Minnesota’s first big data conference goes off with a bang

MinneAnalyticsA crowd of 500+/- are gathered today on Medtronic’s Mounds View real estate for the first notably sized event in Minnesota focused on the world of ‘big data’, including predictive, and social analytics.

“I think it’s safe to call it a conference at this stage,” remarked Sean Larson, who co-organized the all day affair with Dan Atkins, amongst others from the MinneAnalytics Forum — a sister org of Twin Cities Area SAS Users Group that counts over 2,00o local members.

“By a factor of two, or even three to one, this is the largest and most diverse crowd we’ve seen at any of our events over the past ten years.  We opened registration and couldn’t believe the volume that was coming through in batches,” Atkins says with great enthusiasm.

“There has to be at least 150 different companies represented here, from the startups to the Fortune 500’s, and many of them have come from out of state.”


Genomics, retail, geography, sports, money, crime, healthcare, education, media, politics, energy, HR, retail — no field went without consideration — just as no aspect of modern life shall be immune from the volume, velocity, and variability of associated data. Overall, roughly 25 speakers, including a keynote from former Best Buy CTO & GeekSquad founder Robert Stephens, will have shared their unique wisdom with the mixed-bag crowd.

From curious undergrads to veteran PhD professors, co-founders to CEO’s, it’s clear that both the academic and business world are well represented here today.

“Data analytics, business intelligence software, and the nebulous world of ‘big data’ aren’t just for the math majors anymore,” Atkins says.  “We’re seeing the idea people meet the statisticians, alongside the executives and the programmer.  It’s all together now.”

“We need to enlighten the local business community as to what analytics can do with the right technology,” Larson adds. “This is the future.”

The next MinneAnalytics Forum/TCASUG meetup is tentatively scheduled to be at US Bank in Richfield (Meridian Crossings) on June 26th, from 8 – 4.