 > What You Missed at the 2019 Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Orlando

What You Missed at the 2019 Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Orlando

This year’s Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Orlando did not disappoint. One hundred eighty-eight people visited the ASG booth and 166 attended ASG’s presentation with American Fidelity. With eight different discussion tracks to explore, ASG took advantage of being at the hub of industry conversations and trends. For those who couldn’t attend, ASG’s Marcus MacNeill, Yetkin Ozkucur and Sue Habas shared their top takeaways from the event.
Gartner’s Most Talked-About Topics
Most summit discussions, while covering a range of topics, mapped back to a central theme: how organizations can bring traditional data management and modern data analytics together. The Gartner Data and Analytics Summit has historically focused on technology trends and selection—what tools businesses need and why—but this year brought a new focus to people and process. Overwhelmingly, today’s companies are wrestling with how to organize themselves to enable both offensive and defensive data strategies.
Executing defensive and offensive strategies is difficult. On the defensive side, organizations need to continue running their business, remain compliant and effectively manage and govern data. And with new privacy regulations—a hot summit topic—organizations are adopting new technology and dealing with higher volumes of sensitive data, making their defensive tasks much more challenging. Meanwhile, on the offensive side, organizations must enable the business to become faster and more agile. They need a culture in which users have the literacy, tools and processes to understand what data is available, how to access it and use it for innovation.
When it comes to defensive and offensive strategies, the industry standard is replacing “or” with “and.” Organizations can no longer choose between focusing on traditional data management processes and innovation. Modern companies must organize the right people, processes and technology around defense and offense—and drive a culture of excellence for both—to become a great, data-driven organization.
The Sessions that Stuck with Us
Of the many sessions that we attended, there were a few that particularly resonated with our team. The following tackled the gap between data management and data analytics in a meaningful way for modern organizations and ASG customers.
The Foundation and Future of Data and Analytics GovernanceSaul Judah, VP Analyst at Gartner
Most organizations still take a traditional, rigid approach to data governance, which is not conducive to fueling an offensive data strategy. At ASG, we believe organizations need to balance performance with conformance—intelligently taking on more risk to enable business user autonomy. Yet, the biggest challenge they are facing is organizational structure. As more organizations adopt artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) models, they will need adaptive governance that accounts for both defensive and offensive strategies.
Guest Keynote: Creating a Culture of Innovation—Jake Knapp
This session focused on how to take ideas from the whiteboard to the real world. According to Jake, any team can create a culture of innovation by shifting their approach to new projects. He shared stories on how to elicit the best ideas from every person on the team and set the course for building products customers love. As organizations—from ASG to our customers—invest in offensive data strategies to gain a competitive edge, processes that enable innovation will be more important than ever.
Guest Keynote: Big Data: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly—Annie Duke
In this session, Annie tackled how to best use big data to improve human decision-making. She explored how big data can overcome the irrational way in which we process information. She also discussed the pitfalls and dangers of big data, especially around how it is aggregated and collected. According to Annie, the “human element” still needs to be in control of the analysis in order to interpret and model the data—a sentiment that should remain top of mind as AI and ML play an increasing role in business.
What We Learned for 2019
This year’s summit gave us an up-close view into the state of the market. As a technology vendor, we are focused on the cool capabilities our solutions offer, such as data lineage and impact analysis. Yet many of the IT people we spoke with were not even aware of critical tools such as a data catalog—which is essential for business users to find and access data.
This knowledge gap reinforces that organizations must focus on establishing a synergy between the business side and IT side of their operations. They should start by figuring out what they don’t know—and the best way to do that is to build out an inventory of what data they have. Executing effective defensive and offensive strategies—never mind integrating new tools that leverage AI, ML or IoT—will be near impossible without that foundation. We encourage our customers to start by getting to know their business through data and then leveraging the new technological improvements available to them to drive their business forward.
For organizations looking to fuel their offensive and defensive data strategies, read this blog post and check out our Enterprise Information Management solutions page.