PASS Business Analytics Conference 2015 – Day 1

Pic1This is my first time to visit the PASS Business Analytics Conference and so I want to take the chance to give a wrap up of my impressions of the first day. The conference takes place in Santa Clara and I personally think that California as a great place to be. The sunny weather makes it very easy to combine interesting and challenging sessions and an open mood of people for networking and get to know each other. I really like the very friendly and open nature of the people here.

Maybe I give you some more details on the conference itself. The clear focus of that conference is Data Analytics. It’s a very good mixture of technical, business and strategic sessions. The audience is very different to the typical and more technical PASS Conference in Seattle. Altogether there are 600 participants out of 24 countries and more than 60 hours of sessions with great speakers. Most of them I never heard before, but they really give you some new ideas or food for thought that you never be thought of before.

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Keynote

The keynote started with the PASS president Thomas LaRock, followed by a great talk of Carlo Ratti, the Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. The MIT Senseable City Lab is focused on who sensors are changing cities into real-time cities with lot’s of new opportunities. Today cities are already covered with digital sensors, so that people can react on it. There is an estimation that by 2020  about 50 billion connections need to handled in the world. Most of these connections will be sensors and devices than mobile phones. He showed several examples how cities are covered with digital sensors, react on it and become more smart cities these days. There are several research projects that the MIT is doing in that area like:

Mobility and Smart Cities

The Hub Cab is a project started on analyze Taxi Peaks in New York and try to bring in shared mobility. Beside the MIT also Audi and GE are part of that project, which makes me, as a German, also proud of that we are part of that innovation.  He presented some interesting numbers that although safe driving cars are on the way only 20% of the cars are need today for our mobility. An average car is only used 5% of the time so there is a huge opportunity to make mobility more efficient, especially in large city, also in order enhance the quality of live. So sharing is much more intelligent and what if we take the self-driving experience and the the sharing concepts together and even think about how traffic is organized. Do we still then need traffic lights? There are some nice concepts and researches on self-driving intersection that organizes traffic much more intelligent and efficient as traffic lights did for the last 100 years. This is a big opportunity for all of us.

The Copenhagen wheel

Another interesting and fascinating thing that came out of a MIT research project is the Copenhagen Wheel. This is a complete new way of bicycle mobility and a great example how sensors and technology can help us to innovate new experiences. And the best way to understand it, is to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S10GMfG2NMY

Follow the trash

One last interesting project to me was the “moma-followup”. The idea is to follow obsolete electronics, that is normally just thrown away, across the world for recycle or reuse. In order to do this the MIT developed two different types of self-reporting technologies that are coupled with the obsolete electronics and than see what happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fHZYyOZU4c

Summary

For me the first day really gave me some new ideas what is going on in Data Analytics. I think it is an amazing time to see, what can be achieved with technologies in these days and this is not always just to earn more money. It is interesting to see how fast the technology adoption happens and what role these great Universities like the MIT, Boston, Harvard, Stanford and many others play in that area. So a really great day one and I will follow up on day 2.

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