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Blog Data Storytelling and Augmented Analytics Stand Out at Gartner’s D&A Summit 2019

Thanks to all of you who joined the Narrative Science team at the Gartner Data and Analytics Summit 2019 March 18-21 in Orlando, Florida.  For those who were not there, here is my perspective on the key things you missed.

Interest in the data and analytics market remains strong and growing.  The attendance numbers speak for themselves with over 4,200 attendees, surpassing expectations of 3,000.  Additionally, staff and vendors brought the total number to approximately 6,000. That’s a significant signal to the predominantly large enterprise organizations committing to the event theme of bringing clarity to a world of ambiguity.

Questions remain about how to take insights the “last mile” to drive actions for end users.  I heard two common themes throughout the sessions and across the exhibit floor. There are some who feel it will be through artificial intelligence – the “A” standing for augmented, ensuring us that the machines are not taking over – now becoming a common talking point.  A newer, but increasingly popular concept was in “conversational analytics” (think Siri and Alexa) applied to enterprise data. In fairness, it is probably more accurate to say there will be a combination of the two. Likely with conversation being the channel to engage with AI platforms.

Speaking of sessions, here were two of our favorites.

  1. Data Storytelling:  A Better Way to Engage Decision Makers with Data.  Neil Chandler, Managing Vice President at Gartner told a fascinating story about moving beyond reports that no one is using and getting people to use and understand their data.  This is through the power of data storytelling, from his perspective this is a combination of data visualizations + narrative + context.
  2. Tableau: Pioneering Self-Service – Innovation at Tableau in the age of AI.  Francois Ajenstat, CPO at Tableau gave an always insightful talk about the latest advancements to keep their company in high demand with hyper-focus on the user.  No surprises here, we still think the greatest functionality in a while is the Extensions API available since the middle of last year.

Regardless if you were in Orlando or not – or how you engage with Gartner – it is clear that the Data and Analytics Summit is on the pulse of the latest trends in tech, pulling together the brightest like-minded leaders in the market.  Your data has a story to tell and only our natural language technology can transform that data into plain-English stories.

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