Yesterday was my first day at IOD and am reflecting on what I experienced. Vegas itself is such a culture shock in many ways – so I’m dealing with that also. Yesterday didn’t really have any content – as it was just the opening of the EXPO. I did attend a special meeting for “Social Influencers” yesterday – where I got to hear from Turbo Todd Watson (@turbotodd). In the blur of my experience I only remember a few tips – with comfortable shoes being an important one (oh – and share and engage).
The EXPO was huge and bit overwhelming. Fortunately I ran into some people I know and went around with them. I feel like I only touched the tip of the iceberg in the EXPO – as there was so much to look at. The theme of “Big” (as in Big Data) was clearly present through the EXPO. There we’re quite a number of companies who had booths that mentioned Big Data and analytics.
After that first day I went to the fountains at Bellagio – to take in their shows. Even with the trams that was quite a trek. I think there is a lot of walking in my future here for the next few days. Today I get into some meat with some conference sessions – so I hope to learn something I can pass along.
See you at the EXPO – or you can check out some things on Livestream: http://www.livestream.com/ibmiod
Well, I’m now at IOD – after a bit of journey here. Actually the plane flight was nice and simple albeit loud. I think next time I may not sit over the wing. Got a bit of reading and started an audio book – so that was nice. It’s vegas itself that’s a bit overwhelming – as this place seems to be the land of over stimulation. Getting to my bags after the plan was quite a journey – as I think it was half a mile from the gate to the baggage claim. I kept looking at the signs and expecting it to be there – but it was further on. Given the distance I wasn’t surprised my bag was already there.
I took a shuttle from the airport to the hotel – which was another journey. I think it took over a half hour – but it was an interesting drive for someone who’s never been to Vegas before. As the plane was landing I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I saw the palm trees (I grew up in the midwest so I’m used to Oaks, Maples, Cedar, etc.). Maybe all the slot machines in the airport should have also been a clue. The hotel was much the same – as I had to walk across the casino to get to registration. Somehow I ended up on the 13th floor of the hotel – which surprised me as many building will not have a 13th floor.
After getting situated in my room and getting a snack (from a McDonalds that surprisingly served Pepsi) I rested for a few minutes while watching the end of a football game (at least I though it was the end of a football game but it went into overtime). So it was off to Mandalay Bay for the conference. From the Excalibur it was quite an interesting (and somewhat long) walk. It was another case of stimulus overload walking through the different casinos and all the shops along the way.
I did make it though – and was grateful for the help from the colorfully dressed “IOD” people – who we’re pointing the way. I got registered (which came with more stuff than I expected) and put on my “name” badge. I managed to find my way up to the “Connect” lounge (at the top of what is probably the longest and highest escalator I’ve ever seen). I’ll write more later about my initial experiences with the conference itself.
I know it’s getting close to go when I’ve printed off my boarding pass and started packing. I’ve been measuring my carry-on and suitcase to check if they will fit (they will). I’m putting an extra bag in the small suitcase just in case I get to much stuff from the conference to fit in the bag. I also finally broke down and signed up for an audible free trial to get some audio books for the plan ride. I might read some Kindle books on the way out but on the trip back (assuming I don’t fall asleep) I may wiped out to want to read.
So tomorrow it’s off to the airport to catch my Southwest flight to Vegas.
I’m started to get excited about IOD as it’s coming up soon – less than 48 hours for me. I’ve never been to Vegas before so that’s part of the adventure for me. I suspect they days will fly by practically in a blur. I hope my brain doesn’t explode with all the “big” that’s coming my way…
I just realized this time next week I’ll be flying home from IOD – likely very tired. I’m looking ahead at the planned week and it’s already packed with activity. I can tell my schedule is packed when I’m looking for time to attend the EXPO. I have meetings scheduled even at Breakfast and Lunch a few days.
I’m also looking at when I can get out and explore Vegas a little – as I’ve never been there before. I’m hoping to take in a few sights – maybe at least get a look at some of the interesting fountains. Never really been that interested in Vegas – but I hope to enjoy myself a little (in addition to getting some sleep)…
For IOD I go from the Central Time Zone to the Pacific Time Zone. It’s amazing to me how such a simple thing has caused me so much confusion. I ended up putting my sessions in the Google calendar as it has a key feature – it can show both time zones. I was able to put in my sessions in Pacific Time and I can see both it in both time zones on my calendar.
An interesting quirk of this is that going to Vegas a 3 hour flight is only about 1 hour…. So if you see me confused at IOD as to what time it is please help me…
I’m really starting to get the feeling that “Big” is a focus of this year’s IOD conference. Just look at this snippet from a recent message I received:
As you discover big ideas, explore big opportunities, and create a big future
They use “big” three times in the same sentence. I thought I could top that so here goes:
- Big Data is such big news that the biggest and smallest companies are treating this as a really big deal.
- I’m hearing big things about how big “Big Data” is going to be for some of the biggest companies out there.
- Big Data, Big machines, Big networks, Big Ideas, Big Results – that’s what you’ll find at the big IOD conference.
In looking forward to IBM IOD later this month I found a panel discussion about Big Data on their blog: http://www.ibmiodblog.com/beyond-a-science-project-big-data-at-iod/
They had some “experts” (who we’re not just IBM people) talk about Big Data and how it is and could be used. One of the ideas they had was to use a “big data” solution for call center service. I realized the other day that if you call a company for service and end up getting transferred around not only is it annoying to you – it’s inefficient for the business. One of their concepts was to use a big data type solution to examine many inputs of data together to improve call center performance. Imagine operators knowing what’s going on – both with their company, the industry, and the world (as opposed to the usual clueless response we get). How efficient could it be to catch a situation before it generates a call or to really solve the problem quickly on the call.
I think that’s one of the appealing business concepts behind “big data” – find key insights into your business and the world around it – in order to excel at what you do.
As I look forward to the IBM on Demand Conference later this month I was reflecting on what sessions I have selected. I noticed that most of my selections fell into 2 categories:
- Big Data (which also seems to be a theme of the conference in general)
- Data Governance
The Big Data part is a fascinating concept in analytics that is the buzz word of the year it seems. I’m in a learning mode on that so I hope to get a lot from this conference. I’m also hoping to learn something about Data Governance – as I can see some possible (but not near term) opportunities for this helping my organization.
This my first big conference (and first time to Vegas) so it should be a really interesting experience.
I’m attending the IBM on Demand Conference next month – so I hope to share what I’m learning on a daily (possibly multiple times a day) basis with you. Still figuring out which sessions to attend – as there are quite a lot available. ”Big Data” is going to be discussed a lot at the conference – as the General Sessions are focused on that (and it makes good titles).