I recently attended the DataFlux IDEAS 2010 Conference and had an amazing time. In last week’s post, I detailed five lessons from IDEAS 2010. I’ll list five more lessons and observations from the event.
5. Jim Harris has got to be the first person to ever sing a song about Data Governance.
Now, I won’t say that my good friend Jim Harris‘ rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” brought the house down, but the man gets an “A” for effort. After a song rife with levity, Jim, Steve Schutter of TerraData, and I spoke on a panel about analytical vs. operational data issues. The video will be up soon and – in my not so unbiased opinion – it was a great discussion worth checking out.
4. Some software companies know the definition of bad business.
By virtue of my professional background, let’s just say that I have seen some very poorly run projects in my day. In many – but not all – instances, the software vendor (at least in my view) was at least partially at fault for selling an organization way more software than it could legitimately handle. During a dinner conversation with some DataFlux folks, the topic of “bad business” came up. Let’s just say that DataFlux is one company that assesses fit between vendor, application, data, client, and culture before making a sale. As for why, who knows? Being privately held doesn’t hurt. While exceedingly rare in my travels, it’s just great to see a company with a genuine concern for their clients’ best interests.
3. There are some really bright data management folks out there.
Whether it’s Jill Dyché, David Loshin, Rich Murnane, Dalton Cervo, Evan Levy, or Mark Allen, there are some really smart cookies out there. I’m just happy that I didn’t put my foot in my mouth too often. Allen and Cervo are knee-deep into the writing process for a book with John Wiley & Sons on customer MDM.
2. Most large companies face similar – or the same – data-oriented challenges.
DataFlux has a wide variety of clients; this wasn’t an industry-specific event. It was obvious to me that most companies are struggling to some extent with their data. Many companies and people have good intentions that are often derailed by superfluous IT complexity, unmanageable amounts of data, deficient headcounts, organizational politics, and other icky issues. These folks continue to fight the good fight, though.
1. DataFlux knows how to run a conference.
I’m really not trying to play the role of the sycophant here and it’s not like I’m a rock star. I don’t go to ten conferences per year with a horde of groupies following my every move. Dare to dream, right? Of the five conferences I’ve attended this year, this was without question the best. (Disclaimer: it was in Palm Springs, CA. That can’t hurt.) Too many events try to cram too much into a very short time, skimping on breaks and networking opportunities for participants who traveled a long way. Yes, I understand that these galas aren’t cheap and partners can help offset the costs. Thankfully, there were plenty of breaks to allow people to meet and schmooze with new folks.
For those of you who thinking about IDEAS 2011, rest assured: the squeeze is worth the juice.
What say you?