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Looking at the Human Side of the Big Data Revolution at Data Summit 2017


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Data has been at or near the top of every enterprise agenda for more than a decade, and yet, research shows that more than 66% of Global 2000 senior executives are still dissatisfied with their data investments and capabilities, says Thornton May, CEO of FutureScapes Advisors, Inc., who will present the opening keynote at Data Summit 2017.

According to May, the issues surrounding more effective data use are not technology problems or technique problems, but instead are caused by a people problem. His interactive session will share research results of his multi-institution examination of the human side of the data revolution.

“The challenge is the human side of the data revolution and I will be talking about why it is so hard. Here we are basically sitting on this mountain of gold in a world where C-level executives have come to the recognition that data matters and yet, it is still is amazingly difficult,” said May. “My presentation will be a little different than other parts of the program at Data Summit. It is not be about how to do the techniques, but how to situate your techniques and behavior in the human context to make sure you achieve full value—and also full recognition for being the hero of this new age.”

According to May, for companies that can deploy big data technologies properly, "the potential is infinite." For the first time in the history of the IT industry, there is consensus among all of the analysts that the adoption of big data technologies is a critical competence, he noted. “This is sort of like walking erect or the discovery of fire. It is that existential, and mastery of big data and analytics is learnable. The real question is why is it taking so long to learn it and why are organizations not yet creating this muscle which is mandatory for moving forward in the modern age.”

May says there are proven paths to mastery of big data techniques, and for data practitioners, a key first step is self-awareness. “The practitioners of the analytic arts have been too timid and deferred to others and may need to become more demanding and vociferous on what needs to change," he said. "We, as practitioners, have it in our power to make the world a better place through the informed, insightful, and innovative use of data.”

May will deliver his keynote address on Tuesday, May 16, at 9 am to kick off the Data Summit conference, which takes place at the New York Hilton Midtown, May 16-17, 2017, with preconference workshops on Monday, May 15.

To register, go here.


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