Whether you’re a giant multinational firm or a tiny startup, business intelligence tools are essential to get the incisive data-driven insights that you need to make smarter business decisions and better serve their customers.

Unfortunately, far too many companies fail to achieve their BI and analytics ideals. IT research and advisory firm Gartner has found in a 2018 survey that 87% of organizations have “low business intelligence and analytics maturity.” Reasons for the lack of BI maturity include aging legacy IT infrastructure, poor collaboration between business and IT, and inefficient processes prone to bottlenecks.

What better way to learn how to fix these issues than by attending a business intelligence conference? As 2020 draws to a close, we've assembled a list of 5 of the top BI events and conferences in the early days of 2021. For each event on this list of BI conferences, we've included all the facts you need to know: dates, location (physical or virtual), topics, and pricing.

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Table of Contents

  1. MicroStrategy World 2021
  2. AI &  Big Data Expo Global 2021
  3. Competitive & Market Intelligence 2021
  4. QlikWorld 2021
  5. Spark+AI Summit 2021

1) MicroStrategy World 2021


Date: TBD (likely February 2021)

Location: Virtual

MicroStrategy is a popular business intelligence and analytics platform that supports a wide range of features, including dashboards, scorecards, reports, alerts, and ad-hoc queries. The company also runs the annual MicroStrategy World conference, which has the goal of “empowering analytics leaders with a vision for intelligence everywhere.” Last year’s event in February 2020 had more than 160 speakers, focusing on themes such as enterprise analytics, natural language generation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

The MicroStrategy World 2021 event will be entirely virtual, although so far we don't know much more. You can sign up on the conference’s website to receive the latest updates.

2) AI & Big Data Expo Global 2021


Date: March 17-18, 2021

Location: London, England

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are essential tools for BI and analytics practitioners. For example, 70 percent of enterprise data is unstructured, existing in quantities too great for any human to process by hand. AI tools can help automatically extract valuable information from these unstructured sources, giving you greater clarity and a massive productivity boost.

It’s for reasons like these that the AI & Big Data Expo Global 2021 will be convened. With 9,000 expected attendees and more than 500 speakers, the conference is an enormous opportunity for BI practitioners to meet like-minded colleagues and learn about the future of the field. Don’t feel like traveling all the way to London, or just want to get an idea of what’s in store? You can check out all the speeches from the AI & Big Data Expo Virtual 2020, which was held remotely in September.

Pricing for the AI & Big Data Expo Global 2021 is on a sliding scale: a basic pass giving access to exhibitions is free, while a two-day pass to the conference and networking events is £649 (roughly $840 at the time of writing).

3) Competitive & Market Intelligence 2021


Date: March–May 2021

Location: Virtual

"Advances in the art and science of competitive/market intelligence" is the tagline for this celebrated annual conference, which will go completely virtual in 2021 after offering a hybrid of virtual and live attendance options last year. The Competitive & Market Intelligence Conference features an engaging agenda of speakers, workshops, and much more.

This year, the conference will experiment with a two-month-long period of “continuous learning and networking.” After a meet & greet event on March 9th, attendees will take advantage of interactive forums, webinars, and networking opportunities before the main conference day on April 15th, featuring keynote addresses from Dirk Kansky of SAP and Alexandre Del Rey, the co-founder and partner of the International Association of Artificial Intelligence. Finally, attendees will enter a “cool-down phase” reviewing presentations and working on collaborative assignments before the final recap session on May 6th.

Prices for the Competitive and Market Intelligence Conference 2021 are still TBD, but last year’s conference (also virtual) cost attendees €590. You can sign up to be notified when tickets go live.

4) QlikWorld 2021


Date: April 26-29, 2021

Location: Austin, Texas

Qlik is a powerful BI and analytics platform used by more than 24,000 organizations worldwide to uncover valuable business insights. The annual QlikWorld (formerly Qonnections) conference brings together Qlik users around the globe, educating attendees about the hottest trends and best practices for data integration, analytics and AI.

The QlikWorld 2021 conference is currently scheduled for late April in Austin, TX. Want to see what the event has to offer? You can check out highlights from last year's virtual conference, QlikWorld Online 2020. Pricing (including early-bird discounts) is currently TBD, but you can sign up at the event's website for notifications. If previous years are any indication, there should also be discounts for groups and previous attendees.

5) Spark+AI Summit 2021


Date: June 2021

Location: TBD

Apache Spark is an open-source unified analytics engine for processing large quantities of data. In 2013, the creators of Spark founded the software company Databricks, which provides a user-friendly web-based platform for using Spark. Databricks also hosts the Spark+AI Summit, which delivers insights on business intelligence, artificial intelligence, data and machine learning, and much more.

Last year’s all-virtual summit in June 2020 featured a fascinating group of keynote speakers, among them Nate Silver (the founder of fivethirtyeight.com), Adam Paszke (PyTorch), Francois Chollet (Google and the creator of Keras), and Kim Hazelwood (Facebook). Details about the Spark+AI Summit 2021 are still sketchy, but you can check out the keynote speeches from last year’s conference to get a sense for the event. General pricing for the virtual event last year was free, with extra costs for VIP access and training sessions.

Be sure to keep an eye on this page for updates on these and future events, including new offerings from us here at Xplenty!