Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of Pyramid Analytics and does not constitute an endorsement by Gartner.
Something happened in Orlando last week. Our industry will never be the same.
Now read those two sentences in your best summer blockbuster, ‘In a world …’ voice, and you’ll start to get a sense of the excitement, gravity, and where-were-you-when-it-happened energy that pervaded the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2023. Yes—Gartner always puts on a great show. And yes—anyone with eyes and ears on analytics knows we’ve been approaching a kind of big data meets AI/ML paradigm shift for a while now. But still, I wasn’t prepared for what our team experienced.
As a former sales rep, turned event marketer, turned sales and marketing leader, I have been to my fair share of industry shows. We all know how these work: researchers, analysts, expert practitioners, and vendors present the latest thought leadership, and peer-to-peer and practitioner-to-vendor networking and relationship building happens everywhere in between. It’s a big part of how business gets done, and it’s typically symbiotic for all involved.
This Gartner D&A felt different. I spent most of my time around our booth in Pacific Hall. As an exhibitor, you’re always fighting for attention, and those pouring the best pints and raffling the coolest gadgets tend to win the day. Instead, we had near-constant activity under the Pyramid banner. So many analytics practitioners stopped by to ask about our Decision Intelligence Platform, see an on-the-fly demo, or simply talk shop about their data-related challenges and our AI-driven solutions.
So why did we nearly wear out our browsers on platform demos at Gartner D&A Summit? We had a lot to tell folks, and here are the topics that seemed to be the most exciting, relevant, and useful to the people our team talked with.
Not surprisingly, ChatGPT was a very hot topic this year. As augmented analytics and self-service remain crucial to scaling and promoting analytics adoption, OpenAI’s generative AI models came up again and again as the industry uncovers more and more analytics use cases for the technology. Pyramid, for our part, announced our own integration with OpenAI on the second day of the conference.
It’s hard to fathom how we’ll be using this form of AI even 12 months from now. We’re truly at the leading edge of this innovation.
Right alongside the shiny new tech were persistent topics like governance. Though less sexy than some of its heavily acronymed counterparts (sorry, NLQ), this foundational issue remains important for people evaluating analytics platforms. The ability to give more access to relevant data is what got people excited, not just locking down restrictions. Proper governance means more analytics for more people, not vice versa.
If governance is one side of a coin, direct query is the other. As people grasp the potential value buried in the mountains of their data (both internal and third-party), the architecture a platform uses to access that data has become crucial. More and more, analytics providers must enable users to tap into data, wherever it is stored, and blend it with other data for more sophisticated, accurate, and timely analysis.
A best-in-class platform (we happen to have one if you’re looking) can also retain users’ established business logic, so governance and self-service only benefit from direct query. Again, not super sexy, but these advancements make a lot of other things work much better than they ever could before.
One of the cool things direct query makes possible are tools for the “last mile” or “final mile” of analytics, like Pyramid’s new Tabulate and Solve apps. Tabulate is a browser-based virtual spreadsheet that business users can leverage for business modeling. The Solve plug-in extends Tabulate to include complex decision modeling and prescriptive analytics capabilities as well. Both run on data queried directly by Pyramid, so no information needs to be exported or re-ingested.
I’ve already said that the people make Gartner D&A (or any other event) great, and that goes for my team. It’s fun to see your colleagues in their element.
Deepa Sankar did a fantastic job moderating a panel discussion called Self-Service Analytics at St. Joseph’s Health and The Physician Alliance. Of course, special thanks to our customers, John Luzier (The Physician Alliance) and Peter Rinaldi (St. Joseph’s Health), for sharing their expertise and providing a glimpse of what’s possible with the Pyramid Platform. (Thanks to John for this nice recap, as well!)
One highlight, for sure, was the theater session on augmented analytics, presented by Pyramid’s Joe Beaubien. Listen, it’s not a popularity contest … but Joe had to have been one of the most popular people at the conference. His showcase was standing-room-only. You come for the augmented analytics; you stay for the Joe Beaubien. That’s what I always say.
And, for those of you who joined us at Jellyrolls on the Boardwalk on Tuesday night—what happens in Orlando stays in Orlando! (All jokes aside, it was great to see friends, both new and old.)
I want to share this little dispatch to remind everyone about the energy—the excitement, fun, the sense of possibility—that we collectively created. Let’s keep that momentum going. What can I do to help?
If we met onsite—and if you’re not completely burned out on my self-directed bald jokes—I’m always excited to catch up over coffee or a drink at the next show or virtually. Hit me up.
If you’re reading this with a growing feeling of FOMO—well, mission accomplished. But you don’t need to miss out. Let’s set up a time for you to connect with one of our Pyramid experts. We’d love to chat through any of the topics I mentioned here, or simply hear more about your analytics hopes and dreams.