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Name Dropping by Analytics Thought Leaders at Strata + Hadoop World

2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Hadoop. I recently attended Strata + Hadoop World (“Strata”) in New York City from September 26-29, 2016 and the size and scope of this show certainly reflect the growth and mainstream adoption of Hadoop and its ever-expanding ecosystem.

Strata has historically been an open source technology conference. But the agenda has changed over the last couple of years to include more business-oriented discussions. Adding to that, holding this year’s conference in New York resulted in added emphasis on financial services and financial technology.

Each day featured tutorials and breakout sessions organized into tracks with up to 13 sessions taking place simultaneously. Some of these tracks were hands-on and technical (code samples and GitHub repositories included!). Other tracks were business-oriented including full day tracks on Financial Services, Business Cases, Data 101, and Data Strategy.

Strata offers a different perspective than the bevy of vendor-hosted shows (think Tableau, SAS, MSFT, etc.); it thrives in being a battleground of conflicting ideas, perspectives and approaches. Most interesting is how thought leaders from different backgrounds and industries view the big data and analytics world.

As I attended keynotes, breakout sessions and vendor booths I was particularly interested in the other people and companies that the speakers mentioned. Who do the thought leaders follow? In addition to IIA’s co-founder Tom Davenport (@tdav, website), the following individuals and companies came up multiple times in the sessions I attended:

  • Marc Andreesen (blog) – And in particular, his landmark Wall Street Journal article Software is Eating the World (link - subscription required). He may have abandoned Twitter, but replace software with analytics and this certainly describes where the world of analytics operations is heading.

  • Clayton Christensen (@claychristensen, website, Disruptive Innovation Explained) – Foundational work on market disruption and why mainstream established companies are often vulnerable to startups.

  • Jeremy Howard (@jeremyphoward,, YouTube channel) – Jeremy’s TED talks on Artificial Intelligence came up more than once (video). A good watch to prepare for a future IIA series on AI.

  • CB Insights (@cbinsights, website) – Anand Sanwal (@asanwal), the CEO of CB Insights, gave a captivating presentation on analytics disruption in the financial services industry at Strata (video of similar talk). But CB Insights was also mentioned by other firms. Professionals at mainstream companies competing against, or impacted by, VC-funded digital natives will get some interesting insight into how these emerging companies view your markets.

  • Geoffrey Moore (@geoffreyamoore, website) – I was actually quite surprised to see a Geoffrey Moore quote hanging from the rafters at Strata. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm” was gospel at Intel and Mentor Graphics. His latest book (published November, 2015), “Zone to Win,” focuses on competing in an era of disruption, which is certainly applicable to current analytics trends.

Wisdom from Geoffrey Moore

Wisdom from Geoffrey Moore

Do you have other often mentioned analytics talks or speakers to share? Tweet them to us @iianalytics.